For a game that took almost six and a half hours to play on Sunday following two separate weather delays, the SEC baseball tournament championship game between Florida and Vanderbilt was, in retrospect, actually over relatively quickly. By the time Florida was done batting in the top of the second inning, the Gators had all the runs they would need to win. By the middle of the fifth inning, the scoring was over. And four innings later, at around 11 p.m. ET, Florida was awarded the trophy by outgoing SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.
PodKATT at And The Valley Shook
It was an exhausting process, more so for the players than anyone else. By the time things wrapped up in Hoover, a Major League Baseball game that started three and a half hours later was also nearing its conclusion. In part because of the early weather delays, a combined nine pitchers took to the mound for the Gators and the Commodores. And even that was with two relief appearances that each ran more than three innings.
But all those relievers did Florida more good than they did Vanderbilt. The Gators had 14 hits and drew four walks, while Vanderbilt had seven hits and three walks. Only one Florida batter credited with a plate appearance didn't get at least one hit; that number was five for Vanderbilt. A Commodores offense that had blasted its way through its last two games in the tournament was finally stopped, and that decided the game.
As for the practical implications, there are very few for Florida. The Gators have already been announced as regional hosts for the NCAA tournament, and were likely going to be national seeds regardless of what happened on Sunday. This should be little more than a nice footnote for a team that has much a bigger prize in its sights.
For Vanderbilt, though, the loss is one thing for the selection committee to take into account that the Commodores would like to avoid. There are several teams that are in the hunt for the last few national seeds, including a Texas A&M team that split its games against the Commodores in Hoover. A win against Florida would have made a nice closing argument for Vanderbilt's own hopes. Now, the Commodores have to hope that what happened earlier in the week is convincing enough.