In & around SEC baseball

June 1, 2017 chris
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By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
SEC Tournament review
LSU won the 12th SEC baseball tournament championship in school history and the program’s sixth since 2008 last week in Hoover. The Tigers defeated Arkansas, 4-2, in the championship game. The Razorbacks had the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, but LSU held on and became the first regular season SEC champion to win the conference tournament since Florida in 2011.
In the semifinals, LSU easily handled South Carolina, 11-0, in seven innings, while Arkansas surprisingly cruised past Florida, 16-0. Prior to the SEC championship game, the Razorbacks’ bats were on fire throughout the tournament. Arkansas earned a 9-2 win over Mississippi State and defeated Auburn, 12-0, the day before. The Hogs pitched a no-hitter against the Tigers in the 12-0 win.
LSU’s path to the championship game was also relatively smooth. The Tigers defeated Missouri, 10-3, and blanked Kentucky, 10-0 in seven innings. LSU was a lock to reach the NCAA Tournament regardless of how they performed in the SEC tournament, but the Tigers earned an automatic bid with their win over Arkansas. Despite the loss to LSU, Arkansas was also a lock to reach the NCAA Tournament.
Auburn won its first game of the tournament in a narrow 5-4 win over Ole Miss, and then advanced to the double elimination portion of the tournament. The Tigers faced top-seeded Florida the following night, and the Gators snuck away with a 5-4 victory. Auburn was no-hit the following night in a 12-0 loss to Arkansas.
NCAA Tournament preview
Eight SEC teams made the NCAA Tournament, and Florida, LSU, Kentucky and Arkansas will host a regional. Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Auburn also earned bids to the tournament, with Auburn receiving its first bid under coach Butch Thompson.
Florida and LSU were among the top eight national seeds, meaning they will each host a super regional if they advance past the regionals. Pac-12 champion Oregon State is the No. 1 overall team for the tournament, followed by No. 2 North Carolina, No. 3 Florida, No. 4 LSU, No. 5 Texas Tech, No. 6 TCU, No. 7 Louisville and No. 8 Stanford.
There are 16 different regionals with four teams in each regional. The regional tournaments are double elimination, with the winner of each regional advancing to the super regionals. The super regionals are best-of-three series. The eight super regional winners advance to the College World Series, which is a double elimination tournament until the finals, which is a best-of-three series.
Eight of the 16 regionals include SEC teams. Listed below are those eight regionals and each potential matchup for the SEC teams.
Gainesville regional
No. 1 Florida vs. No. 4 Marist, No. 2 South Flo-rida vs. No. 3 Bethune-Cookman. Predicted winner: Florida
Baton Rouge regional
No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Texas Southern, No. 2 Southeastern Louisiana vs. No. 3 Rice. Predicted winner: LSU
Fayetteville regional
No. 1 Arkansas vs. No. 4 Oral Roberts, No. 2 Missouri State vs. No. 3 Oklahoma State. Predicted winner: Arkansas
Lexington regional
No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 4 Ohio, No. 2 Indiana vs. No. 3 North Carolina State. Predicted winner: Kentucky
Houston regional
No. 1 Houston vs. No. 4 Iowa, No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 3 Texas A&M. Predicted winner: Houston
Clemson regional
No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 UNC Greensboro, No. 2 Vanderbilt vs. No. 3 St. Johns. Predicted winner: Clemson
Tallahassee regional
No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 4 Tennessee Tech, No. 2 UCF vs. No. 3 Auburn. Predicted winner: Florida State
Hattiesburg regional
No. 1 Southern Mississippi vs. No. 4 Illinois-Chicago, No. 2 Mississippi State vs. No. 3 South Alabama. Predicted winner: Mississippi State
Other predicted regional winners: Oregon State, Texas, Cal State-Fullerton, Texas Tech, Wake Forest, TCU, Louisville, North Carolina.