As discussed at Best All-Time SEC Baseball Program, LSU has historically - and clearly -- been the class of SEC Baseball.
So, it is only logical that we would pick one of the LSU national championship teams as our best all-time SEC baseball team. Louisiana State University (LSU) won the NCAA College World Series (CWS) in '91, '93, '96, '97, and '00. You could make an argument for any of those teams being the top Southeastern Conference (SEC) baseball team in history. We pick the '96 team mostly because of the memorable way it beat the University of Miami in the College World Series Championship game.
The '96 LSU baseball team was led by Head Coach Skip Bertman. (Mike Bianco was an Assistant Coach). By 1996 Bertman had already turned LSU into probably the best college baseball program in America.
As the '91 and '93 teams had done, the '96 team also won over 50 games. They ended up with a 52-15 record; went 20-10 in the SEC and won the SEC regular season baseball championship. Four of their losses were to the Florida Gators (3 in a Gator 3-game sweep).
LSU failed to win the '96 SEC Baseball Tournament, but on the strength of their regular season championship, and overall record, still made it into the NCAA Tournament. LSU breezed through the regional round, knocking out Austin Peay, the University of New Orleans, Georgia Tech, and got a close win over UNLV (7-6).
At the College World Series, the Tigers won an exciting opening game, beating Wichita State 9-8. That win was significant because Wichita State was who LSU beat in the CWS Championships in 1991 and 1993.
The next obstacle blocking LSU's path towards a National Championship was a dreaded rematch against Florida. However, LSU got the last laugh with a 9-4 win. Amazingly, though, Florida just wouldn't quit and managed to rise up through the losers bracket and face LSU again. LSU beat them again, this time by a 2-1 score. This second Florida win put LSU in the College World Series championship game.
In the CWS Championship game, the Tigers faced a Miami Hurricanes team stacked with future major leaguers (Pat Burrell and Alex Cora). Miami jumped out to a 7-3 lead. However, LSU fought back to tie it up. An RBI single from Alex Cora put the Hurricanes back in the lead in the 8th inning.
In the bottom of the 9th, LSU managed to get a player on 3rd base with two outs. They were down to their final out. Warren Morris (who had been injured most of the season) came to the plate for LSU and knocked the first pitch over the fence in right field to win the College World Series Championship. Morris' "walk-off" home run was his first home run of the season, and one of the most memorable moments in the history of college baseball.
Based on everything the 1996 LSU Tigers baseball team accomplished, and the way they accomplished it, we pick them as the Best All-Time SEC Baseball Team.
If you are interested in other tremendous teams in various sports, you'll want to read:
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2011 South Carolina Gamecocks -- Best SEC Baseball Team of All Time Not rated yet
I'd like to humbly submit the 2011 South Carolina Gamecocks as the best SEC baseball team of all time. They won all but one of their weekend series …
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