LSU Pick Of SEC Coaches For Title

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 Alabama Crimson Tide of Coach Jim Wells was picked to finish third in the SEC Western Division. Last year Bama finished second to LSU with a 16-14 SEC record.

The Bengal 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 14 position players with starting experience and ten pitchers from their 2008 squad which won the SEC Western Division, the SEC Tournament and advanced to the NCAA College World Series.

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.

In the overall SEC Champion vote, LSU received ten of a possible 11 votes. Ole Miss and Georgia also received one vote each.

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.

LSU was favorite in the Western Division with a total of 65 points. Ole Miss was second with 54, while Alabama finished third 44. Arkansas was fourth, Auburn fifth and Mississippi State sixth.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. South Carolina was fourth, Tennessee fifth and Kentucky sixth.

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. The conference schedule is set to begin the weekend of March 13-15. The 2009 SEC Tournament will be held May 20-24 at the newly refurbished Regions Park in Hoover.

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. Additionally, LSU and South Carolina will both unveil new ballparks this season.

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