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    It’s late May and you’re still months away from any real SEC football games, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pass the time by getting in on some of the action. Prominent sportsbook BetOnline.ag has released betting lines for many of the top football games in Week 1, including eight of the SEC variety. 2018 SEC football betting lines: Week 1 DATE LOCATION FAVORITE LINE UNDERDOG Sept. 1 Vanderbilt Stadium Vanderbilt 7.5 Middle Tennessee Sept. 1 Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta) Auburn 3 Washington Sept. 1 Kroger Field Kentucky 20 Central Michigan Sept. 1 NRG Stadium (Houston) Ole Miss 1.5 Texas Tech Sept. 1 Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte) West Virginia 7 Tennessee Sept. 1 Camping World Stadium (Orlando) Alabama 28.5 Louisville Sept. 1 Williams-Brice Stadium South Carolina 35 Coastal Carolina Sept. 2 AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas) Miami 3 LSU SEC games without available betting lines at this point include six less-than-exciting matchups against FCS opponents: Eastern Illinois at Arkansas Charleston Southern at Florida Austin Peay at Georgia Stephen F. Austin at Mississippi State UT Martin at Missouri Northwestern State at Texas A&M Betting lines may become available on those games closer to kickoff, but some sportsbooks shy away from issuing points spreads on games between FBS powers and FCS programs. So what do we make of the game that we are able to place bets on at this point? Some quick thoughts: The game between Auburn and Washington really could be a defacto College Football Playoff elimination game during the first weekend of the college football season, and the minuscule betting line reflects just how close this heavyweight fight could be in Atlanta. The SEC is favored in three of the five neutral site games, but four of those lines are within a touchdown. Expect some close football games against Power 5 opponents. Bobby Petrino is being paid no respect without Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson at quarterback for the Cardinals. Alabama is always really good, but Petrino has a way of manufacturing points. The Crimson Tide better be ready to score if they’re going to cover that 28.5 point spread. The post Prominent sportsbook releases betting lines for 8 Week 1 SEC football games appeared first on SEC Country.
  • LSU baseball season is here, so welcome to Out of The Box, SEC Country’s weekly column covering all things Tigers baseball. Check out SEC Country every Monday at 10:30 a.m. ET for your dose of news, notes, updates and analysis on Tigers baseball! Path to the title The LSU baseball team begins postseason play on Tuesday when it opens up action in the SEC Tournament against Mississippi State at 4:30 p.m. CT. This game has to be considered as big of a must-win game as LSU has played this season, with its NCAA Tournament hopes potentially riding on a victory. Neither team has announced a starting pitcher yet, though its intuitive to assume LSU will go with sophomore left-hander Nick Bush. Bush, who owns a 3.11 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 37.2 innings pitched this season, hasn’t thrown in live action since his start two Sundays ago versus Alabama, but has made three starts for the Tigers this season, two in weekend victories. If LSU gets past Mississippi State, as it did two out of three times in Baton Rouge early this season, it’ll set up the matchup college baseball fans were deprived of this season. With a win over the Bulldogs, LSU would advance to face No. 1 Florida on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. CT. LSU and Florida have not met since the 2017 College World Series, when the Gators defeated the Tigers to take home the national title. RELATED: Relive LSU’s win over Auburn from Friday Whereas the game against Mississippi State is a win-or-go-home style single-elimination round, the second round of the tournament is double-elimination. Regardless of the outcome against Florida, LSU would be guaranteed another game. Depending on the outcomes of two other games, LSU could find itself in the winner’s bracket or loser’s bracket against No. 4 Arkansas, No. 5 South Carolina or No. 12 Missouri. The Tigers won home series against Arkansas and Missouri but were swept on the road against South Carolina. Given LSU’s season-long struggles on the road and general lack of pitching depth, it might be a bit over-optimistic to expect the Tigers to make a deep run in Hoover. But if LSU is willing to use starting pitchers Zack Hess and Ma’Khail Hilliard on short rest on Wednesday and Thursday, assuming the team makes it that far, survival isn’t impossible. And beyond three games, no team in the SEC should feel supremely confident. Everything is random after that. Remember the numbers If there’s one thing the LSU baseball team has going for it in the SEC Tournament, it’s coach Paul Mainieri’s history. In his 11 seasons at LSU, Mainieri has coached the Tigers in the SEC Tournament 38 times. He’s gone 32-6 in those games, with as many conference championships (6) as losses. Mainieri led the Tigers to SEC titles in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2017. Four of those six times, LSU also won the SEC West. The two times the Tigers didn’t? Those would be 2010 and 2014. And for what it’s worth, the 2010 season is a good template for LSU this year. The Tigers went 14-16 in SEC play in 2010, one year removed from a deep run in Omaha. LSU matched up in the first round against a Florida team that had swept it in the regular season and pulled out an upset win, followed by another upset win over a Vanderbilt team that took a series over LSU at Alex Box Stadium in early May. From there, LSU rode a mercy-rule victory in the semifinals and a short-rest, extra-innings return from Game 1 starter Anthony Ranaudo to a conference title. If ever there was a blueprint for a shocking Hoover run, that’s the one. End of the line With the regular season over, it’s time to check in and see which LSU baseball players rank at or near the top of the SEC leaderboards. Here’s a peek at some of the leaders: Antoine Duplantis: T-1 in triples (5), T-3 in hits (76), T-4 in stolen bases (16), T-13 in batting average (.333) Daniel Cabrera: No.7 in doubles (16), No. 8 in RBI (47), No. 9 in slugging percentage (.579), No. 14 in on-base percentage (.427) Austin Bain: No. 1 in doubles (21), T-9 in games finished (13), T-13 in saves (4) Zach Watson: T-9 in stole bases (13) Zack Hess: T-5 in strikeouts (94) Ma’Khail Hillard: T-2 in wins (9) Todd Peterson: T-14 in saves (4) Devin Fontenot: T-11 in appearances (23) What’s next for LSU baseball? LSU kicks off SEC Tournament play at 4:30 p.m. CT against Mississippi State on Tuesday. The game will be televised on the SEC Network and available for stream through WatchESPN. Every game in the SEC Tournament with the exception of the championship game will be on the SEC Network. The championship game will be broadcast on ESPN2. The post Breaking down LSU baseball’s route through SEC Tournament appeared first on SEC Country.
  • As we turn the page from regular season baseball to conference tournaments, college baseball rankings are as hot a topic as ever as fans try to predict where their teams may land in the NCAA baseball tournament’s field of 64. The league placed seven teams in the new D1Baseball.com Top 25, which was released on Monday. The league added Auburn and Vanderbilt to the poll, while Kentucky was dropped out of the rankings. RELATED:  2018 SEC Baseball Tournament: Bracket, schedule, dates, teams (May 21, 2018) Florida, the defending national champion, maintained the No. 1 spot in the rankings in spite of being swept by Mississippi State on the final weekend of regular season play. The Gators will be the top seed in the SEC baseball tournament in Hoover, Ala. Ole Miss moved up one spot from No. 5 to No. 4 after closing out SEC play with a series win against Alabama. Georgia jumped nine spots in the poll from No. 16 to No. 7 thanks to a home series win against Arkansas. As a result, the Hogs dropped from No. 6 to No. 8. Vanderbilt swept Kentucky to jump back into the rankings at No. 25, while also knocking the Wildcats out of the Top 25 in the process. Auburn took two of three in a series against LSU to get back into the rankings at No. 24 after dropping out the previous week. South Carolina moved up two spots from No. 25 to No. 23 after winning two of three on the road at Texas A&M. Here’s a look at the complete Top 25 entering the SEC baseball tournament: College baseball rankings: D1Baseball.com Top 25 Records current as of May 21. Rank Team Overall Record Record Last Week Previous Rank 1 Florida 41-15 0-3 1 2 Oregon State 42-9-1 4-1 2 3 Stanford 43-8 4-0 3 4 Ole Miss 42-14 3-1 5 5 North Carolina 37-17 3-1 7 6 Clemson 43-13 4-0 8 7 Georgia 37-17 2-1 16 8 Arkansas 37-17 1-2 6 9 Florida State 39-17 2-1 11 10 NC State 40-14 1-2 4 11 Minnesota 37-13 3-0 12 12 Texas 37-18 4-0 17 13 Stetson 41-11 1-0 13 14 Southern Miss 39-15 3-1 14 15 Texas Tech 38-15 3-0 15 16 East Carolina 39-15 2-2 9 17 Duke 39-14 1-2 10 18 UCLA 35-17 4-1 18 19 Tennessee Tech 46-7 2-1 20 20 Coastal Carolina 38-17 2-1 21 21 Houston 33-21 2-1 22 22 Connecticut 32-18-1 2-2 23 23 South Carolina 32-22 2-1 25 24 Auburn 37-19 2-2 NR 25 Vanderbilt 31-24 4-0 NR Dropped out: Kentucky, Oklahoma St. College baseball rankings: SEC baseball standings Here’s a look at the SEC standings as of May 21, courtesy of SECSports.com. SEC EAST CONF CONF % OVERALL HOME ROAD  Florida 20-10 .667 41-15 28-6 12-9  Georgia 18-12 .600 37-17 24-6 13-11  South Carolina 17-13 .567 32-22 24-9 8-10  Vanderbilt 16-14 .533 31-24 22-10 7-11  Kentucky 13-17 .433 34-21 20-9 11-12  Missouri 12-18 .400 34-21 22-8 10-11  Tennessee 12-18 .400 29-27 20-13 8-12 SEC WEST CONF CONF % OVERALL HOME ROAD  Ole Miss 18-12 .600 42-14 28-4 13-10  Arkansas 18-12 .600 37-17 30-3 6-12  Auburn 15-15 .500 37-19 29-6 7-13  LSU 15-15 .500 33-23 29-8 4-14  Mississippi St 15-15 .500 31-24 18-7 8-16  Texas A&M 13-17 .433 36-19 27-8 7-10  Alabama 8-22 .267 27-29 22-13 5-15 The post College baseball rankings: 7 SEC teams ranked in latest D1Baseball Top 25 (May 21, 2018) appeared first on SEC Country.
  • In this South Carolina recruiting update from SEC Country, reporter Ben Wolk catches up with 4-star defensive end Curtis Fann Jr. Fann, who’s ranked by the 247Sports composite as the No. 18 weakside defensive end in the Class of 2019, told Wolk that he does not have a leader. It’s been that way for much of Fann’s recruitment, even though he clearly has an affinity for the Gamecocks, especially if you follow him on Twitter. South Carolina, along with Auburn, Florida State, Louisville, Notre Dame and LSU are the top programs vying for the 6-foot-2, 251-pound prospect from Emanuel County Institute in Twin City, Ga. The Gamecocks and Seminoles are recruiting him the hardest. “They offered me first,” he said of South Carolina. “Our relationship has always been good. It’s two hours away from house, not far at all. That’s why I go so much. They offered me last year. It’s Coach [Will] Muschamp and [offensive coordinator] Coach [Bryan] McClendon. “They need me. They want me. Coach Muschamp says he’s not going to take no for an answer.” Official visit No. 1 is set for the end of this month. Louisville, for now, is his only official destination. For Fann, who has no timeline for a decision, several factors will be considered as he moves through the rest of the recruiting process. The reasons are no different than many other recruits. “I want to know they’re going to develop me right for the next level because that’s my ultimate goal,” Fann said. “I don’t want to be around someone I feel like I can’t trust or talk to about everything. I need like a family away from home — and somewhere I know I can be successful at.” The 2019 South Carolina recruiting class currently list a commitment from junior college defensive end Devontae Davis, the No. 13-ranked JUCO prospect in the country. Including Fann, the Gamecocks are pursuing a handful of other defensive ends: 5-star Zacch Pickens, 4-star Savion Jackson (Clayton, N.C.) and 4-star Joseph Anderson (Murfreesboro, Tenn.). South Carolina recruiting updates Juwan Gary lists top five The latest on Zacch Pickens Major visit weekend takes shape Gamecocks evaluating son of former NFL WR The post South Carolina recruiting: 4-star DE Curtis Fann Jr. lists no favorite, talks Gamecocks appeared first on SEC Country.
  • Most of the time you don’t have to spell out that you’re rooting for the Tennessee Volunteers. All it takes is the Tennessee Volunteers logo on a Nike t-shirt, and people will just know you’re serious. There is always strength in simplicity. Details Regular Fit: Not too slim, not too loose. Designed with a relaxed fit through shoulders, chest and waist. Material: 100% Cotton Crew neck Short sleeve Screen print graphics Machine wash Officially licensed Imported Brand: Nike $25.99 The post Tennessee Volunteers Nike Alternate Logo T-Shirt appeared first on SEC Country.
  • When grieving the loss of someone as important and inspiring as former SEC commissioner Mike Slive, sometimes it’s therapeutic for everyone to take a step back and have a hearty laugh at a memory from the good times with the dearly departed. Enter Paul Finebaum, who almost always knows just the right thing to say. After all, he talks for a living. On Friday, Finebaum delivered a sincere and emotional eulogy at Slive’s memorial service. By Monday, he was being asked to repeat the story he told during said service that had the whole room enjoying laughter during such a sad time. During his weekly appearance on WJOX-FM’s The RoundTable, Finebaum obliged the show’s hosts and gave radio listeners a taste of the classic yarn, which involved Slive’s handling of former Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin and former Florida coach Urban Meyer during the 2009 SEC spring meetings in Florida. “This is who Mike Slive was,” Finebaum said, setting the stage for his story. “He was this grandfather who you always saw holding Abigail, his grandchild. It was the simple, quiet man who quoted Aristotle, Plato, Socrates and Churchill. but it was also this man who in late May of 2009 at the SEC spring meetings sat down with the 12 football coaches at the time and a kindergarten class broke out between Lane Kiffin and Urban Meyer.” Kiffin, who had not yet coached at game at Tennessee in what was set to be a one-year stay over in Knoxville before taking the USC job, was already on edge about the rise to national prominence of Urban Meyer’s program at Florida. The Gators had won a pair of national championships under his watch in 2006 and 2008. “Kiffin had accused Meyer of cheating, if you remember,” Finebaum continued with the story on WJOX-FM. “Meyer came back at Kiffin, and they were arguing like petulant children. And Mike slammed his fist on the table and uttered a string of free but mostly four-letter words. “The room turned stone silent. And what I said Friday was this: [Slive] telling Lane Kiffin to shut the blank up even brought a smile to Nick Saban’s face.” Though the duration of the story is cut out in AL.com’s video from Finebaum’s actual delivery of the eulogy, the media outlet did capture the roar of laughter from those at memorial service reacting to the punchline of that story. It can be found starting at the 3:50 mark of this video: You can listen to the entire WJOX-FM interview with Finebaum here: The post Paul Finebaum brings laughs at Mike Slive’s memorial with hilarious Urban Meyer-Lane Kiffin story appeared first on SEC Country.
  • By virtue of conference titles in six sports, the Florida Gators have taken home the SEC’s All-Sports title for the 12th consecutive year. UF won the SEC in softball, baseball, men’s and women’s track and field, men’s swimming and volleyball. The Gators won the men’s title by a large margin while finishing a close second to Georgia on the women’s side. “The level of competition across Southeastern Conference sports is so challenging, with many league teams contending for national titles,” Florida AD Scott Stricklin said in a press release. “To win the SEC All-Sports trophy is a credit to the efforts of our coaches and the Gator athletes.” Florida took home the overall crown with an impressive 159 points. Points are awarded based on how many competing teams are in a given sport. For example, the SEC football champion receives 14 points, while the runner up receives 13 points, and so on. Here’s the full explainer, per the press release: Points are awarded based on the number of competing teams in a sport (e.g. – 14 teams compete in SEC baseball, giving the winner 14 points, second gets 13, etc. Four teams compete in equestrian, awarding four points to the winner). A program’s points total is divided by the total number of teams competing in the sports the school fields and that quotient ranks the teams in the final GateHouse Media standings. The sports of cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field are combined. A program’s outdoor track finish makes up half, while the remaining two quarters are based on the cross country and indoor finishes. UF’s next accomplishment could come on June 29 when the final director’s cup standings are released. The Gators have placed in the top 10 in that event every year since 1983, the only program in the country to accomplish such a feat. Before that, Florida’s softball team will look for national redemption after losing in the Women’s College World Series a year ago, and the Gator baseball team will try to repeat as champions. The post Make it a dozen: Florida takes SEC All-Sports title for 12th straight year appeared first on SEC Country.
  • KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — There was a time when Tennessee football had the most feared set of linebackers in the SEC. The 1998 National Championship Vols had a group that wreaked havoc each Saturday, to the point of quarterbacks hearing footsteps and tailbacks prematurely bouncing runs outside. Tennessee fans would give most anything for just one player on the level of an Al Wilson, Raynoch Thompson or Eric Westmoreland. For now, Vols fans will have to settle with a somewhat anonymous and banged up group headed by tough luck linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr., and the inconsistent Daniel Bituli. Kirkland and Bituli have both shown flashes of NFL talent. Kirkland has had trouble staying healthy. Bituli has been nicked up and played hit-or-miss from week to week. Part of Tennessee’s move to a 3-4 scheme has involved Darrell Taylor moving from end to outside linebacker under the direction of position coach and defensive coordinator Kevin Sherrer. To this point, Taylor has not appeared to make significant progress. For Tennessee’s defense to do anything relevant this season, the Vols will need their linebackers to step up and become playmakers. Pruitt did say that incoming freshman linebacker JJ Peterson is talented enough to play most any of the linebacking spots, so that’s a positive. But others must soon emerge: Quart’e Sapp, Will Ignont, Shanon Reid, Deandre Johnson or Salon Paige. Perhaps Austin Smith will become the player former coordinator Bob Shoop once thought he was, or junior college transfer Jordan Allen will pan out. Linebacker keys Projected starters: OLB: Darrell Taylor, Austin Smith; MLB Darrin Kirkland Jr., Daniel Bituli. Pressing issue: New defensive scheme must become second nature. Big concern: Kirkland and Bituli injury issues. Tennessee 2018 football previews PODCAST: Tennessee wideouts have lacked the YAC Vols receivers looking to catch on with new football staff Defensive line podcast, talk of Jeremy Pruitt challenging defensive line Vols defensive line needs to add power, toughness Tennessee offensive line dealing with weighty issues podcast Vols offensive line preview: Will Friend triggers big improvements Tennessee tailbacks: Can Ty Chandler play big enough to win starting job? Vols running backs podcast: Who will Jeremy Pruitt turn to for a yard? Tennessee quarterbacks podcast: Discussing Vols issues at QB Vols quarterbacks: Don’t call it a controversy, but it is a competition The post Tennessee football position preview 2018: Linebackers must grow into feared force appeared first on SEC Country.
  • Alabama football drives the conversation here at  the Rammer Jammer , SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every other sport on campus. Tua Tagovailoa qualifies transfer comments Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa told a group of seventh and eighth graders that he was going to transfer if he did not play in the national championship. Those comments sent shockwaves throughout social media. Tagovailoa, however, said the comments  were taken “out of context.”  MORE: Sign up  here to get this roundup in your inbox Monday through Friday In other headlines … Former Alabama offensive lineman Dallas Warmack chose Oregon as his next destination. Former Alabama quarterback Blake Barnett revealed  he had a blood transfusion while at Alabama. Alabama lands 4-star defensive lineman Four-star defensive lineman Antonio Alfano committed Friday to Alabama over Georgia and Penn State. Alfano ranks as the No. 5 defensive end in the country and the No. 58 overall recruit, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Alfano’s commitment pushed Alabama to the No. 1 recruiting class for 2019. Built by Bama Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones wants a new contract and will not be at OTAs. Around the Capstone Alabama softball won its 14th-straight regional title. Alabama women’s golf is in the lead after three rounds at the NCAA Championships. Miss a previous edition? Find every installment of SEC Country’s daily Alabama newsletter  right here. The post Alabama football: Tua Tagovailoa says transfer comments were taken ‘out of context’ appeared first on SEC Country.
  • Arkansas football rules the world of Razorbacks sports. So, with your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast and get caught up. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas … especially Arkansas football. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points! There is no place like it on the web. Truth is a fickle beast in sports. Most only want to hear it when it reflects positively on their team. If it’s negative, better to sweep it under the rug. Or, at least, find some alternative talking point to distract. Fake news, sports. Fake news. Certainly, it’s that way with the Arkansas baseball team this year. There are beauteous truths and ugly ones with the Diamond Hogs. Arkansas’ season, as a whole, has been exceptional. The Razorbacks had an all-time great season at Baum Stadium, the best home record ever there. They’re top 2 or 3 in the nation in strength of schedule and RPI. They won a share of the title in the SEC West, the best division in college baseball. Then there are the negatives. Arkansas’ record on the road is poor. Not poor compared to its home record. It’s bad regardless. Dave Van Horn’s team is 7-14 away from Baum Stadium. They didn’t win an SEC series on the road, going 0-5. Both paragraphs are true. Both have caveats. The air is let out of the first paragraph’s balloon by the second. The over-the-moon crowd can be brought to Earth simply by bringing up the road difficulties. Those who gripe about Arkansas’ road difficulties have a counter from the uplifting crowd about how good Arkansas is overall. The question is which is closer to the truth. Actually, the question is whether the answer to that question even matters. Arkansas baseball doesn’t exist in a vacuum. To say the Diamond Hogs are going to have a rough week in Hoover, Ala., starting in a couple of days, simply because they were bad on the road all year is disingenuous. Why were they bad? How bad were they? Bad against everyone? Bad against good teams? Bad against bad teams? Eight of Arkansas’ 14 losses on the road came by 1 run. Eight. Another four of the remaining six losses came by 2 runs. That means, of all 14 losses, Arkansas was only out of the game twice. They aren’t a team getting drilled when they go out on the road. They’re a team about 3 hits away from being the No. 1 team in the nation. Turn a 1-run loss at Florida, at Ole Miss and Georgia into 1-run wins and not a soul is doubting Arkansas’ credibility. Instead, Arkansas finds itself in the position of insecurity. Maybe they need a win this week, or two, to make a top-8 national seed. Maybe they have already locked it up. Or maybe, this is baseball and the wildest game in the world will reveal when it’s time. Have fun this week. Arkansas gets yet another quarterback of the future Mississippi prep quarterback K.J. Jefferson, Class of 2019, pledged his commitment to Chad Morris’ Arkansas football team Friday afternoon. It seems a good get. Jefferson is a dual-threat quarterback who held offers from Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and several others. Impressive, definitely. It also means when Jefferson arrives, Arkansas could have six scholarship quarterbacks on its roster. Ty Storey, Cole Kelley and Daulton Hyatt are already at the school. Connor Noland and John Stephen Jones, Class of 2018, are set to arrive in the coming weeks. Alas, there is only one football. Someone is going to transfer at some point before Jefferson arrives. Six scholarship quarterbacks is excessive. Competition will weed out someone, maybe far before Jefferson arrives. But with Morris already locking in three quarterbacks in his six months on the job, it’s clear where he wants this program to go. MORE: Sign up here to get this roundup in your inbox Monday through Friday. ICYMI Arkansas softball is off to the super regionals for the first time in school history. Courtney Deifel’s bunch went 3-0 at Bogle Park to win the Fayetteville Regional. Arkansas gets a trip just across the state line to Oklahoma. The Sooners have won the last two national championships. Speaking of Noland, the Greenwood High right-hander pitched his Bulldogs to a state baseball championship Saturday. He isn’t only playing football for Morris next year, but he’s arguably even more touted on the mound and will throw for Van Horn, too. Arkansas’ punt return game has been brutal. Will it change under Morris? Not likely. Tweets and the like What a year. WOOO PIG SOOIE! @RazorbackSB IS HEADED TO SUPER REGIONALS!! pic.twitter.com/9FLkzCXdMi — Arkansas Razorbacks (@ArkRazorbacks) May 20, 2018 KJ Jefferson is happy to be a future Arkansas football player. Stamped ‼️‼️‼️ @ChadSimmons_ @_daGLOden1 @KatorieM pic.twitter.com/u38IlJSsqr — KJ Jefferson (@KJ_Jefferson2) May 18, 2018 Skip breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here. The post Arkansas baseball being ‘terrible’ on road is fake news appeared first on SEC Country.

Georgia Sports News

  • Thrive on the road and play lackluster at home was becoming a trend for the Braves, but they bucked it in spectacular fashion Sunday afternoon with a ninth-inning rally for the ages. Dansby Swanson’s two-out, two-run single capped a six-run final inning and gave the Braves a thrilling 10-9 walk-off win over the Marlins to clinch a series and finish the homestand with a flourish at SunTrust Park. “There’s not many words I can say,” said first baseman Freddie Freeman, who had the first of the Braves’ four two-out hits in the ninth. “That was probably one of the most exciting games I’ve every played in or been a part of. What these guys have been doing, just grinding at-bats no matter what the score is, that was pretty incredible to watch.” Swanson capped it with his pulled line-drive hit to left field on a 98-mph fastball from Tayron Guerrero with the count 2-2, after Swanson had fouled off two other 98-mph heaters. The hit would’ve been a double but Swanson was mobbed by teammates after crossing first base. “I do enjoy those situations,” Swanson said after his second major league walk-off hit and first this season. “If the game’s going to be on the line I’d like to be up there, and I feel like everybody else in the dugout feels the same way with themselves. It just shows a lot about who we are and what we take pride in.” It was the biggest ninth-inning comeback win for the Braves since Brooks Conrad’s walk-off grand slam capped a seven-run ninth inning for a 10-9 win against the Reds exactly eight years earlier, on May 20, 2010 at Turner Field. This time, the Braves rallied without so much as an extra-base hit in the ninth, instead getting it done with three walks -- including Ryan Flaherty’s with one out to start the rally -- plus a sacrifice fly, five singles and a Marlins error. “Yeah, great at-bats,” said Braves veteran Nick Markakis, who followed Ronald Acuna’s sacrifice fly and Freeman’s two-out single with an RBI hit that drove in the third run of the inning. “Don’t try to do too much, just put the ball in play and let everything play out itself.” Since Brian Snitker took over as manager of the Braves on May 16, 2016 -- interim manager initially -- his team leads the majors with 43 wins in its final at-bat, including six this season. “We have fun as a team, and we’re good,” Markakis said. “We’re good and we have fun and that leads to good things. Today was a team win, not just one person doing it but everybody, and it was awesome.” Julio Teheran gave up a slam and Marlins led 6-0 after five innings, but the National League East’s last-place team couldn’t hold on against the division-leading Braves. The Braves finished a 3-2 homestand and head to Philadelphia to start a three-game series Tuesday against the second-place Phillies, who are 1 ½ games back. The Braves scored nine runs in the final four innings, and their ninth-inning rally continued after the Markakis hit with a Tyler Flowers walk and an RBI single from pinch hitter Kurt Suzuki. Johan Camargo drew a two-out walk against Guerrero to load the bases and brought up Swanson, who was nearly hit by a pitch before his drive to left field brought in the tying and winning runs. Teheran didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning, when he fell apart in a six-run frame that saw the Marlins send 11 batters to the plate and rookie Lewis Brinson hit the first grand slam of his career. The Braves had only one hit in the first five innings against Marlins left-hander Wei-Yin Chen and trailed 6-0 before getting two runs in the sixth on four consecutive one-out singles including run-scoring hits from Freeman and Markakis to chase Chen from the game. Teheran was 4-1 with a 2.20 ERA in his past seven starts before Sunday, when he gave up seven hits, six runs, three walks and hit two batters in five innings. He hit Miguel Rojas twice with pitches before Rojas homered twice in the late innings against relievers Lucas Sims and A.J. Minter. Teheran’s problems in the fourth inning began when Justin Bour hit a leadoff triple that caromed off the center-field wall and left Ender Inciarte in a heap on the warning track, after Inciarte slammed into the padded wall at full speed trying to make a leaping catch.  Inciarte stayed in the game until the seventh inning, when Acuna moved over to center field and Charlie Culberson took over in left field as part of a double-switch. Manager Brian Snitker said Inciarte was just sore and should be ready to play Monday. While the next batter was up, Bour scored on a Teheran balk. Starlin Castro doubled, Brian Anderson singled, Derek Dietrich walked and Rojas hit an RBI single before Brinson delivered the big blow, a mammoth, 450-foot homer near the left-field line that cleared the bases for a 6-0 lead. In 18 career starts at SunTrust Park, Teheran is 3-10 with a 6.11 ERA and 18 homers allowed in 98-2/3 innings.  After the Braves cut the lead to 6-2 in the sixth inning, the Marlins answered with a two-run homer by Rojas off Sims, who was recalled from Triple-A earlier Sunday after the Braves released veteran third baseman Jose Bautista. Acuna added a two-run single for the Braves in the seventh inning and sacrifice fly in the ninth, giving him five RBIs in five games on the homestand after he’d driven in one run in his previous nine games.
  • Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. The play sheet this time calls for insight into why Trey Sanders is considering the Bulldogs. BRADENTON, Fla. — There is a reason why Trey Sanders will consider Georgia for the long haul during his recruitment. Sanders can provide the proper view on that history lesson. “They were my second offer and I got that one my freshman year,” said the nation’s No. 1 RB prospect for 2019. “Of course, they have been coming hard now. Just like every school. It is pretty much like every day. I’m on the phone with those coaches a lot. [UGA assistant] coach [Dell] McGee and I have built a great relationship since my freshman year.” Trey Sanders rates as the nation’s No. 1 RB prospect for the Class of 2019. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation.com) How can UGA make itself an even more attractive destination? “Just keep doing what they are doing right now,” Sanders said. “Of course, they’ve got great running backs now and have also got great running backs coming in. It would be a great opportunity to go there and watch James Cook and Zamir White and D’Andre Swift and watch them do it. They can teach me stuff before they all go on to the NFL.” Florida State was his first offer. Sanders, a onetime Alabama commitment, said he’s never wavered in his interest in Georgia. “It was always constant,” Sanders said. “But I guess that has been for every school, too. But Georgia has always known about my talent. There have never been any ‘ifs’ or ‘maybes’ with me and Georgia. They’ve been on me hard since that offer my freshman year.” Sanders used an interesting parallel with DawgNation last month after G-Day. He compared his timeline to a football game and felt his process was in the third quarter. It is still there now. “I am just taking my time and slowing it down to take my time,” Sanders said. “This is one of the biggest decisions of my life. I just want to find the right school for me for the next four years.” It was pretty hard to not latch onto that “for me” portion of that last statement. Will Trey Sanders follow his older brother to Florida? Umstead Sanders, his older brother, rated as a 3-star OLB prospect in the Class of 2018. He has decided to accept a preferred walk-on opportunity with Florida. There are many that speculate that was a shrewd move on coachDan Mullen’s part. If Umstead comes out and shows his talent in Gainesville, he might earn a scholarship. Trey Sanders expressed that there were just two schools that stand out in terms of the O-line he’d get to run behind in college. Georgia was one of those. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) That, at the very least, might make Florida an even more attractive destination to the IMG standout back. Trey Sanders does rank as a 5-star recruit and as the nation’s No. 7 overall prospect on the 247Sports composite rankings for 2019. How does Trey look at that situation? “First of all, for me, I know my brother is going to ball out at Florida,” he said. “He is just that type of player. He feeds off negativity and things like that. I wasn’t the reason why they picked him up. They watched his film and they loved him right away. “He talks to me every day about going to Florida, too. But I feel like at the end of the day we just have to do what is best for us. If Florida is the best thing for me, then it is the best thing. But until then, I still have to make that decision and figure that out. I’m going to just enjoy my recruitment.” Sanders said that his mother wants him to go to Florida. “But at the end of the day, I am going to have to do what is the best thing for me,” Sanders said. “That’s my mom. She is always going to love me no matter what. I feel like she just wants what is the best for both of her sons. Whatever that may be. … My dad wants the same thing for us. My parents just really tell us that they both want us to be successful in life.” Sanders will visit FSU next weekend. That is expected to be a family trip. He also dropped some insight about an IMG player he expects to play with in college. That would be 2020 safety Lejond Cavazos. Cavazos continues to maintain that UGA is his leader. “That is my little brother,” Sanders said. “I am going to put you in on a little insight. Wherever I go, he is going to come with me. I am going to make sure of that. I am going to recruit him the hardest next year. You can make sure of that.” A couple more nuggets about Trey Sanders What’s he like off the field? “I am probably the goofiest person that you have ever met,” Sanders said. “Especially out of all of us players. I am the goofiest kid that IMG has got here. Honestly.” Trey Sanders plans to decide at some point during his senior season. He’s not exactly sure when. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) Cavazos overheard that quip. He nodded his head to that claim. What does he still need to see about Georgia? Sanders wasn’t able to supply much on that one. “I’m ready to get up there for another game,” he said. He’s not sure about his official visits yet, but he does plan to take all of those before he commits. Sanders will sign on the first day of the early period on Dec. 20. “I am going to likely decide between mid-season and [early] signing day,” he said. But in the back and forth of an interview, it sounded like he just kept it all pretty real. “I don’t know where I want to go,” Sanders said. “At this point, I should be used to it by now, but this is probably the craziest part of my recruitment that I have had. But I am just blessed to have all these opportunities that I do. I’m not going to wish I didn’t have this blessing and I am surely not going to take any of these opportunities for granted.” Who’s got the best line he could play behind? “I’m pretty sure everybody knows this one for me,” Sanders said. “That would be either Georgia or Alabama. No question about that one. Alabama has got a young line that is going to be great. Georgia has a young line that is coming in that is going to be crazy.” While everyone has wild RB dreams in their head Noah Cain, the other elite RB at IMG Academy, continues to seriously consider Georgia. Now, I’m not saying that it sounds like any of that “this is the place” as of yet with Cain. But it does sound like the Bulldogs continue to carry their weight in the chance to land an official visit from Cain. Cain even said that there were just a few schools that could land both him and Sanders. Sanders acknowledged that it was something that they do talk about. “It is possible,” Sanders said on that front. “He and I talk about it all the time. You have to be ready to go to the NFL. You can’t already have been beat up [as a showcase back taking the brunt of the carries] when you are ready to go there. I feel like Noah and I correlate pretty well, man. Wherever I am weak at, he’s strong at. Where he’s weak, I’m strong there in my own right. I feel like we feed off each every time we come on and off the field.” That’s the aspect of the both of them going to the same school. They don’t dismiss the thought of continuing to carry the load they currently do for the IMG backfield. Cain said there were only three schools that have a legit shot to land the duo. That’s because of the mutual interest that the two share in the same programs. Those schools were: Georgia Miami Texas Sanders agreed. He also added FSU as another darkhorse. “All of those schools know how to run a two-back system,” he said. A few other tidbits about the other elite RB on UGA radar Sam Spiegelman of SEC Country caught up with 4-star RB John Emery Jr. recently. Emery was at UGA over the weekend for the scavenger hunt and other activities. Emery shows up as the nation’s No. 5 RB and the No. 68 overall prospect on the 247Sports composite rankings. He had McGee, Georgia running backs coach, and UGA area recruiter Cortez Hankton at his spring game last Thursday. John Emery Jr. ranks as the nation’s No. 5 RB for the Class of 2019. (Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country) LSU could very well be the spot for him. Eventually. But the Bulldogs appear to be making a race of it. He will sign early. His mother also made the trip with him to UGA this weekend. When asked about how close the schools at the top are at this moment, Emery offered up this response to Spiegelman: “It’s still close. It does [make things hard]. LSU is home and the connections I could have there … it’s going to be a hard decision for me.” There’s the feeling around those close to Emery that he could be ready to make his decision in maybe another month or so. It could be that soon. “It’s still close,” Emery told SEC Country. “I’m still waiting, trying to take some more visits and still scheduling things out, but I plan on committing in June. It’s nothing specific, just sometime in that month.” The information that I’ve been hearing is that Emery was leaning away from UGA at one point. He expressed some concerns about wanting to be in the two-deep immediately. But something has happened here to draw the charge led by Hankton and McGee back into it. Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will et you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap. The post Nation’s No. 1 RB Trey Sanders still has lot to say about Georgia appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA (AP) - Bradley-Wright Phillips scored two second-half goals in the New York Red Bulls' 3-1 victory over Atlanta United on Sunday night. New York (7-3-0) has won four in a row, outscoring its opponents 12-4 during that span. Wright-Phillips headed home Michael Murillo's cross to the center of the box to give the Red Bulls a 2-1 lead in the 51st minute. About four minutes later, Wright-Phillips capped the scoring with a header, off an entry from Alejandro Romero Gamarra, that banged in off the crossbar. Atlanta's Ezequiel Barco put away a deflected through pass from Miguel Almiron to open the scoring in the 26th minute. Daniel Royer converted from the spot in the 42nd to make it 1-1 after Wright-Phillips drew a foul in the area conceded by Miles Robinson. Atlanta (8-3-1) lost for just the second time since opening day. Wright-Phillips has eight goals this season, tied with Almiron and Columbus' Gyasi Zardes for the most in MLS. Atlanta's Greg Garza was shown a straight red card in the 71st minute for a serious foul.
  • ATLANTA (AP) - Dansby Swanson struck out to begin the ninth inning, so he wanted to do something special with the game on the line after the Atlanta Braves batted around. 'Yeah, I mean who doesn't?' Swanson said. 'I think situations like that are what this game is meant to be played for. But obviously we wouldn't have been in that situation if the whole team didn't pick each other up that whole inning.' Swanson's two-run single capped a six-run ninth, and the NL-leading Braves rallied to stun the Miami Marlins 10-9 on Sunday. Ronald Acuna Jr. drove in two runs in the seventh and another in the ninth as the Braves moved 11 games over .500 for the first time since July 5, 2014. Atlanta has won nine of its last 12 and keeps performing well in the clutch with an NL-best 88 runs scored this season in the seventh inning or later. 'I almost expect 'em to do it,' said manager Brian Snitker, whose club has 43 victories in its last at-bat, most in the majors, since he took charge on May 16, 2016. 'I mean, down six in the bottom of the fifth, I felt good. I really did. I thought that these guys have a lot of time to go to work here and then you get a little bit farther away, but they never stop. It's a great win for these guys.' Miami led 6-0 after four innings and 9-4 to begin the ninth. Lewis Brinson's first career grand slam highlighted a six-run fourth, and Miguel Rojas homered twice and drove in four runs for the last-place Marlins, who have lost three of four. Atlanta started the ninth with three runs off closer Brad Ziegler on Acuna's single, a throwing error by first baseman Justin Bour and a single by Nick Markakis. Taylor Guerrero (0-2) came on with two outs and allowed four straight batters to reach base. He walked Tyler Flowers, gave up an RBI single to Kurt Suzuki and walked Johan Camargo, who became Atlanta's everyday third baseman earlier Sunday when the Braves released Jose Bautista. Facing Swanson, Guerrero threw seven straight fastballs - all in the upper 90s - before the No. 1 overall draft pick of 2015 laced a single down the left-field line to touch off a celebration in the outfield. 'I just came to do my job and while today wasn't a good day to do that, I'll take the experience to take the next opportunity and do my job,' Guerrero said. A.J. Minter (3-0) allowed Rojas' homer in the ninth but benefited from the rally. Julio Teheran dug the Braves a hole in the fourth by balking in a run and hitting two batters before allowing Lewis Brinson's first career grand slam. Teheran allowed six runs in the frame, matched the second-worst inning of his eight-year career, and he has a 6.29 ERA over his last six starts against Miami. Teheran allowed seven hits and three walks while striking out four in five innings. He had won four straight decisions and had a 2.20 ERA over his previous seven starts. Wei-Yin Chen allowed just two baserunners before four straight singles made it 6-2 in the sixth. The left-hander gave up five hits, one walk and struck out five in 5 1/3 innings and has a 3.00 ERA in his last six starts against Atlanta. Acuna's two-run single off Drew Steckenrider cut the Marlins' lead to 8-4. Marlins manager Don Mattingly knew his team wasn't entirely safe entering the bottom of the ninth. 'They're at the back end (of the lineup), but you know if they roll it around, you know what happens,' Mattingly said. 'You could be in some trouble.' TRAINER'S ROOM Braves: CF Ender Inciarte stayed in the game for a while after slamming into the wall in the fourth. As Bour's triple sailed over his glove, hit the wall and bounced away, Inciarte's right shoulder hit the wall and he dropped onto his back, staying down for a couple of minutes while play was stopped. Snitker and a trainer visited Inciarte as he was helped to his feet, but the manager replaced Inciarte in the field before the start of the seventh. 'The shock wore off, and he got sore,' Snitker said. 'I wanted to get him out of there. I think he'll be fine tomorrow.' BYE, BAUTISTA General manager Alex Anthopolous said the decision to release Bautista was made before Saturday's 8-1 win. The 37-year-old Bautista, signed to a minor-league deal in April, joined the Braves on May 4 and hit .143 with two homers and five RBIs in 12 games. Camargo went 0 for 3 with two walks on Sunday. BEEN A WHILE Bour hit the Marlins' last grand slam on June 19, 2017 against Washington. Teheran last gave up six in an inning on May 26, 2015, at the Los Angeles Dodgers. He allowed a career-worst seven runs in an inning at Philadelphia last July 28. TAKING ADVANTAGE Derek Dietrich grounded into a forceout in the seventh but advanced to third on throwing errors by first baseman Freddie Freeman and second baseman Ozzie Albies. Rojas then homered off Lucas Sims to make it 8-2. Rojas' homer in the ninth was his seventh this season and gave him his first career multi-homer game. Before this season, Rojas had four homers in 358 career games. UP NEXT Marlins: RHP Elieser Hernandez (0-0, 2.25 ERA) will make his second career start as Miami opens a three-game series at the New York Mets. He allowed one run and four baserunners in five innings against the Dodgers last week. Jason Vargas (0-3, 13.86) rejoins the Mets' rotation after three ineffective starts. Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (3-2, 2.87 ERA) will make his 10th start and 75th of his career as Atlanta opens a three-game series at Philadelphia with a 1 -game lead in the NL East over the Phillies. He is 4-2 with a 3.74 in nine career starts and one relief appearance in the series. Nick Pivetta (3-2, 3.72) starts for the Phillies. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball