HOOVER, Ala. -- Second-ranked LSU defeated top-ranked Vanderbilt, 5-4, in 11 innings Sunday to claim the 10th Southeastern Conference Tournament title in school history at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
The Tigers now move on to the NCAA Tournament and the Baton Rouge Regional beginning May 31.
In the top of the 11th inning, right fielder Jared Foster stole second base after being hit by a pitch. Pinch hitter Chris Sciambra then stepped up to the plate and delivered a game-winning single into centerfield, scoring Foster from second.
LSU closer Chris Cotton retired Vanderbilt in order in the bottom of the 11th, wrapping up the championship victory. Cotton (4-1) earned the victory and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
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“What a tremendous college baseball game,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Vanderbilt has a great team, and our kids just played their hearts out. Our players woke up this morning knowing they had a chance to win a championship, and they got the job done. Winning this tournament means a lot to our players and it can do nothing but help us moving forward to the NCAA tournament.”
The Tigers seized a 3-0 lead in the second inning off of RBI singles from Foster (2-for-3) and centerfielder Andrew Stevenson. Another RBI came on a sacrifice fly from designated hitter Sean McMullen.
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The Commodores countered in the bottom of the frame with an RBI grounder by DH Zander Wiel and an RBI single from shortstop Vince Conde, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 3-2.
Foster showcased his arm to end the seventh, fielding a fly to right and throwing out Wiel at the plate to halt the Commodore uprising.
Vanderbilt closer Brian Miller (5-2) gave a gallant effort but suffered the defeat, allowing one run on Sciambra’s game-winning hit while walking one and striking out four.
LSU starter Brent Bonvillain led the Tigers through the four innings, allowing two runs on five hits with one walk and one strikeout.
LSU 5, Vanderbilt 4 (May 26, 2013 at Hoover, Ala.)
LSU.................... 030 100 000 01 - 5 10 0 (52-9)
Vanderbilt.......... 020 000 200 00 - 4 11 1 (51-9)
Pitchers: LSU - Brent Bonvillain; Nate Fury(5); Kurt McCune(6); Nick Rumbelow(7); Joey Bourgeois(8); Chris Cotton(9) and Ty Ross.
Vanderbilt - Philip Pfeifer; Adam Ravenelle(4); Brian Miller(7); Steven Rice(11) and Spencer Navin.
Win-Chris Cotton(4-1) Loss-Brian Miller(5-2) T-3:46 A-10590
2013 SEC BASEBALL TOURNAMENT ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
P – Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt
P – Chris Cotton, LSU
P – Daniel Mengden, Texas A&M
P – Ryan Stanek, Arkansas
1B – Conrad Gregor, Vanderbilt
2B – Tony Kemp, Vanderbilt
3B – Christian Ibarra, LSU
SS – Adam Frazier, Mississippi State
OF – Connor Harrell, Vanderbilt
OF – Jared Foster, LSU
OF – Hunter Renfroe, Mississippi State
OF – Tyler Spoon, Arkansas
OF – Matt Vinson, Arkansas
DH – Sean McMullen, LSU
DH – Zander Wiel, Vanderbilt
MVP – Chris Cotton, LSU
NCAA Regional Hosts
Cal State Fullerton (48-8), Fullerton, Calif., Goodwin Field
Florida State (44-15), Tallahassee, Fla., Dick Howser Stadium
Indiana (43-14), Bloomington, Ind., Bart Kaufman Field
Kansas State (41-17), Manhattan, Kan., Tointon Family Stadium
Louisville (46-10), Louisville, Ky., Jim Patterson Stadium
LSU (52-9), Baton Rouge, La., Alex Box Stadium
Mississippi State (43-17), Starkville, Miss., Dudy Noble Field
North Carolina (52-8), Chapel Hill, N.C., Boshamer Stadium
North Carolina State (44-14), Raleigh, N.C., Doak Field
Oregon (45-14), Eugene, Ore., PK Park
Oregon State (45-10), Corvallis, Ore., Goss Stadium
South Carolina (39-18), Columbia, S.C., Carolina Stadium
UCLA (38-17), Los Angeles, Calif., Jackie Robinson Stadium
Vanderbilt (51-9), Nashville, Tenn., Hawkins Field
Virginia (47-10), Charlottesville, Va., Davenport Field
Virginia Tech (38-20), Blacksburg, Va., English Field
By virtue of being awarded a regional, all 16 host institutions have also been selected to the 64-team championship field.
Each regional field features four teams, playing in a double-elimination format. All 16 regionals are scheduled to be conducted May 31 through June 3.
Two institutions are hosting for the 20th time or more as Florida State leads the list of schools with 30 and LSU with 21. South Carolina is hosting for the 15th time. Mississippi State (12th) and Cal State Fullerton (11th) are the only other institutions to host 10 or more times since the NCAA went to the regional format in 1975.
North Carolina is hosting for the seventh time, while Virginia is hosting a regional for the sixth time and UCLA is hosting for the fifth time. North Carolina State and Oregon State are hosting for the fourth time, while Louisville and Vanderbilt for the third time. Rounding out the list and hosting for the first time are Indiana, Kansas State and Virginia Tech.
Seven institutions (Florida State, LSU, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina, UCLA and Virginia) also hosted in 2012.
The ACC leads the way with five hosts, the SEC has four, and the Pac-12 has three. The Big East, Big 12, Big Ten and Big West each have one school hosting.
The remaining at-large teams, top-eight national seeds, first-round regional pairings and site assignments will be announced at noon ET Monday. The one-hour program will be shown live on ESPNU. The committee will set the entire 64-team bracket through both the super regionals and the first round of the College World Series, and will not reseed the field after play begins.
Selection of the eight super regional hosts will be announced June 3 at approximately 11 p.m. ET.
There are 30 Division I conferences which will receive an automatic berth in the field of 64, along with 34 at-large selections. The 67th College World Series begins play June 15 at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Neb.