In the current format of the SEC Tournament, not being one of the 4 best teams in the conference puts you under pressure immediately, deciding the fate of your postseason before lunch time on Tuesday. When you're a team that needs some help, things can slip away quickly.
In the tourney's opening game, Ole Miss and Bama spent about an hour shaking off the cobwebs that come with a 9:30am start, sparring to a 2-1 Bama lead in the 6th. Unfortunatley for the Rebels, Bama woke up first. Ole Miss' Weathersby was pulled at 97 pitches after giving up a lead off single in the 7th. Apparently Waguespack, his relief, still needed some coffee. Sac bunt, sac fly, RBI single, RBI double, E4, and another RBI single caused the wheels to fall off and have Waguespack get chased after only a .2 IP outing. Bama tacked on another RBI single before the Rebs could get out of the inning. Bama's starter Bramblett had a gem of an outing, recording a career high 10Ks, giving up 9 hits but only 1 run in his complete game outing. Bama flat out needs the SEC Championship to make the postseason, and they've got a huge hill to climb, but their week could not have started better. Ole Miss will go home and wait for their fate to be decided.
In Game 2, SCar and Mizzou faced off in a genuine pitching duel, both starters lasting through 7 complete to a tense 3-1 Mizzou lead. SCar had a great shot at putting themselves back in contention in the 8th with a single and a double that gave them 2 RISP with no outs and forcing Mizzou's starter McClain from the game. It was not to be though as Miz closer Williams recorded 2 Ks and an easy liner to left to end the threat. Mizzou sealed the game in their next at bat, as SCar's Wynkoop gave up a lead off single in the 8th and was pulled at 97 pitches. His replacement Murray gave up runs on a ground out and a sac fly as the Tigers pulled away for a 5-1 win. Mizzou can use anything they can get this week to give them more solid footing for the postseason, while South Carolina's season is over and some serious soul searching is ahead in the eastern Columbia.