After the opening day of the 2019 SEC baseball tournament saw four teams avoid elimination in the first round, Wednesday brought the conference's heavy hitters into the action.
Some of the pressure is off today with the double-elimination format, though a win today can go a long way toward improving seeding when the NCAA tournament field is announced on Monday.
Below are the results and recaps from all four second-round games in the SEC tournament.
2019 SEC Tournament Bracket
2019 SEC Tournament Scores - May 22
No. 3 Georgia def. No. 6 Texas A&M: 2-0
No. 2 Arkansas def. No. 7 Mississippi: 5-3
No. 1 Vanderbilt def. No. 8 Auburn: 11-1
No. 4 Mississippi State def. No. 5 LSU: 6-5
No. 2 Arkansas 5, No. 7 Mississippi 3
Terrific relief pitching and Jack Kenley's go-ahead two-run single in the bottom of the sixth carried Arkansas to a 5-3 victory over Mississippi.
After Patrick Wicklander went just 4.1 innings to start the game, the Razorbacks relied on their bullpen to keep Mississippi's bats at bay. It was a strategy that paid off for head coach Dave Van Horn, as four relievers combined to allow just three hits with five strikeouts over the final 4.2 innings.
Ole Miss took a 3-2 lead with two runs in the fifth and one run in the sixth. That advantage quickly evaporated when Kenley singled to left off Rebels starter Zack Phillips, scoring Dominic Fletcher and Casey Martin.
The Razorbacks added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
After reaching the championship series in last year's College World Series, Arkansas has put together an excellent run in 2019 with a 41-15 record following Wednesday's win. It didn't end the regular season on a high note, losing four of the final five games, but that didn't seem to matter in its first game of the conference tournament.
Mississippi will move into the loser's portion of the bracket, trying to keep its conference tournament hopes alive against Georgia Thursday.
No. 3 Georgia 2, No. 6 Texas A&M 0
Cam Shepherd ended a scoreless pitching duel with a walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give Georgia a 2-0 win over Texas A&M.
Both pitching staffs put their best foot forward in this matchup. The two teams combined for just five hits with 12 strikeouts. Aggies starter Chris Weber had his longest outing of the season, throwing 7.1 scoreless innings with just one hit allowed.
Tim Elliott nearly matched Weber pitch for pitch, giving up two hits over 5.1 innings before turning things over to the bullpen.
Texas A&M had an opportunity to break through in the top of the sixth inning. Bryce Blaum and Mikey Hoehner walked to lead off the frame. After Cam Blake's sacrifice bunt, Hunter Coleman was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out.
Georgia called on lefty reliever Justin Glover, who put an end to the inning by getting Zach DeLoach to ground into a double play.
The win could serve as a huge confidence booster for the Bulldogs, who entered Wednesday with eight straight losses in the SEC tournament dating back to 2011.
No. 1 Vanderbilt 11, No. 8 Auburn 1
Top-seeded Vanderbilt scored early and often as it cruised past eighth-seeded Auburn for an 11-1 run-rule victory.
Catcher Ty Duvall got the Commodores on the board with a two-run single in the bottom of the second. A four-run third, aided by an RBI double by center fielder Pat DeMarco and a two-run single by Stephen Scott, boosted the lead to six.
The Tigers got a run back in the top of the fourth on a Will Holland home run, but that would be all they could muster on offense.
Sophomore right-hander Mason Hickman kept the Auburn bats on this day, allowing just one run on two hits while striking out nine in six innings of work. Sophomore southpaw Jake Eder closed out the victory for the Commodores, throwing two innings of hitless baseball.
Vanderbilt pounded out 16 against seven Auburn pitchers hits in 7.1 innings. Right fielder JJ Bleday was one of the stars of the day at the plate for the Commodores, going 5-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. According to Vanderbilt Baseball, Bleday became the first player to record five hits in an SEC tournament game since 2003. Meanwhile, Scott knocked in five while going 3-for-4.
Vanderbilt now awaits Mississippi State in the third round.
No. 4 Mississippi State 6, No. 5 LSU 5
After six hours and 43 minutes, Mississippi finally came out on top against LSU in the 17th inning of a marathon game, courtesy of an RBI single from Gunner Halter:
The Bulldogs jumped all over Tigers right-hander Eric Walker early on. An RBI double by first baseman Tanner Allen followed by a sacrifice fly out of catcher Dustin Skelton helped Mississippi State grab a 2-0 lead after just five batters. A two-out single in the second by shortstop Jordan Westburg and a run-scoring hit-by-pitch in the third pushed the lead to four.
LSU managed to cut the deficit in half in the fifth with a bases-loaded walk to first baseman Antoine Duplantis and a sacrifice fly by first baseman Cade Beloso.
After Walker allowed four runs in four innings, Tigers right-hander Matthew Beck kept his team in the game by tossing a career-high-tying four innings of three-hit, shutout baseball.
LSU got to Mississippi State senior Jared Liebelt in the eighth. Liebelt opened the frame by hitting Zach Watson, and freshman Giovanni DiGiacomo followed by hitting his first career home run to tie the game:
This game would not see any more runs for quite some time.
The Bulldogs had ample opportunities to win the game in extras, though.
In the bottom of the 10th, Tigers right-hander Zack Hess was able to work around a leadoff double to keep the game going. Hess again escaped trouble in the 11th after LSU managed a pair of two-out hits. In the 12th, the Bulldogs ran into some tough luck as a double off the bat of Jake Mangum bounced over the outfield wall, preventing third baseman Marshall Gilbert from scoring from first.
The combination of Beck and Hess combined to throw eight shutout innings out of the bullpen for LSU. Mississippi State right-hander Cole Gordon provided five innings of one-hit shutout baseball in relief, striking out eight.
It was the longest game by time in SEC tournament history.