Welcome to the 2022 SEC Baseball Tournament Blog, your online home for the big news, behind-the-scenes notes and quotes and special moments that make this annual event at the Hoover (Ala.) Met the best college baseball tournament in the nation. Check back for updates each day throughout the week.
The reality hit him Tuesday night deep inside the Hoover Met, and South Carolina veteran Andrew Eyster battled the emotions of the moment. His college career had come to a close in a 2-1 loss to Florida on a walk-off sacrifice fly and bang-bang play at the plate that, like so many moments that preceded it this season, didn't go South Carolina's way.
It was Eyster who knocked in the tying run on an infield grounder in the ninth, only to see Florida walk it off in the 10th. But instead of lamenting what might have been, he focused on what his four years in Columbia have meant to him.
"Things don't always work out as you planned, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. ... I feel I've given a lot to this program. What I've gotten back has been substantially more. ... I'll forever be grateful for this place and this program."
Eyster's grateful, graceful exit said more about him than the 192 career hits he's accumulated since arriving at South Carolina after a year at Santa Fe College in Gainesville.
"We never gave up and kept fighting to the end," he said. "I'm gonna miss this group of guys."