the other guys
Though neither Ole Miss nor Mississippi State qualified for the SEC Tournament, there are Magnolia State connections among the eight teams still alive as of today in Hoover, Ala. Bryson Ware, a former Germantown High and Pearl River Community College standout, was a second-team All-SEC player for Auburn this season and showed out Wednesday, going 2-for-4 with a homer, two RBIs and a steal in the Tigers’ 6-4 loss to Vanderbilt. Ware’s 23rd homer of the season matches the school record. Auburn is coached by Amory High and Itawamba CC alum Butch Thompson, a former Mississippi State assistant coach. The Tigers meet Alabama today in an intriguing elimination game. On the Crimson Tide roster is Wayne Academy product Will Hodo, who batted .289 this season but has been sidelined of late by an injury. Alabama fell into the losers bracket with a loss to Florida, whose starting pitcher was Hurston Waldrep, one of the stars of Southern Miss’ NCAA Tournament team in 2022. Waldrep, 7-3 with a 4.83 ERA for the Gators in the regular season, pitched into the sixth inning on Wednesday; he was long gone by the time the Gators won in the 11th. Arkansas’ starter on Wednesday was Cody Adcock, a right-hander who began his college career at Ole Miss before transferring. He pitched two innings in the 11-inning win over Texas A&M. The Razorbacks may be without starting shortstop John Bolton, a Hinds CC alum, for the entirety of the tournament. The slick-fielding Bolton, a .202 hitter, was injured the last weekend of the regular season. Former Lewisburg High star Brady Tygart, 2-0 with a 3.31 for Arkansas this season, figures to make an appearance before the Hogs are done. Today, they’ll play LSU in the winners bracket. On the Tigers’ roster is freshman Aiden Moffett, the highly touted pitcher out of Taylorsville who made one (very poor) appearance this season and apparently is redshirting. LSU beat South Carolina on Wednesday. The Gamecocks have played all year without Jacob Compton, a DeSoto Central and Northeast CC alum who transferred in from Memphis, where he was All-AAC in 2022. The slugging first baseman was injured in preseason. South Carolina plays A&M in an elimination game today. The Aggies’ director of player and program development is Chuck Box, a Columbus native who previously coached at Jackson Prep and Hartfield Academy. P.S. Kudos to Southern Miss, which opened Sun Belt Conference Tournament play with a 7-1 win over James Madison as Tanner Hall notched his 12th victory. USM gets Troy today in Montgomery, Ala. Jackson State lost its SWAC tourney opener to Grambling State 8-7 despite a combined seven hits from Omar Gomez and Marcus Atterberry. JSU meets Bethune-Cookman today in an elimination game in Atlanta.