SEC Coaches Pick Baseball to Win League
LSU Sports Interactive
BATON ROUGE -- The LSU Tigers are predicted to win the 2009 Southeastern Conference baseball championship, as voted by the league’s 12 baseball coaches in the 18th annual preseason SEC poll.
The Tigers, ranked as high as No. 1 nationally in multiple preseason polls, seek to capture their league-leading 14th SEC Championship and first since 2003. LSU returns 13 position players with starting experience and nine pitchers from their 2008 squad which won the SEC Western Division, the SEC Tournament and advanced to the NCAA College World Series.
In the overall SEC Champion vote, LSU received ten of a possible 11 votes. Ole Miss and Georgia also received one vote each.
“We’re flattered that the coaches believe we have a solid team that can contend for a championship, and it’s a compliment that we accept,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “However, we realize that preseason prognostications don’t always mean a great deal. It was just last year that we were picked to finish fifth in the Western Division, and we ended up winning the division and going to the College World Series.
“Certainly, we will work as hard as we can this season to prove that the coaches’ selection is accurate.”
In addition to picking a preseason SEC champion, the league’s head coaches voted a predicted order of finish in the SEC Eastern and Western Divisions. In the Eastern Division, Georgia was the favorite with 62 of a possible 66 points. Florida came in second with 52 points and Vanderbilt third with 40 points. LSU was favorite in the Western Division with a total of 65 points. Ole Miss was second with 54, while Alabama finished third 44.
Points were compiled on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. Each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.
The 2009 season gets underway Friday, and the conference schedule is set to begin the weekend of March 13-15. The 2009 SEC Tournament will be held May 20-24 at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala. The SEC Tournament has drawn over 100,000 fans five of the last seven years.
Over 1.6 million fans attended games in the SEC last season, the seventh year in a row the SEC has topped the one million mark in attendance, leading the nation once again in that category.
2009 SEC Baseball Preseason Poll
Team Pts. '08 SEC Rec/Finish
1) Georgia (10) 62 20-9-1 / 1st
2) Florida (2) 52 17-13 / 2nd
3) Vanderbilt 40 15-14 / 4th
4) S. Carolina 37 15-15 / 5th
5) Tennessee 28 12-18 / 6th
6) Kentucky 27 16-14 / 3rd
Team Pts. '08 SEC Rec/Finish
1) LSU (10) 65 18-11-1 / 1st
2) Ole Miss (2) 54 15-15 / 3rd
3) Alabama 44 16-14 / 2nd
4) Arkansas 38 14-15 / 4th
5) Auburn 28 11-19 / 5th
6) Miss. State 18 9-21 / 6th
( ) - First Place Votes
SEC Champion: LSU (10); Georgia (1); Ole Miss (1)