LSU baseball all set for the SEC Tournament

Kyle Riviere @kyleR_sports
LSU seniors Mason Katz (left) and Raph Rhymes (right) celebrate their final home game against Ole Miss. Photo by

The second-ranked LSU Tigers had their way for most of the year but now with the regular season finally in the books, it's time to get serious.

Though the Tigers won 48 games this year--more games than they had ever won during a regular season, they still have their sights set on many more to come. And to start off the winning, they'll go for another SEC title as the SEC Tournament gets revved up this week in Hoover, Ala.

On the strength of a 48-8 overall record and 23-7 mark in the SEC, the Tigers won the Western Division crown and earned a No. 2 overall seeding for the league tournament. Vanderbilt will be the top seed as they finished 48-7 with an amazing 26-3 SEC record.

LSU finished the final weekend of the regular season with a 2-1 series win over Ole Miss.

The Tigers won the first two games--including Friday night's game that saw the official dedication of Skip Bertman Field. The legendary five-time championship winning coach was honored along with his title-winning squad from 1993.

Unfortunately, when LSU fell 11-9 to the Rebels on Saturday, it prevented them from completing their fifth series sweep of the year.

Still, the accomplishments this Tiger group cashed in this season were truly great.

Along with the all-time best 48 wins, they won nine of their 10 SEC series. Their only slip-up was a 2-1 series loss to South Carolina at the end of last month. That also marked the only time this year when they lost consecutive games.

The Tigers were road warriors all year. They won all five road series, and one of those wins came in the form of a sweep against Missouri.

Much of the Tigers' success has hinged on their exceptional pitching. Their staff finished second in the SEC in ERA.

Leading the charge was Aaron Nola--who finished the year a perfect 10-0 from the mound with four complete games and a 1.99 ERA. Nola was automatic in the opening games of the Tigers' series.

The Tiger relief pitching was superb as well as they helped LSU go a perfect 42-0 when leading after seven innings.

From the plate, Mason Katz and the true freshman Alex Bregman finished dead-even in the race for the team's batting title. Both ended the year batting .388.

Though, Katz had a razor-thin 28-27 advantage when it came to extra-base hits.

Fourteen of those extra-base knocks were home runs--which gave Katz the most Tiger long-balls by far.

The closest player to that was Christian Ibarra with six. Katz also led the team in RBIs with 64. Bregman came in second with 49.

The Tigers are hoping Bregman and Katz can keep the offense in regular season form when they averaged seven runs a game.

If they can, they just may be able to get over last year's disappointment in the SEC Tournament.

Despite winning the regular season title and coming into the tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, they were eliminated by eventual champion Mississippi State in the quarterfinals.