In & around SEC baseball

By Cole FrederickBy Cole Frederick

SEC Tournament

LSU defeated Vanderbilt, 5-4, in 11 innings last Sunday (May 26) to win the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament championship. The Tigers entered the tournament as the second seed overall, while the Commodores were the top seed. LSU jumped out to 4-2 lead but Vanderbilt tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. Neither team scored again until the Tigers knocked in the game-winning run in the top of the 11th inning. Vanderbilt failed to score in the bottom half of the inning, and the Tigers celebrated yet another tournament championship.

Prior to Sunday’s showdown, both teams were in danger of missing the championship game. Despite being the top two seeds for the tournament, the Tigers and the Commodores lost early games. Vanderbilt lost its opening game to Texas A&M 5-0, while LSU lost 4-1 to rival Arkansas. Luckily for both teams, each received favorable matchups the rest of the way.

On May 23, Alabama defeated Ole Miss 7-5 to knock the Rebels out of the tournament. Vanderbilt edged South Carolina 4-3, and Mississippi State beat Texas A&M, 6-4. Entering the weekend, the only two undefeated teams in the tournament were Mississippi State and Arkansas. Friday’s lose-or-go-home games included rematches between Vanderbilt/Texas A&M and LSU/Alabama. The Commodores blanked the Aggies, 3-0, while the Tigers slid past the Crimson Tide 3-2.

In the semifinals on May 25, LSU defeated Arkansas, 3-1, to reach the title game. In the following game, Vanderbilt put on a hitting display en route to a 16-8 victory over Mississippi State.

NCAA Tournament Preview

Nine SEC teams made the 64-team NCAA tournament field. LSU, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Mississippi State received No. 1 seeds and will host the regional round. Alabama, Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Arkansas received No. 2 seeds, while Florida is the league’s lone third seed.

The regional round is a four-team double elimination tournament. From there, 16 teams will advance to the Super Regionals, where two teams compete in a best-of-three series. The eight remaining teams then enter the College World Series, which eventually determines the national champion.

SEC Regional matchups (May 31- June 3)
Tallahassee, Fla.

    Florida State vs. Savannah State
    Alabama vs. Troy

Starkville, Miss.
    Mississippi State vs. Central Arkansas
    South Alabama vs. Mercer

Raleigh, N.C.
    N.C. State vs. State University of New York at Binghamton
    Ole Miss vs. William & Mary

Nashville, Tenn.
    Vanderbilt vs. East Tennessee State
    Georgia Tech vs. Illinois

Manhattan, Kans.
    Kansas State vs. Wichita State
    Arkansas vs. Bryant

Corvallis. Ore.
    Oregon State vs. UT-San Antonio
    Texas A&M vs. UC-Santa Barbara

Columbia, S.C
    South Carolina vs. Saint Louis
    Clemson vs. Liberty

Bloomington, Ill.
    Indiana vs. Valparaiso
    Austin Peay vs. Florida

Baton Rouge, La.
    LSU vs. Jackson State
    Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Sam Houston State

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