College Sports

Three observations from the SEC's opening weekend

Alabama right fielder Chandler Taylor (7) and Alabama designated hitter Cody Henry (9) celebrate Taylor's two-run home run in the ninth inning of an NCAA college baseball game, Saturday, March 19, 2016, at LSU's Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge, La. (Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate via AP)
Alabama right fielder Chandler Taylor (7) and Alabama designated hitter Cody Henry (9) celebrate Taylor's two-run home run in the ninth inning of an NCAA college baseball game, Saturday, March 19, 2016, at LSU's Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge, La. (Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate via AP) AP

The first weekend of SEC play certainly provided plenty of interesting results. The biggest surprise took place in Baton Rouge, La., where Alabama (13-6, 2-1) took a series at LSU (14-5, 1-2) for the first time since 1986. Had it not been for Alabama's late collapse-- the Tide surrendered a six-spot in the eighth -- the Tigers could have been left to lick their wounds after a sweep. Still, dropping two to a team that has scored a SEC-worst 84 runs in 19 games isn't a good start to the league schedule. (It should be noted Bama does have the SEC's top ERA at 2.13).

The Advocate's Chandler Rome reported Monday that LSU will shake up its rotation a bit at Texas A&M, starting Jared Poche (2-2, 2.37 ERA) on four-days rest Thursday. Alex Lange (2-1, 4.50) will take the mound Friday, with John Valek III (4-0, 2.20) starting Saturday.

Looking for consistency: Will the real Bulldogs please stand up? One week after sweeping Oregon, Mississippi State (14-6, 2-1) got another big series win, this time taking two of three at Vanderbilt. The big series wins sandwiched losses to Eastern Kentucky and Oral Roberts. Maybe the mid-week losses will just be a blip on the radar when we look back at the 2016 season. MSU hosts Georgia this weekend in what should be a solid test -- may the best Bulldogs win.

Pitching wins: Ole Miss ranks in the bottom half of the SEC in most offensive categories, but the Rebels (19-2, 2-1) have been rather good on the mound with a .244 staff ERA while holding opponents to a .227 batting average. Ole Miss also ranks third in the SEC, having allowed just six homers in 184 2/3 innings.

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