Did you know there's a mercy rule in the SEC baseball tournament? If you didn't know, you do now, because LSU drummed Vanderbilt into the loser's bracket in an 11-1 game where the teams didn't even finish the seventh inning because of the Bayou Bengals' 10-run lead.
In game that could be a major setback to Vanderbilt's hopes to get a national seed, the Tigers cranked out 15 hits in 6.2 innings, scoring ten runs in the fourth inning or later to turn what had been a pitching duel into a blowout. Jared Poche', meanwhile, allowed just one run on five hits over seven innings -- with the single run coming in the first.
It's not the first time the mercy rule has come into play. Vanderbilt itself was on the other side of a game that was called off because of the margin in 2011, when they blasted Georgia, 10-0. Some fans remember other instances.
Of course, getting run-ruled in your conference tournament is not a good look for a national seed candidate, particularly not one that's lost three of its last five games, including two games in a head-to-head series against a fellow national seed contender from the same conference. The Commodores' high RPI might keep them in the hunt, but they probably need to win an elimination game or two now, and have Ole Miss and South Carolina struggle, to feel good about their chances.
As for LSU, this brings them one step closer to locking up the opportunity to host a regional. The Tigers play again tomorrow afternoon, against the winner of the Arkansas-Ole Miss game currently underway, for a day off and a ticket to the semifinals. Vanderbilt will play the Arkansas-Ole Miss loser in an elimination game tomorrow morning.