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LSU captures SEC tourney

POSTED: June 5, 2008 5:00 a.m.

HOOVER, Ala. — Blake Dean and the LSU Tigers are hard to keep down these days.

A red-hot Dean hit a two-run homer, and the Tigers scored the final seven runs to beat Mississippi 8-2 on Sunday and claim their first Southeastern Conference tournament title since 2000 and seventh overall.

The win was a school-record 20th in a row for LSU (43-16-1), which took the lead with a five-run fifth. The streak matches Vanderbilt (2007) and South Carolina (2000) for second-longest in SEC history.

The Tigers have trailed in all but four games during the streak, including all four tournament games. They were awarded a regional site Sunday evening.

The Rebels (37-24) were the first No. 8 seed to make it to the championship game, advancing for the third time in four years. They are 1-2 during that stretch.

Louis Coleman (6-0) pitched six scoreless innings in relief for LSU, giving up three hits and striking out seven. He retired the final eight batters he faced and struck out the side in the ninth.

The Tigers had two hits off starter Matthew Baker (3-5) in the first four innings and trailed 2-1, then suddenly came alive. They chased him with three straight doubles to open the fifth, including Ryan Schimpf’s two-run hit.

Derek Helenihi drove in another run with a sacrifice fly and Dean followed with his two-run shot to right off reliever Jake Morgan, his third homer of the tournament. He also finished with nine RBIs and was named tournament MVP.

The Tigers scored again on a wild pitch in the seventh, and Matt Clark led off the eighth with a homer.

Michael Guerrero opened the second with his fifth homer of the tourney for the Rebels, who had single runs in each of the first two innings.

They managed only four hits the rest of the way.



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