ATB SEC Tournament Edition: South Carolina, Arkansas Go Home

Aroundthebases2010_medium

So much for good seeding. No. 3 seed South Carolina -- which actually had the second-best record in the conference -- and No. 4 seed Arkansas were both shown the door Thursday by No. 2 Auburn and No. 1 Florida, respectively. All four teams were in the losers' bracket under the bizarre (or typical, for SEC tournament) results Wednesday.

SEC TOURNAMENT, DAY THREE
BRACKET ONE -- ELIMINATION BRACKET TWO -- ELIMINATION
[6] Ole Miss [5] Vanderbilt
[2] Auburn [1] Florida
BRACKET ONE -- BYE BRACKET TWO -- BYE
[7] Alabama [8] LSU

There are six teams remaining in the tournament, and once again two of the top four remaining teams will go home. Take that, basketball.

[2] Auburn 3, [3] South Carolina 1 (12) -- South Carolina Eliminated
Gamecocks fans probably realized the game was over when a Scott Wingo error in the 12th inning set up the go-ahead runs for Auburn; the second baseman made two errors all year in the SEC. But neither of these teams should be happy with their tournament through the first two days. (I guess that means I think Jerry is crazy.) In 21 innings, South Carolina scored one run; for Auburn, it's four -- that won't be enough to win against LSU if Auburn ends up facing the Bayou Bengals in the final. Even Georgia averaged five runs a game in the league. Meanwhile, South Carolina needs to regroup. The national seed is likely gone, but there will still be a Columbia regional.

[1] Florida 5, [4] Arkansas 4 -- Arkansas Eliminated
Arkansas never lead this game, and in fact was never tied after Florida batted in the bottom of the first. Drew Smyly pitched well enough in relief -- two runs over five innings -- but the three runs in the first three innings gave Florida too much of an edge against the Razorbacks. The game ended oddly -- with Florida winning the game on a double play after the fourth Arkansas run had scored. Jonathan Pigott made a great catch and threw to first, getting the third out. But a run had already scored in the interim -- so there's something for Hog fans to feel better about, I suppose.

[7] Alabama 6, [6] Ole Miss 3
Nathan Kilcrease continued what has been a string of great pitching for Alabama, in this case 8.1 innings that ended with three earned runs -- a solid day. The Tide, meanwhile, scored all six runs in the fifth through eighth inning. And Alabama proved what we've been saying all along -- they left 11 men on base compared to Ole Miss' six, but only because the Tide was getting more men on base to begin with. Alabama gets a bye Friday and will play the Ole Miss-Auburn Vanderbilt-Florida winner.

[8] LSU 7, [5] Vanderbilt 5
Teams like LSU are always dangerous in short tournaments, and the Bengals are now one of the two teams with a loss to spare. Despite closer Matty Ott's valiant effort to keep the fans in their seats through the ninth inning, LSU's bullpen once again did well enough to keep the Tigers undefeated in Hoover. Six LSU players had multi-hit days, and suddenly Bengals fans can begin to wonder if they have a tournament run in them -- and maybe a home regional in the future?

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