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MLB/COLLEGE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK: Braves' minor-leaguer suspended 50 games; SEC Tournament undergoes changes

After his second failed drug test Friday, resulting in a 50-game ban, Billy Bullock won't be pitching for the Braves any time soon.

After his second failed drug test Friday, resulting in a 50-game ban, Billy Bullock won't be pitching for the Braves any time soon.

NEW YORK — A minor league pitcher in the Atlanta Braves’ organization was suspended Friday for 50 games following a second violation of a drug of abuse.

Triple-A reliever Billy Bullock was penalized by the commissioner’s office.

The 24-year-old right-hander is 11-11 with 50 saves and a 4.33 ERA in four minor league seasons. Bullock split the last two years between Triple-A and Double-A and has averaged more than a strikeout per inning during his career.

There have been 105 suspensions this year under the minor league drug program and eight under the major league program.


SEC baseball tournament expands

HOOVER Ala. — The Southeastern Conference has added two teams and a fifth day to its baseball tournament.

Commissioner Mike Slive announced Friday that the field will expand to 12 teams in the 14-team league starting in 2013 in Hoover, Ala.

The top four seeds will earn a bye in the double-elimination tournament, which starts on May 21. The rest will play that Tuesday with the winners advancing.

The two division champions and other top four seeds have a chance to earn another bye in the tournament, which returns to single elimination on Saturday.

The total number of games played remains at 17, capped by Sunday’s championship.

The SEC has won national titles in three of the last four seasons and had teams advance to the National Championship Series five straight years.