Missouri and Auburn became the latest two teams eliminated from the SEC baseball tournament on Thursday, with Mizzou narrowly losing to Alabama, 4-3, while Auburn got crushed, 11-2, by a Florida team on a very quick turnaround. In spite of that, the Tigers from Opelika are headed to a regional barring a complete surprise, while the Tigers from Columbia, Mo., are probably going home for good.
Mizzou actually led Alabama, 3-2, going into the middle of the sixth inning. But the Tide struck for two runs in the bottom of the inning, then got a go-ahead home run from Will Haynie in the seventh. Alabama has now won nine of its last 12 games and boosted its RPI to 45 coming into today's action; they're firmly on the bubble for the NCAA tournament but need at least another win or (more likely) two to feel good about things.
Auburn was never really in the game. Florida was already leading 1-0 when the Gators scored eight runs in the top of the third inning and came close at times to run-ruling the Tigers. Florida cranked out 15 hits, and six different players drove in at least one run. Throw in a solid start by Logan Shore, who allowed two earned runs and struck out seven over 7.2 innings, and the lead was insurmountable.
As for where the teams go from here: Auburn was ranked 22nd in RPI coming into Thursday, and it's almost inconceivable to see it missing the NCAA tournament at this point. Missouri, though, was sitting at No. 54, and might actually be the lowest-ranked team to make the field even if it got in with that number. It was a nice season for Missouri, which posted its first winning record since joining the SEC, but that's probably where the accomplishments will end.
Alabama, for its part, awaits the loser of the game between Vanderbilt and Texas A&M, while Florida will play the loser of tonight's clash between LSU and Arkansas.