Posted: May 26, 2013 10:48 PM by SEC Sports
HOOVER, Ala. - Chris Sciambra's RBI single in the top of the 11th inning Sunday lifted No. 2 LSU to its 10th Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament title with a 5-4 win against No. 1 Vanderbilt at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
The Tigers (52-9) won their first SEC Tournament title since 2010, also the last time a tournament final went to extra innings. Vanderbilt (51-9) played in the SEC Tournament Championship game for the third consecutive year. Sunday's game marked the first time in modern era history that the top-two teams nationally have played for the SEC Tournament Championship.
Closer Chris Cotton (4-1), the 2013 SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player, picked up the win for LSU, pitching a hitless final 2.2 innings, not allowing any of the eight batters he faced to reach base. Brian Miller (5-2) took the loss for the Commodores.
LSU's Jared Foster and Andrew Stevenson led the Tigers with two hits each. Jared Foster and Christian Ibarra each scored two runs.
"What a tremendous ballgame," LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said. "It was a great ballgame between two teams fighting their hearts out to win. There was a lot at stake. It was the top-two teams in the nation going against each other. This is the only time we've met this year. Our players wanted to win this game badly."
LSU struck first with three runs in the top of the second. Raph Rhymes singled to begin the inning before being thrown out and Ibarra followed with a walk. Ty Ross and Foster recorded back-to-back singles, the last of which scored Ibarra. A single by Stevenson scored Ross before Sean McMullen hit a sacrifice fly that plated Foster.
Vanderbilt cut to within one, 3-2, in the bottom half of the second inning. Connor Harrell singled to open the frame and Conrad Gregor followed with a double to left center. An RBI ground out by Zander Wiel plated Harrell and a single by Vince Conde scored Gregor.
The Tigers added a run in the top of the fourth inning as Ibarra doubled down the left-field line and was driven in by Foster's single up the middle to give LSU a 4-2 advantage.
Vanderbilt knotted the score at 4-all in the bottom of the seventh as Harrell and Gregor each singled and were driven in by Conde's two-run single.
In the top of the 11th, Foster reached on a hit by pitch and stole second base. He was driven in by Sciambria's RBI single to center field for what proved to be the game-winning run.
"I tip my hat to Vanderbilt," Mainieri said. "They have a great team. It was a great college baseball game and we're happy to call ourselves SEC Champions."
2013 SEC Baseball All-Tournament Team
Most Valuable Player: Chris Cotton, LSU
P: Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt; Daniel Mengden, Texas A&M
P: Ryne Stanek, Arkansas; Chris Cotton, LSU
C: Stuart Turner, Ole Miss
1B: Conrad Gregor, Vanderbilt
2B: Tony Kemp, Vanderbilt
3B: Christian Ibarra, LSU
SS: Adam Frazier, Mississippi State
OF: Connor Harrell, Vanderbilt; Hunter Renfroe, MSU
OF: Tyler Spoon, Arkansas; Jared Foster, LSU
OF: Matt Vinson, Arkansas
DH: Sean McMullen, LSU; Zander Wiel, Vanderbilt