No insult to Mississippi State intended -- but there was more action and excitement in the ninth inning of Vanderbilt's faceoff with Florida on Saturday than either the Bulldogs' win over Kentucky earlier in the day or anything else in the SEC tournament. It might just have been the most entertaining inning of baseball in the SEC this season.
Consider some of the highlights: The two teams doubled the number of runs in the game in the final inning. Vanderbilt pulled off a squeeze play that ended up with the batter safe at first. The Commodores ran the almost unheard-of triple steal, part of a half dozen bases they swiped -- in the ninth. Florida used a pair of RBI singles to bring home two more runs, and both of those were hit with two outs.
The 14 runs the two teams scored were the most of any game in the 2012 SEC tournament so far. The seven runs scored in the ninth inning alone amounted to more than the run total in nine of the 15 other games played this week.
Oh, and Vanderbilt's five-run rally helped set up a championship game between two of the hottest teams in the sport right now. That's all.
By contrast, Mississippi State's 2-1 win over the Wildcats was uneventful, bordering on boring. Four different pitchers combined to scatter nine hits over as many innings and keep Kentucky from breaking through after scoring once in the second. They struck out eight and walked just two.
Given the pair of runs scored by the Western Division Bulldogs in the second and third innings, that was enough. Corey Littrell pitched well enough over six innings to give Kentucky a chance to win if the Wildcats offense could get started, but it never really could.
So the teams that came into Hoover with all the momentum are headed to a final showdown Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Give Vanderbilt the edge in a game that should be entertaining -- even if it will be tough to top what happened in the final inning Saturday.