clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2016 SEC Baseball Tournament Preview and Game Thread

The Bat Cats continue their push towards the College World Series Tuesday in the SEC Tournament. To advance they'll have to beat Alabama for a third time this season. Game time against the Tide is 5:30 PM on the SEC Network.

Tournament Format

  • Tuesday: 4 single-elimination games
  • Wednesday - Friday: Double-elimination phase
  • Saturday: 2 single-elimination Semifinal games
  • Sunday: Championship game

Tournament Bracket


Kentucky vs The Bracket (bottom half)

  • Alabama: 2-1, Runs: 10 - 6
  • Mississippi St.: Did not play
  • LSU: Did not play
  • Tennessee: 2-1, Runs: 20 - 20
  • Florida: Games: 2-1, Runs:17 - 20

Three teams UK has series wins against and two they haven't faced this year.  A victory over Alabama sets up a game against Mississippi St and former head coach John Cohen at the same time Wednesday.  The Cats own series wins over Florida and Tennessee, but did not dominate either school as evidenced by the overall Runs Scored - Runs Allowed marks.  LSU wasn't on the schedule this year, but UK took the series last year and are a bit better now while LSU is a bit worse, so advantage Cats?  Dustin Beggs and Kyle Cody give UK a chance against any of these teams if they can just get past Alabama.

Kentucky vs Alabama

UK Alabama
Record 32 – 24 31 – 24
SEC 15 – 15 15 – 15
Last 10 5 – 5 6 – 4
SEC Runs /G 4.56 4.53
SEC Runs All./G 4.83 4.56

To get to the double-elimination portion of the tournament UK must first beat Alabama for a 3rd time this season.  The regular season games could not have been closer as all three contests came down to the final at-bat.  UK scored 137 runs in conference games this year, Alabama scored 136.  Alabama allowed their SEC opponents to score 137 times, while UK allowed 145 runs. This has all the makings of a pitcher's duel where the first team to 3 wins, which means it will probably turn out to be a slugfest because baseball.

It looks like Zach Logue will take the hill for UK while Nick Eicholtz will pitch for Alabama.  Eicholtz was on the mound for the Tide's only win against UK and Alabama has not faced Logue this year.  Eicholtz pitched last on May 15 so he might be a bit rusty.

CWS Bid Status

Stop me if you've heard this before: UK is on the bubble of the CWS and needs to win a game or two in the SEC Tournament to solidify a bid.  There are many parallels between last year and this, but UK is in a slightly better position heading into the tournament.  Not better enough that they can afford to lose to Alabama though.  From Aaron Fitt's Conference Rundown at D1baseball this week:

Play-in games will be critical for Kentucky and Alabama, which both finished 15-15 in the SEC with RPI rankings of No. 53 and No. 60, respectively. And just winning the play-in game might not be enough for either team — especially Alabama. After the Wildcats finished their regular season with a series win and Alabama got swept by the Gamecocks, I’d put UK back ahead of Bama as the No. 8 team in the SEC’s at-large pecking order.

Neither D1baseball nor Baseball America have updated their CWS projections as of this writing, but there's no mystery that UK needs a win to get a bid and two wins to feel good about it.