Inclement weather is wreaking havoc on the first day of SEC tournament play in Hoover, Alabama.
No. 10-seed South Carolina and No. 7-seed Florida were originally scheduled play at roughly 2 p.m. Eastern — about a half hour after Game 1 between Alabama and Georgia. But rain delayed the start of Game 1 and then stalled the game midway through the third inning. Alabama won that game 5-3, and the grounds crew at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium placed the tarp back on the field after its completion.
With thunderstorms expected to roll through Hoover on Tuesday afternoon, the Gamecocks and Gators do not yet have a set start time for Game 2, with the SEC announcing that it “expects a significant delay.” Game 4 between Kentucky and Auburn has already been moved to Wednesday.
Both South Carolina and Florida players left the stadium and went back to their respective hotels before the completion of Game 1. Considering the forecast, Game 2 might not start until 8 p.m. Eastern Tuesday, if not later.
With rain in the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday as well, national college baseball reporter Kendall Rodgers of D1Baseball.com speculated the SEC could shift the tournament to single elimination. The SEC tournament typically features one day of single elimination — on Day 1 — and then shifts to double elimination, but weather could force the conference’s hand.
Head coach Mark Kingston’s Gamecocks (27-27, 13-17 SEC) need to win the SEC tournament title outright to earn an NCAA regional berth.