Tigers Take Title

HOOVER, Ala. – Ole Miss might have been low on pitching, but a Mississippi native made sure LSU's mound situation was just fine.

Pillow Academy product Louis Coleman entered in the third inning and dominated the Rebels (37-24) the rest of the way, as the No. 8 Tigers (43-16-1) fired off a five-run fifth inning and handled Ole Miss 8-2 to win the 2008 SEC Tournament title.

It is LSU's first championship since 2000, and the Tigers' 20th-straight overall win. Moments later, Ole Miss found out it wouldn't be hosting a regional for the first time since 2003.

Ole Miss now awaits its NCAA fate at 11:30 a.m. when the Regional selection show is televised by ESPN. LSU found out Sunday it would host a regional in Baton Rouge.

Coleman, a Schlater native, tossed six shutout innings and allowed the Tigers to catch up and move well ahead of the Rebels. The right-hander scattered three hits and struckout seven without walking a hitter.

"I am just speechless," Coleman said. "I have never won a championship, and I am at a loss for words. It is incredible. I was very excited to play today, and you couldn't ask for something better."

Ole Miss led 2-1 heading to the bottom of the fifth, when LSU put up five runs. The Rebels also surrendered five runs to Vanderbilt Saturday in Ole Miss' first loss of the tournament.

Nathan Baker started for the Rebels and was effective until three doubles ended his day in that pivotal fifth frame. The sophomore hadn't started since April 30, as he surrendered four runs, three earned, on five hits in four-plus innings.

Jake Morgan, Cody Satterwhite and Rory McKean cleaned up the final 15 outs in relief, giving up two runs, one run and one run respectively.

"I felt fresh going in and was really excited," Baker said. "They are a good hitting team, and they take advantage. You have to give them credit."

Satterwhite, who left Saturday's first game with a stomach ailment, walked two and fanned one in his two innings. Mike Bianco said his role for the regional is not known at this time.

"Don't know that yet," Bianco said when asked if he would start at some point next week.

While the pitching was pieced together with marginal success, the Ole Miss offense was completely dormant against Coleman. The Tigers started freshman Daniel Bradshaw, but the LSU underclassman was knocked around for five hits and both runs in three innings.

Bradshaw yielded a solo home run to Michael Guerrero and Jordan Henry to score on a fielder's choice by Logan Power. Two double plays kept Bradshaw from suffering more damage.

Guerrero's second-inning blast was his fifth of the tournament, one away from the record set by Ole Miss' Mike Templeton in 1977. Guerrero, Henry and Lance Lynn were named to the SEC All-Tournament Team.

"It was like a punch in the stomach," Guerrero said. "We are ahead and getting outs, and then they just caught fire like they have for more than a month now. It is hard to get hits when you are down like that. It is a rally-killer for your team."

Blake Dean, Michael Hollander and Ryan Schimpf all collected two hits for the Tigers. Tourney MVP Dean and Matt Clark homered for LSU. Power was Ole Miss' lone player with multiple hits.

"We gave up the big inning and opened up the door a couple times for them," Bianco said. "You can see why they are the hottest team in the country. They took advantage of it. They continued to answer.

It looked like a big day offensively at the beginning, but Coleman really silenced us. He did a great job."

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