Tide loses, but
clinches tourney spot
From Staff Reports
Mississippi State left-hander Justin Pigott took a shutout into the eighth inning and senior first baseman Brian LaNinfa had four RBIs, including a two-run home run in the third inning, as the Bulldogs evened the weekend series with Alabama with a 9-3 win Friday night.
Despite the loss, Alabama (30-24, 14-15 SEC) clinched a spot in the 2007 SEC Tournament, which begins Wednesday at Regions Park in Hoover. After losses by Kentucky, LSU and Tennessee on Friday, the Crimson Tide can finish no worse than seventh in the league standings.
The Crimson Tide will likely play the first game of the tournament at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The opponent will be the SEC Western Division champion, which will be Arkansas, Ole Miss or Mississippi State.
Pigott (5-5) evened his season record as he held the Crimson Tide to one run and six hits in eight innings en route to the win. He walked two and struck out five.
LaNinfa had two hits and four RBI to lead the Bulldogs nine-hit attack.
Auburn 13, Kentucky 6: After pounding out 18 runs on 20 hits Thursday, the Auburn bats were right back at it on Friday night as the Tigers connected for 15 hits in a 13-6 series-clinching win over Kentucky at Cliff Hagan Stadium. For the second straight night, Auburn capitalized on poor fielding by Kentucky as UK allowed eight unearned runs on four errors.
Florida 20, Tennessee 2: Sophomore Avery Barnes matched a school and SEC record with 10 runs batted in, featuring his first career grand slam in the second inning and a three-run dinger in the eighth, as Florida punched its ticket to next week's SEC Tournament with a 20-2 victory over Tennessee on Friday night at McKethan Stadium. Barnes (3-for-5, four runs) entered the game with one career homer and had driven in 15 runs on the season.
Georgia 6, South Carolina 4: The Bulldogs (23-32, 11-18 SEC) notched their 11th win over a ranked opponent this year and snapped an 11-game losing streak in Columbia, S.C., to the Gamecocks who dropped to 39-16 overall and 16-13 in the SEC.
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