SEC Dominates College Baseball
The SEC continues its NCAA baseball reign
The Southeastern conference has conquered another NCAA sport and has begun piling up hardware and titles and its not in football. The SEC has begun dominating the sport of baseball and has established itself as the premier conference in the land. The 2011 SEC baseball season was another banner year and saw another title return to the south for the third consecutive season. The South Carolina Gamecocks completed back to back NCAA baseball titles with a victory over their fellow SEC member Florida. In fact, all three top spots in the final ESPN/USA Today top 25 poll were occupied by SEC members. In at the #1 spot was National Champion South Carolina followed by National Runner-up and #2 Florida and finishing #3 was Vanderbilt after the Commodores semi-finals finish at this years College World Series. Two other SEC members were represented in the final top 25 as well with Mississippi State #15 and Arkansas finishing #23 this season.
The SEC has College World Series Champions three years in a row with South Carolina's 2010 and 2011 titles and LSU's 2009 title. Since 1990, SEC members have won 9 College World Series out of 22 years and have had 5 runner-up finishers during that span including having the winner and runner-ups this season and in 1997 when LSU beat Alabama for the title. This is the first three year title reign by a conference since 1986-1988 when the Pac-10 won three straight with Arizona winning a title and Stanford won two titles. This was also the first season with the title game members both being from the same conference since LSU and Alabama in 1997. The SEC has actually been represented in the College World Series final since 2008 with Georgia finishing as runner-ups that season to Fresno State. In 2011, South Carolina set many NCAA records by going undefeated throughout postseason play this season and now hold the NCAA records for most consecutive NCAA postseason wins with 16 and most consecutive College World Series wins in a row with 11 dating back to last seasons title run.
It looks like the power will remain in the south for some time to come as SEC schools are among the leaders year in and year out in attendance for collegiete baseball and a lot of the up and coming talent is choosing to compete in the SEC against other highly talented players. As for this year, South Carolina second baseman, Scott Wingo was named College World Series most outstanding player after collecting the winning hit in the bottom of the ninth against Texas A&M and for his stellar play against Florida in the CWS Finals. South Carolina finished the 2011 season 55-14 overall and became the first team to finish 10-0 in NCAA tournament play and the first team to sweep the CWS since 1997. Things look bright going forward into the 2012 season as some of the key players from this years CWS will be back for USC, Florida and Vanderbilt along with an up and coming Mississippi State squad that came within one victory of also making the CWS this season.
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