CHAMPS!

Bama senior Matt Downs' arms rose in victory as he slammed an eighth-inning two-run homer for the second Bama home run of the inning, capping the Tide scoring on a 5-1 win as Alabama completed a sweep of Tennessee and earned its first SEC Championship since 1996 Saturday evening in Knoxville.

Tennessee's Kelly Edmunson broke up Tide freshman Tommy Hunter's shutout with two out in the ninth with a solo blast to right field, but Hunter retired Ryan Jones on the next at-bat to get the complete game five-hitter.

Alabama got a solo home run from Spencer Pennington on the first pitch thrown by UT reliever Josh Lindblom to extend Alabama's lead to 3-0 in the top of the eighth before Downs shot to left.

Alabama finished the regular season 39-17 overall and 20-10 in Southeastern Conference play. The Crimson Tide will share the SEC title with Kentucky, who finished 20-10 after droppings its final game to Georgia earlier on Saturday.

Hunter (9-3) pitched a complete game, and set the Alabama single-season freshman record with his ninth win of the year on Saturday, passing B.J. Green (1998), Scott Murphy (1999), Taylor Tankersley (2002) and Wade LeBlanc (2004), who all won eight games as freshmen for the Crimson Tide.

Emeel Salem singled to drive in a run in the sixth inning, one of three hits on the day for the senior.

Alabama is the number one seed and will play the 5 p.m. game at the SEC tournament on Wednesday in Hoover. Mississippi State, Florida, Tennessee and Auburn will miss the tournament.

Stay tuned as BamaMag.com will have more on Alabama Southeastern Conference baseball title.


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