The SEC is going to be well represented in seeking its third straight College World Series national title this weekend in Omaha. The SEC will have three programs among the eight participating this weekend. With national titles in each of the last two seasons, LSU in 2009 and South Carolina last year, the SEC is looking for its third straight national title this season. No conference has won three straight national titles in baseball since the PAC Ten pulled of the feat from 1986 thru 1988. There will be some very strong competition amongst the SEC members this weekend. The ACC has both top ranked Virginia and seventh ranked North Carolina and six time national champion and fifth ranked Texas is also amongst the field this season.
Amongst the two brackets, the top half of the bracket will be loaded with 4 of the top 7 nationally ranked teams facing off. Second ranked Vanderbilt will face seventh ranked North Carolina while the second game will be a rematch from the 2005 championship game between fifth ranked Texas and third ranked Florida. The Gators will be seeking revenge as Texas won that game 6-2 while claiming its sixth national title. The lower half of the bracket will see nationally top ranked Virginia take on unranked and cinderella California while eighth ranked Texas A&M, who is making their first CWS appearance since 1999, will take on the defending national champions and fourth ranked South Carolina Gamecocks.
The SEC tournament champion Florida Gators will be led by pitchers Hudson Randall, who is 10-3 and sports a 2.29 era and Kartsen Whitson, who has a 8-0 record and carries an 2.45 era. Sophmore catcher Mike Zunino leads the Gators at the plate with an .376 batting average and 18 home runs. The 2005 national runner-ups will be seeking their first ever CWS national title this week.
Vanderbilt will also be seeking their first ever CWS national title thiss weekend in Omaha. The Commodores have been amongst the top five ranked schools all season and are led by a very strong pitching staff that includes 12-3 Sonny Gray, who has a 1.97 era and Grayson Garvin, who has a 13-1 record and an 2.36 era. The Dores are led at the plate by junior first baseman Aaron Westlake, who is batting .353 and who has hit 17 home runs on the season.
The defending national champion South Carolina Gamecocks are led this season by pitchers Michael Roth, who is 13-3 and has an astounding 1.02 era and Colby Holmes, whose record is 7-3 and who has an 3.78 era. South Carolina is led at the plate by sophmore infielder Christian Walker with an .359 batting average and who has 60 runs batted in on the season.
Along with seeking its third straight CWS national title, the SEC will also be looking to extend its run of three straight times of having a school in the CWS title game to four straight with titles in 2010 South Carolina, 2009 LSU and Georgia finishing runner-ups in 2008 to Fresno State. The SEC will also have a shot this weekend of having two teams reach the title game since 1997 when LSU topped Alabama in the final. This weekend is full of opportunity for the SEC this week in Omaha and we all get to gather around the TV or if your lucky, witness in person, the power this conference represents in college baseball.
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