If there's been a complaint about the SEC baseball tournament in this year, and for the last couple of years, it's been the lack of offense. The new, lower-juice bats in college baseball have combined with the rather imposing dimensions of Hoover Metropolitan Stadium to produce a series of low-scoring games. But if low-scoring games are the rule in the SEC tournament, no one bothered to tell Vanderbilt and Mississippi State about it.
Fighting for the final berth in the tournament title game scheduled for Sunday, the Commodores and the Bulldogs spen Saturday churning out more hits and runs than in any game we've seen so far in Hoover. In fact, by the time the 16-8 slugfest was over, Vanderbilt alone had outscored the run totals of each previous game in the SEC tournament. There were 33 hits and four errors, while seven Mississippi State pitchers tried in vain to stop the scoring.
We could go on. Vanderbilt's seven-run second inning would have on its own tied for the highest score of any team in the tournament so far. Mississippi State outscored the winner of every other game in the event.
For both teams, the game did very little to change the status quo when it comes to the NCAA tournament. The chances that even a win would have put Mississippi State into the suddenly jumbled race for the eight and final national seed are exceedingly small. And Vanderbilt would have remained a national seed, and probably kept the No. 1 national seed, despite the outcome.
That made it mostly a fun game to watch. And a somewhat long game, clocking at 3:36 without the extra innings that were reaching epidemic levels in the tournament. Tomorrow's championship game between LSU and Vanderbilt also likely won't change much. Hopefully, that will produce a game half as fun as the one that played out Saturday.