It's pretty rare for the regular-season SEC baseball champion to win the SEC baseball tournament; since the turn of the century, it's happened just three times. And after Florida's 2-1 defeat of LSU on Saturday in the semifinals, another year will pass when the team with the best conference record in the regular season will not take home the title in Hoover.
For a team that had only a 1-0 lead for much of the game, LSU faced danger off and on for a while before it finally caught up to them. Alex Lange allowed five hits and six walks over seven innings -- but managed to leave without allowing a run. The relievers weren't so fortunate. It took three pitchers to get out of the eighth inning, and they gave up the tying run in the process. And Mike Rivera, the first batter to face Jesse Stallings, homered to score what would be the winning run.
With the win, Florida boosts its already strong case for a national seed in the NCAA. The Gators will face Vanderbilt on Sunday for the championship.
In the end, the game really doesn't make much of a difference to LSU, at least as far as the NCAA tournament goes. The Tigers are the surest bet in the SEC to get a national seed and home-field advantage until Omaha. A tournament crown win might have carried some symbolic value for them, but the championship they won during the regular season will put them in prime position to win a national title in a few weeks.