NEW ORLEANS, LA (SBC) – The Troy Trojans and South Alabama Jaguars have been crowned co-champions of the 2013 Sun Belt Conference regular season after both teams reached the 20-win plateau in conference play. Troy took two-of-three games this past weekend and will be the tournament's number one overall seed.
The tournament will be held at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field in Lafayette, La. from May 22 through May 26.
The Trojans and Jaguars finished the regular season with the same conference record but based on the tie-breaker, the Trojans claimed the top seed. Troy and USA each won three games apiece against each other to finish tied in the head-to-head tie-breaker. Because there is a tie for the next highest seeded team (a tie at the No. 3 position) the composite record of Troy and USA against the teams tied for third, Louisiana-Lafayette and Florida Atlantic is reviewed.
Troy (39-16, 20-10 SBC) held a 3-3 record against Louisiana-Lafayette and Florida Atlantic, while the Jaguars were 2-4 against those same teams; therefore, Troy earns the top overall seed. The Trojans will face No. 8 Arkansas State on Wednesday, May 22 at 12:30 p.m. CT. Troy finished the regular season with its third most conference wins in the program's history and will be seeking their first SBC tournament title since 2006.
South Alabama (40-16, 20-10 SBC) will face No. 7 UALR (28-26, 12-18 SBC) on May 22 at 4:00 p.m. CT. The Jaguars enter the tournament with their most program wins since 2004 and most conference wins since 1999. They finished second in the league in ERA and runs scored but led the league in strikeouts.
Tournament host and No. 3 seeded Louisiana-Lafayette swept Louisiana-Monroe this past weekend and swept their season series winning all six games this year. The Cajuns (38-17, 19-11) had one of the largest turnarounds in the country after finishing last in the SBC in 2012.
The 38 wins tied the Cajuns for their most wins since 2010. This season the Cajuns led the SBC in most major offensive categories, including hitting, slugging percentage, hits and home runs. ULL has hosted the SBC tournament three other times.
ULL will face sixth-seeded FIU (25-30, 13-17) in Wednesday night's finale at 7:30 p.m. CT.
Florida Atlantic (35-20, 19-11) is the fourth-seed and will face fifth-seeded WKU (28-27, 16-14) in the first game of the tournament on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. CT. FAU and WKU enter the tournament on winning streaks with the Owls having won seven consecutive, while the Toppers have won four consecutive. FAU swept sixth-seeded FIU this past weekend and the Toppers swept all three from Middle Tennessee to move one game above .500 on the year.
With 35 wins on the season the Owls have now posted 15 consecutive seasons of 30 or more wins.
This season the SBC tournament moved back to the double-elimination tournament after two years of pool play. Teams begin play on Wednesday, May 22 at 9:00 a.m. and the tournament will be conducted over five days culminating with the Championship Game on Sunday, May 26 at 1:00 p.m. CT. All games will be available via web stream on the Sun Belt Digital Network. The championship game will be aired on the Sun Belt Network.
2013 has been a banner year for the Sun Belt in baseball as the league has posted a very respectable non-conference winning percentage of .620 (155-95) ranking the league fifth behind only the SEC, ACC, Pac-12 and Big 12. Four of the league's ten teams rank in the top 40 of the RPI.
Championship festivities get underway on Tuesday night with Championship Family Night, a celebration of this season's accomplishments both on and off the field for the student-athletes in attendance. There will be a home run derby, autograph session, baseball cards for the fans and much more.
2013 Sun Belt Conference Tournament Seeds (Season Record)
1. Troy (39-16, 20-10 SBC)
2. South Alabama (40-16, 20-10 SBC)
3. Louisiana-Lafayette (38-17, 19-11 SBC)*
4. Florida Atlantic (35-20, 19-11)
5. WKU (28-27, 16-14 SBC)
6. FIU (25-30, 13-17 SBC)**
7. UALR (28-26, 13-17 SBC)
8. Arkansas State (26-29, 12-18)
* - Louisiana-Lafayette went 2-1 against Florida Atlantic in the season series; therefore earns the No. 3 seed over the Owls
** - FIU went 2-1 against UALR in the season series; therefore, FIU is awarded the No. 7 seed over UALR.
2013 Sun Belt Conference Tournament Schedule
Wednesday, May 22
Game 1: 9:00 a.m. No. 4 Florida Atlantic vs. No. 5 WKU
Game 2: 12:30 p.m. No. 1 Troy vs. No. 8 Arkansas State
Game 3: 4:00 p.m. No. 2 South Alabama vs. No. 7 UALR
Game 4: 7:30 p.m. No. 3 Louisiana-Lafayette vs. No. 6 FIU
Thursday, May 23
Game 5: 9:00 a.m. Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
Game 6: 12:30 p.m. Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
Game 7: 4:00 p.m. Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
Game 8: 7:30 p.m. Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4
Friday, May 24
Game 9: 3:00 p.m. Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 7
Game 10: 6:30 p.m. Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 8
Saturday, May 25
Game 11: 9:00 a.m. Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 9
Game 12: 12:30 p.m. Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 10
Game 13: 4:00 p.m. *Winner Game 11 vs. Loser Game 11
Game 14: 7:30 p.m. #Winner Game 12 vs. Loser Game 12
* Game 13 is necessary if the winner of Game 9 also wins Game 11.
# Game 14 is necessary if the winner of Game 10 also wins Game 12.
Championship Sunday, May 26