The Southeastern Conference tournament begins Tuesday in Hoover, Alabama. Vanderbilt won the regular-season SEC title, so it enters as the top seed.
The tournament begins with a single-elimination round before it shifts into double-elimination Wednesday. The top-four seeds — Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi State — received first-round byes.
Take a look at some names to remember, the teams with the most to gain and numbers to know before first pitch between Florida and Texas A&M at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
Cole Henry, who’s 4-2 with a 3.26 ERA, will pitch for the first time since April 19 when LSU baseball begins the SEC tournament.
Most dominant pitcher: Ethan Small
The Mississippi State junior left-hander earned SEC pitcher of the year. Small has a 1.84 ERA and completed at least five innings in all of his starts.
Most feared hitter: JJ Bleday
Bleday, the SEC player of the year, leads the conference in homers (25) and RBIs (64). The junior outfielder from Vanderbilt has a .346 batting average this season.
Teams with the most to gain: Ole Miss, Texas A&M
The Rebels had the inside track to host an NCAA regional after winning the LSU series but then went 1-6. They need another SEC tournament title to get it back. The Aggies have a strong RPI of 14, but probably can’t afford to be one-and-done in Hoover and expect to play at home next weekend.
Who's starting, how to watch and what to watch for when LSU baseball begins the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Teams planning to host regionals
With RPIs in the top six, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Arkansas and Mississippi State are locks to be top-eight national seeds. LSU and Texas A&M (RPI 21 and 14, respectively) need to avoid Tuesday upsets to host NCAA regionals.
Bubble watch: Florida and Missouri
Both teams have solid RPIs (Florida 25, Mizzou 26), but both have sub-.500 SEC records. The Tigers are 13-16-1, the Gators 13-17. They need deep runs to secure bids.
Numbers to know
Home runs by SEC teams this season, 19 more than at this point last year. Homers increased for the second straight season.
South Carolina’s team ERA during conference play, the highest in the league. The second-highest SEC team, Florida, is at 6.64.
Doubles by Mississippi State, the most during league play. The next-closest team, Vanderbilt, has 66. The Bulldogs lead the SEC in batting.