LSU in heart of tight SEC race

LSU Baseball has six very important games remaining in conference play as the SEC regular season title remains hotly contested.

Sometimes two out of three just isn’t good enough.

LSU did win its series against Mississippi State this past weekend, the Tigers’ seventh out of eight SEC series this season. But LSU failed to complete the sweep Saturday, falling in the 12th inning on a controversial play at the plate.

Texas A&M meanwhile took all three of its games at Tennessee this past weekend. Now the two teams are back in a tie for first place in the SEC West.

LSU’s still the nation’s No. 1 team, the consensus pick for the third consecutive week. The Tigers remain in great shape for a national seed with a No. 6 ranking in the RPI.

But it’s that tight race atop the division that has Paul Mainieri’s attention.

“The polls are nice. I’m glad we’re the No. 1 team in the country,” he said. “But I care a lot more about where we are in the standings in the SEC.”

Both LSU and A&M are looking up at Vanderbilt for the overall lead in the conference. The Commodores have a half-game lead over the two teams after both had a conference game rained out earlier in the season.

Vanderbilt hosts Florida this weekend with a chance to lock up the SEC East (the Gators are currently two games back in that division). A&M gets struggling South Carolina at home, while LSU’s set to face another Top-25 team.

Missouri comes to town sporting a 14-10 record in the SEC, three games back of Vanderbilt in the East. LSU closes out the season against South Carolina two weekends from now.

LSU knows it faces a stiff challenge in order to keep pace in the ultra-competitive SEC.

“Anything can happen,” Mainieri said. “We might have to win all six games the way [everyone else has] been playing for us to win.”

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