HOOVER, Ala. -- No. 4 seed Florida eliminated No. 1 seed Mississippi State from the 2016 SEC Baseball Tournament with a 12-2 run-rule win in the quarterfinals. This is the sixth straight time Florida has won an SEC Tournament elimination game. JJ Schwarz led the Gators with a 4-for-5 performance, scoring four runs and finishing just a home run short of hitting for the cycle.
For the third straight game, Florida got on the board in the first inning. Buddy Reed hit a leadoff single and Schwarz started off his big night with a double to bring Reed home.
Mississippi State responded in the bottom of the inning with back-to-back doubles from Nathaniel Lowe and Gavin Collins. Collins' hit brought Lowe across the plate to even the score.
The Gators pulled back ahead in the next inning as Nelson Maldonado knocked an RBI single to left field. Florida continued to have successful at-bats, with a Reed RBI single, a Dalton Guthrie sac fly and a Schwarz RBI single adding three straight runs to extend the UF lead to 5-1.
After a scoreless third inning, Florida struck again in the fourth with a two-out RBI single from Schwarz.
Florida tacked on another run in the fifth on an RBI single up the middle by Danny Reyes. With Florida's lead at 7-1, Paul Young entered the game from the MSU bullpen to replace starter Austin Sexton. Young closed out the frame without any additional Gators crossing the plate.
In the bottom of the inning, Nathaniel Lowe grounded out to bring Jake Magnum across the plate, cutting the Florida lead to five.
Florida continued to pull away in the sixth when a Schwarz triple to right center brought Reed home. With two outs and Florida runners on the corners, Kale Breaux took over on the mound for MSU. Schwarz scored on a throwing error and then two straight wild pitches advanced runners and added another run for Florida. When Reyes produced an RBI double to left center to increase the lead to 11-2, Mississippi State called on the bullpen again. Right-hander Keegan James got out of the inning without any more damage.
Konnor Pilkington relieved James in the seventh, but Florida added another run on a double by Blake Reese. With the Gators leading by 10 and the Bulldogs unable to answer in the bottom of inning, the run-rule ended the game after seven innings.
"I thought they had fun," said Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan. "I thought they were aggressive. It was the best offensive game we've had in some time. They had fun tonight. Alex pitched great. It was good to get some guys in off the bench and swing well. It was a fun game all the way around."
Florida right-hander Alex Faedo (12-1) picked up the win, giving up just two runs on seven hits across seven innings.
The Gators face No. 5 seed LSU in Saturday's second semifinal on SEC Network. The Gators-Tigers rematch will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first semifinal between Texas A&M and Ole Miss, which starts at 1 p.m. ET/12 p.m. CT.