At 48-8 overall, the LSU baseball team has produced a historic season so far, claiming the best regular season record in school history, however for a program that has won six national championships, teams are remembered for what they do in the post-season.
That starts this week with the SEC tournament in Hoover, Alabama. As the number two seed, LSU earned a first round bye and will take the field Wednesday afternoon against the winner of Tuesday's Alabama vs Auburn game.
Every LSU team that has won the College World Series has also won either the SEC regular season or the conference tournament. Vanderbilt (48-7, 26-3) claimed the regular season title, so the Tigers plan to keep tradition going in Hoover by taking the tournament, but they know the competition will be as tough as ever.
"I've said this many times, that winning the SEC tournament may be more difficult than winning the college world series because you're playing against so many quality teams," coach Paul Mainieri said. "They're all ranked, it's always an intense environment, you know the teams so well. If we come out of this thing, it'll be some kind of accomplishment."
Senior Mason Katz added, "You know, people say we have things wrapped up, but we want to win. This tournament is a blast. We've been telling these young guys about it and how much fun we have and winning it's a blast. We're not going there expecting anything else."
LSU will start sophomore lefty Cody Glenn (6-2, 2.64 ERA) Wednesday, saving ace Aaron Nola (10-0, 1.99 ERA) for Thursday. Nola hasn't pitched since May 10th, resting his arm in preparation for post-season play. Junior second baseman JaCoby Jones will be with the team but will not play this week as he recovers from a hand injury.
The Tigers won three straight SEC tournaments under Paul Mainieri from 2008-2010. They failed to qualify for the field in 2011 and went 1-2 in Hoover last season. Even if LSU does not win the conference tourney this week, expect the Tigers to still earn a top 8 National Seed and be in line to host both a regional and super regional series at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
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