HOOVER, Ala. - Sean McMullen's home run to right field in the top of the eighth inning Sunday lifted third-seeded LSU to a 2-0 win against top-seeded Florida in the championship game of the 2014 Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament in front of 10,188 fans at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
The SEC Baseball Tournament title was the 11th all-time for LSU (44-14-1), which has won five of the last seven tournament titles. Florida, the 2014 SEC regular-season baseball champion, falls to 40-21 with the loss.
"It was another thrilling SEC Tournament Championship," LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said. "I can just tell you, this never gets old. We just love coming to Hoover. The competition is obviously extraordinary and the players just love it here. It brings out the best in us."
The game was scoreless through the first seven innings before left fielder Jake Fraley singled with two outs in the top of the eighth inning. McMullen followed by working the count to 3-2 before launching his sixth home run of the season.
"I actually wasn't feeling any pressure at all," McMullen said. "It is such a beautiful facility, I just wanted to soak it in. This was my last game at this field and I am very blessed to be part of this team. I grew up dreaming of playing for the LSU Tigers. For this to happen is surreal."
Shortstop Alex Bregman paced the LSU offense, going 2-for-4 at the plate. The Tigers out-hit the Gators, 6-2, in the low-scoring game.
The 2014 NCAA Baseball Tournament selection show is slated for 11 a.m. CT Monday on ESPNU.
2014 SEC Baseball Tournament - All-Tournament Team P - Jared Poche', LSU P - Karsten Whitson, Florida; Aaron Nola, LSU C - Kade Scivicque, LSU; Gavin Collins, Mississippi State 1B - Tyler Moore, LSU 2B - Conner Hale, LSU 3B - Josh Tobias, Florida; Austin Anderson, Ole Miss SS - Alex Bregman, LSU OF - Harrison Bader, Florida OF - Mark Laird, LSU OF - C.T. Bradford, Mississippi State DH - Sean McMullen, LSU
Most Valuable Player: Tyler Moore, LSU
2014 Attendance Figures - Hoover Met Session 1: 2,935 Session 2: 8,175 Session 3: 5,941 Session 4: 7,526 Session 5: 5,115 Session 6: 8,501 Session 7: 8,790 Session 8: 8,116 Session 9: 10,188 Total Attendance: 120,386 Average Per Game: 7,082 Average Per Session: 7,715
LSU (44-14-1) -LSU claimed its 11th tournament title, a league best. It marks five out of the last seven for the Tigers. This is the sixth championship without suffering a loss.
- Sean McMullen's two-RBI long ball in the eighth was the deciding margin. It was LSU's sixth home run of the tournament.
-The Tigers had the highest team batting average along with the most hits, runs and home runs in the SEC Tournament.
-The Tigers also had the best staff ERA in the tournament.
-Paul Mainieri is now 22-4 in the SEC Tournament with five titles.
Florida (40-21) -Florida fell to 6-6 in SEC Tournament finals.
-Gator pitching held an LSU team that had scored 85 runs on 104 hits in its previous seven games to just two runs on six hits.
-Florida fell to 23-2 when limiting the opponent to two runs or fewer.
-Today was only the third time this season the Gators were shutout.
Tournament -The two combined runs were the fewest in SEC finals history.
LSU Coach Paul Mainieri "Another thrilling SEC tournament championship. I can tell you this never gets old. We just love coming to Hoover. From the hotel, the police escorts, the beautiful ballpark, it is a well ran tournament. The competition is obviously extraordinary. Our players just love it here. They play great. It brings out the best in us. I don't think there is anything bad that happens with winning a championship here because I told you yesterday I think our players are going to go to bed tonight and wake up in the morning with the opportunity to win a championship. We hope they have that same experience next weekend."
Sean McMullen, DH "I wasn't actually feeling any pressure at all. I was just looking around, seeing what I'm a part of, all the fans that came to the game. It is such a beautiful facility. I just wanted to soak it in. This was my last game at this field, very blessed to be a part of this team. I grew up dreaming of playing for the LSU Tigers. For this to happen is surreal."
Florida Coach Kevin O'Sullivan "It was a great game. It's how a championship game should be. It was close on both sides. I thought both teams played outstanding defense. It just came down to one pitch. I'm really pleased with how we played this week. We lost that first game Wednesday to Kentucky, but we battle back to get to the final game. Tip your hat to LSU. It's good to be done with the SEC schedule, and we can play somebody else. We're looking forward to next week. We'll get back to Gainesville and practice on Tuesday."
Karsten Whitson, P "I felt good in the pen. I had three pitches that were really working for me. I pitched a solid six innings and went out there and executed my game plan."