An unpredictable week of action at the 2016 SEC tournament continued Saturday with the final four teams battling for a spot in the championship game.
Texas A&M, Florida, LSU and Mississippi took very different paths, both during the regular season and in the conference tournament, but all four came to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium with the same goal in mind.
Hopefully there will be more drama Saturday than there was Friday, when the two games were decided by a combined score of 25-5.
Here are the scores from the games as they go final, as well as a look at the bracket and what went down in Alabama.
|2016 SEC Tournament Results - May 28|
|Game||Matchup||Result/Start Time (ET)|
|15||No. 3 Texas A&M vs. No. 7 Mississippi||Texas A&M 12, Mississippi 8|
|16||No. 4 Florida vs. No. 5 LSU||Florida 1, LSU 0|
|Game||Matchup||Date, Start Time (ET)|
|17 (Championship Game)||No. 3 Texas A&M vs. No. 4 Florida||May 29, 3 p.m.|
SEC Tournament Bracket (via SEC)
Florida def. LSU, 1-0
In a complete reversal of Saturday's first SEC title game, Florida won a tense pitching duel over LSU by a 1-0 final score.
The Gators got the only run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to Jonathan India's RBI double that scored Dalton Guthrie, via ESPNU:
Four Florida pitchers combined to hold LSU to just six hits while the group also racked up 11 strikeouts with no walks. Scott Moss was brilliant in the best start of his career, per Gators Baseball:
There was high drama in the ninth inning when LSU put the tying run on second base after Kramer Robertson singled to lead off and stole second with no one out.
Florida closer Shaun Anderson never wavered under the pressure, retiring LSU's next three hitters to preserve the shutout win and secure the Gators' spot in the SEC title game on Sunday against Texas A&M.
LSU's pitching nearly matched Florida pitch for pitch. The Tigers used a trio of hurlers who combined to allow just one run, though they did have four walks with just three strikeouts in defeat.
The Tigers' best scoring opportunity came in the third inning when Michael Papierski doubled to lead things off. Cole Freeman reached first on a bunt single that moved Papierski to third with no outs. The rally fizzled when Antoine Duplantis struck out and Jake Fraley grounded into a double play.
This marks Florida's third straight trip to the SEC tournament title. The Gators won last year's tournament en route to reaching the College World Series semifinals before losing to eventual national champion Virginia.
Florida destroyed Texas A&M in three matchups earlier this season, outscoring the Aggies 24-13. That series was played in Gainesville, but there won't be any home-field advantage this time around.
Texas A&M def. Mississippi, 12-8
A wild back-and-forth contest went in Texas A&M's favor, as the Aggies secured a spot in the SEC title game with a 12-8 victory over Mississippi.
This game was the definition of a seesaw affair, with Texas A&M taking a lead with two runs in the first inning. Mississippi took a 6-3 lead after three innings and was up 8-5 after seven innings, but seven unanswered runs by Texas A&M in the eighth and ninth innings proved to be the difference.
Walker Pennington delivered the big blow in the Aggies' five-run eighth inning that put them ahead for good. He hit a three-run homer off Ole Miss reliever Wyatt Short, via ESPNU:
For the superstitious crowd out there, Pennington may be trading in his normal jersey for a new one after Saturday, as Gabe Bock of SportsRadio 1150 explained:
In a game dominated by offense, Texas A&M's staff settleed down after the first three innings. Jace Vines and Stephen Kolek allowed six runs in the first 2.2 innings. Four relievers followed that duo, allowing just two runs over the final 6.1 innings.
Mississippi pitchers struggled to find the strike zone, issuing nine walks in defeat. Chad Smith, who did have 33 walks in 55.2 innings coming into Saturday, survived for four innings despite issuing six free passes.
Short was victimized in his brief outing, allowing six runs on four hits and one walk in two-thirds of an inning.
The good news for Ole Miss is it is in no danger of missing out on the NCAA tournament. The Rebels won 43 games and will certainly be among the field of 64, though Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball.com thinks they will struggle to get one of the top spots:
Texas A&M's dream season continues with the school's first-ever appearance in the SEC title game. The Aggies have built up all the momentum they need to end their three-game losing streak against Florida on Sunday.