Coaches Pick Hogs To Win SEC Baseball

There is not much respect for Alabama baseball from the Southeastern Conference coaches. The Crimson Tide has been picked to finish sixth in the seven-team SEC Western Division.

Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard has most of the pitching staff returning from last season, but Bama is rebuilding at a number of positions. The Crimson Tide got a bad break before the season could get started when Wade Wass, a junior college transfer catcher, suffered an injury. That puts third baseman Brett Booth back at catcher, where he worked all last season.

Alabama was picked to finish ahead of only Auburn in the pre-season poll conducted by the SEC.

Arkansas is predicted to win the 2013 SEC baseball championship in a vote of the 14 league coaches. It is the 22nd pre-season poll conducted by the conference.

That is hardly a surprise since the Razorbacks are ranked first in the nation in the pre-season Coaches Poll by USA Today. Arkansas returns five position starters and 10 pitchers from the team that advanced to the College World Series semifinals last season.

Since 1996, the SEC has named a regular season champion as well as a tournament champion. Prior to 1996 the tournament champion was considered the SEC Champion. Arkansas will be trying to win its third league title and first since 2004.

In addition to picking a pre-season SEC champion, the league's coaches predicted the order of finish in both divisions. Following Arkansas in the West was LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Alabama, and Auburn.

Vanderbilt is favored in the East, followed by by Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina tied for third, Georgia, Tennessee, and Missouri.

The 20!3 season begins Friday. Alabama opens with VMI with games at 6 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday. SEC play begins March 15. The SEC Tournament wilsl be played at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium May 21-26.

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