Southeastern Conference baseball tournament
At Hoover Metropolitan Stadium:
Ole Miss 9, LSU 1 (Championship Sunday)
LSU 11, Florida 0 (Completion of suspended game Saturday)
Ole Miss 2, Texas A&M 1 (Semifinal # 1 Saturday)
LSU 2, Arkansas 1 (Semifinal # 2 Saturday)
Rebels turn it around:
From suffering a 9-3 loss in their first game of the SEC Tournament Wednesday to the Auburn Tigers, Ole Miss had an incredible turnaround to take them to the tournament championship for the first time since 2006.
Ole Miss rebounded on Thursday in getting by Georgia 5-4 in 10 innings, then turned the tables on Auburn for a 7-0 shutout Friday.
That sent the Rebels to the semifinals where they cooled off a hot Texas A&M squad in a pitcher's duel 2-1.
On Sunday, the Tigers put it away with a pair of 2-run homers in the 7th and 9th inning, taking out LSU 9-1.
Ole Miss came into the tournament as the No. 2 seed behind regular season champion Florida. The Rebels go into the NCAA regionals next weekend with 46 wins against 15 losses.
Baseball in the SEC is well loved:
There is passion for SEC baseball, just like it is in football and basketball in this well constructed conference.
The largest crowd to attend a championship game since the 1999 final was on hand Sunday, with 14,126 at the Hoover Met to see Ole Miss battle LSU for the tournament hardware.
Crowds were good through the week, especially having to deal with weather delays between Tuesday and Saturday.
The Hoover Met has hosted the SEC Baseball Tournament for 21 consecutive years and will have it again in 2019.
Promising postseason awaits SEC Baseball:
When the NCAA regionals are announced Monday afternoon, the Southeastern Conference will have its share of teams hosting a regional and participating at other sites too.
Regular season champion Florida, tournament winner Ole Miss will easily be given a regional site. Probable chances are good for Arkansas, Georgia and even the Auburn Tigers. Auburn was 15-15 in SEC regular season play, started 2-0 in the tournament and has a strong RPI rating that should have the Tigers playing at Plainsman Park next weekend.
On the strength of playing well in the tournament, LSU, Texas A&M will be selected while South Carolina, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt seem to the tournament locks. Kentucky is the one that has reason for concern. Wildcats were 13-17 in the conference and 34-22 for the season.
SEC Tournament memories by Sportspage for the week:
1. Former Decatur standout Tanner Burns pitched well for Auburn in helping them down Ole Miss 9-3 on May 23.
2. Memorable game between LSU and South Carolina May 24. The game went 12 innings and took 4 hours, 17 minutes to play as Tigers won 6-4 to stay in tournament contention.
3. Todd Peterson of LSU with his first hit in 2018 in his only plate appearance, a two-run single in the 12th that provided the Tigers insurance in defeating South Carolina 6-4.
4. Ole Miss saving themselves and especially P Parker Caracci in the Georgia win on May 24. Caracci committed a huge error that allowed Georgia to tie the game in the 8th. The Rebels came back to get Caracci off the hook, scoring 2 runs in the last of the 10th to pull out a 5-4 win.
5. Not a good week for Florida. No. 1 conference seed got thumped 8-2 by Arkansas and fell flat in an 11-0 loss to LSU. Gators head to the playoffs losing six of their last seven games. A couple of injuries and inconsistent play in all phases of the game in Hoover has reasons for concern for the defending NCAA champion.
6. Weather served its notice. From Tuesday through Saturday, rain, lightning and fog effected the tournament. Fog late Friday evening forced the game between LSU and Florida to resume Saturday morning. It took LSU just 14 minutes to get the game to the 7th and put away Florida 11-0 as the Tiger fans went into a celebration craze.
7. Outstanding performers seen by Sportspage in SEC Tournament.
OF Will Goalson of Ole Miss, P Jordan Fowler of Ole Miss, P/IF Austin Bain of LSU, P Todd Peterson of LSU, P Blaine Knight of Arkansas, SS Jax Biggars of Arkansas, 3B Jonathan India of Florida, P Tanner Burns of Auburn, DH Edouard Julien of Auburn.
MVP: C Nick Fortes of Ole Miss - 4/4 in championship game, RBI, run scored.
Photo of 14,123 in attendance at Sunday's SEC championship game between Ole Miss and LSU. Photo courtesy of the SEC.