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Arkansas, Vanderbilt pitchers vie for top spot in our fastest SEC pitcher rankings

 Chris Lee   in Baseball

Brannon Jordan photo of the University of South Carolina.

Here's our ranking of the Southeastern Conference's 14 best pitchers as of May 12. Total innings pitched in all games and ERA is listed in parenthesis, though performance in league games is a heavy factor in where players rank.

1. Kevin Kopps, Arkansas (49.2, 0.72): He's got an 0.45 ERA in 40 SEC innings.

2. Kumar Rocker, Vanderbilt (74, 2.31): Drops a spot after he struggled against Alabama.

3. Patrick Wicklander, Arkansas (53.1, 1.69): Like Kopps, he's lighting it up (1.42 ERA, 44 1/3 innings) in conference action.

4. Jack Leiter, Vanderbilt (64.1, 2.10): Now we're just waiting to see if, or when, he throws again.

5. Landon Marceaux, LSU (73.1, 2.33): He's getting 25% of his outs on ground balls.

6. Doug Nikhazy, Ole Miss (58.1, 2.47): A sparking 1.99 ERA in 45 1.3 SEC innings. 

7. Landon Sims, Mississippi State (32, 0.56): His 53% strikeout rate is the SEC's best.

8. Gunnar Hoglund, Ole Miss (62.2, 2.87): He'll fall off the list because his year is over, but it's only fair to acknowledge what he's done to this point.

9. Nick Maldonado, Vanderbilt (28.1, 0.64): 0.64 ERA, 0.64 runners allowed per inning pitched.

10. Christian Scott, Florida (45.1, 2.78): He continues to excel out of the bullpen with a 2.76 ERA in 29 1/3 SEC innings. 

11. Christian MacLeod, Mississippi State (56, 3.05): The reigning SEC Pitcher of the Week after seven shutout innings at South Carolina. 

12. Brannon Jordan, South Carolina (61.1, 3.52): An almost-identical 3.53 ERA in league play.

13. Will Bednar, Mississippi State (49, 3.31): His 65 strikeouts in SEC games trails only Rocker and Leiter.

14. Ryan Webb, Georgia (59.2, 3.32): Struggled some vs. Arkansas (who doesn't?), but it was his sixth-straight SEC start in which he lasted at least six innings.