In & around SEC baseball

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Four teams from the Southeastern Conference advanced to the NCAA College Baseball World Series next week in Omaha, Neb. The College World Series features eight teams in all, including SEC members LSU, Arkansas, Florida and defending national champion Vanderbilt. 

Other members of the field include Cal State Fullerton, Virginia, Texas Christian and Miami (Fla.).

In the Super Regionals, LSU eliminated Louisiana-Lafayette. The Tigers won the first game, 4-3, and the second game, 6-3. LSU will play TCU in the opening round of the College World Series. This is the Tigers’ 17th appearance in the College World Series and their first since 2013. LSU has won six national titles, with the last coming in 2009.

Arkansas’s journey to Omaha has been the most impressive of any SEC team. The Razorbacks were the No. 2 seed in their regional and had to play the Super Regionals on the road. The Hogs handled Missouri State in the first game, 18-4, but lost the second by a score of 3-1. In the series finale, Arkansas knocked off Missouri State, 3-2, to secure its first trip to the College World Series since 2012. The Razorbacks have never won a national championship in baseball, although they were the runner-up in 1979. 

Florida, who won the SEC Tournament championship this season, advanced to the ninth College World Series in school history after a pair of dominating performances against in-state rival Florida State in the Super Regionals. The Gators won the first game, 13-5, and the second game, 11-4. While Florida has never won a national championship in baseball, the Gators were runners-up in 2005 and 2011.

Vanderbilt’s quest to repeat continues after defeating Illinois on the road in the Super Regionals. The Commodores easily won the first game, 13-0, and posted a 4-2 victory in the clinching game. Vandy has made the College World Series in three of the last five seasons. In addition to the team’s success, shortstop Dansby Swanson was selected first overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Major League Baseball draft. 

College World Series Prediction: Vanderbilt over LSU 

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