Play at the 2022 SEC baseball tournament was pushed back on the first day of competition due to rain in Hoover, Alabama.
That led to a backlog of games that will only allow three of the top four seeds to make their tournament debuts on Wednesday.
The top-seeded Tennessee Volunteers take center stage against their in-state rival, the Vanderbilt Commodores.
Vanderbilt was one of three teams to get out of the single-elimination first-round games on Tuesday. The Alabama Crimson Tide advanced to play the Arkansas Razorbacks, and the Florida Gators set up a clash with the Texas A&M Aggies.
Alabama's advancement past the Georgia Bulldogs was the most fascinating win of the three on Tuesday.
The Crimson Tide are not currently projected to make the NCAA baseball tournament field, but they could make a push with a few more victories inside their home state.
Wednesday SEC Tournament Schedule
First Round: No. 5 Auburn vs. No. 12 Kentucky (10:30 a.m. ET, SEC Network)
Second Round: No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 11 Alabama (approximately 2 p.m. ET, SEC Network)
Second Round: No. 2 Texas A&M vs. No. 7 Florida (5:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)
Second Round: No. 1 Tennessee vs. No. 8 Vanderbilt (approx. 9 p.m. ET, SEC Network)
Tennessee Asserts Dominance In Hoover
The Tennessee Volunteers will try to back up their regular-season crown and No. 1 national ranking over the next few days. They got to rest on Tuesday while the Vanderbilt Commodores dealt with a weather delay and finished past midnight ET against the Ole Miss Rebels.
Vanderbilt exhausted ace Carter Holton to get past Ole Miss and move into the double-elimination round of the tournament bracket. The first-round games were single elimination only.
The Commodores could struggle to match the quality of the Vols on the mound without their ace on Wednesday.
Tennessee won the regular-season series at the start of April by holding the Vanderbilt offense to four runs over 27 innings.
Vanderbilt managed just three runs on Tuesday against Ole Miss, which threw ace Dylan DeLucia in the first-round contest.
Tennessee will likely use Blade Tidwell to open up its SEC tournament run. He did not face Vanderbilt in April because of an injury.
The 20-year-old is one of the best pitchers in college baseball and should do enough to shut down the Commodores offense.
Tidwell could use Wednesday as a chance to make a statement that he is rounding into form after the injury and that Tennessee is an unstoppable force.
The Vols have four ace-caliber starters, and each of them could throw one game to push them to the tournament crown.
Alabama Keeps Cinderella Run Alive
Alabama earned the lone upset of the three Tuesday games, when it picked up a 5-3 win over Georgia in a game that was marred by weather delays.
The Crimson Tide used an early flurry of runs to get to UGA starter Luke Wagner and then held on to win behind its pitching.
The No. 11 seed relied on 4.1 innings out of Ben Hess to preserve the victory. Only two other relievers were needed to close out the win.
Alabama's bullpen is relatively fresh for the clash with the Arkansas Razorbacks, and the pressure on those arms could drop if the Tide offense plays the way it did against the Hogs last week.
The Crimson Tide put up 26 runs in the final two contests of a three-game series in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to win the set. Those victories should give the team plenty of confidence going into the clash with the third-seeded Razorbacks.
A victory would further boost Alabama's NCAA tournament hopes. It would feel safe by winning the SEC tournament, but a quality win over Arkansas would do wonders for its bubble resume with only a few games left to make an impact on the selection committee.