Thursday marks the biggest day of the 2021 SEC baseball tournament thus far, with four teams facing elimination.
Two of the top three seeds in the tournament faced off in the first elimination game. No. 2 Tennessee and No. 3 Mississippi State were coming off losses in the second round Wednesday.
The marquee game of the day will pit top-seeded Arkansas against No. 4 Vanderbilt. Arkansas breezed past Georgia 11-2 in its first game of the tournament. The Commodores got a walk-off single from Dominic Keegan in the bottom of the ninth against Mississippi.
At the end of the day's play, two teams will have punched their ticket to Saturday's semifinals. Four teams will advance to the fourth round on Friday.
SEC Tournament Results/Schedule—Third Round
No. 2 Tennessee def. No. 3 Mississippi State 12-2 (F/8)
No. 5 Mississippi def. No. 8 Georgia 4-0
No. 6 Florida def. No. 10 Alabama 7-2
No. 4 Vanderbilt vs. No. 1 Arkansas (9 p.m. ET)
No. 5 Ole Miss 4, No. 8 Georgia 0
After a walk-off loss on Wednesday, Mississippi bounced back with a 4-0 victory over Georgia to advance to the fourth round.
Ole Miss starter Drew McDaniel silenced the Bulldogs with 6.2 shutout innings. The sophomore right-hander struck out a season-high 11 and allowed just four hits on 99 pitches.
The Georgia pitching tandem of Liam Sullivan and Jonathan Cannon did well in defeat. Sullivan only went three innings, allowing two runs on four hits with six strikeouts.
Cannon took over for the final five frames. He only allowed three hits and two runs on 56 pitches.
Kevin Graham put the Rebels on top in the bottom of the second with a solo homer off Sullivan.
The Ole Miss left fielder has now reached base in 51 straight games dating back to March 2.
Jacob Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Peyton Chatagnier drove in a run with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth.
Georgia's tournament run is over, but it will likely end up with a spot in the NCAA tournament. Mississippi will play Vanderbilt on Friday.
No. 2 Tennessee def. No. 3 Mississippi State 12-2 (F/8)
Pete Derkay's three-run homer powered Tennessee to a 12-2 win over Mississippi State in a game that ended in the bottom of the eighth as a result of the 10-run rule.
After a scoreless first inning, Derkay started a four-run second for the Vols with a frozen rope to right-center field off Bulldogs starter Christian MacLeod.
Derkay finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Max Ferguson also drove in three runs with an RBI single in the sixth and a two-run double in the eighth.
Ahead 8-2 going into the bottom of the eighth, the Vols avoided coming out for the ninth altogether by scoring four runs to go up by 10. Drew Gilbert's two-run double was the final hit of the game.
Tennessee starter Chad Dallas shut down Mississippi State's bats. He scattered six hits and allowed one run in 6.2 innings for his 10th win of the season.
Tennessee staved off elimination for another day as it seeks its first SEC tournament championship since 1995.
Thursday's loss ends a nightmare tournament for Mississippi State. The Bulldogs lost both of their games by a combined score of 25-3. If there is a silver lining, they are a virtual lock to make the NCAA tournament after finishing third in the SEC during the regular season and posting a 40-15 record.
No. 6 Florida 7, No. 10 Alabama 2
A scoreless tie through five innings gave way to Florida's seven-run outburst from the sixth through eighth innings as the Gators defeated Alabama 7-2.
Florida outfielder and leadoff hitter Jacob Young had three of the Gators' 14 hits, including a solo homer in the seventh to put his team up 4-0.
On the mound, Florida starter Franco Aleman tossed seven shutout innings, striking out four and allowing just five hits for the win.
Other Florida stars included Cory Acton, who had three RBI:
Sterlin Thompson had three hits and knocked in one run with a single:
Alabama went scoreless until the ninth, when the Crimson Tide got two runs after Sam Praytor scored on an error and Jim Jarvis registered an RBI single.
Florida has now moved onto the semifinals. Alabama may meet the Gators once again, as it will face Tennessee in an elimination matchup on Friday at 3 p.m. ET. The winner will take on Florida in the penultimate round on Saturday.
No. 1 Arkansas 6, No. 4 Vanderbilt 4
A battle between two national powerhouses went the way of the top-ranked team in the nation as Arkansas defeated Vanderbilt 6-4 to advance to the SEC tournament semifinals.
Arkansas posted a big three-run fourth inning that turned a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead. Matt Goodheart stroked a two-RBI double and scored on Cullen Smith's RBI single.
Vanderbilt star pitcher Kumar Rocker, who entered the game with an 11-2 record, 2.45 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 88.0 innings, did not fare well against the No. 1 Razorbacks. He struck out six but allowed five earned runs, four walks and four hits over 3.1 innings.
Opposing starter Patrick Wicklander had a tough time as well, allowing three earned runs, five hits and three walks over 3.2 innings of work. Much of that damage occurred in the first, when CJ Rodriguez's two-RBI single gave Vanderbilt an early 2-0 edge.
Arkansas knotted the game at two in the third after Ethan Bates' RBI single and Goodheart's bases-loaded hit-by-pitch.
Vanderbilt had a chance to mount a serious rally in the fourth after Jayson Gonzalez drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk to give the Commodores a 3-2 edge. However, a groundout ended the threat.
Arkansas's three-spot in the fourth gave the Razorbacks a lead they would never relinquish. Vanderbilt's Isaiah Thomas hit a solo home run to cut Arkansas' lead to 5-4 in the fifth.
However, Bates' sacrifice fly in the bottom of the frame put Vanderbilt up 6-4.
The Commodores, ranked No. 3 in the nation, managed just two walks and no hits over the final four innings. SEC Pitcher of the Year Kevin Kopps closed for Arkansas, throwing 2.2 shutout innings while striking out five.
Arkansas will face the winner of Friday's Ole Miss-Vanderbilt matchup in its semifinal game, which will start on Saturday afternoon.