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Top 10 Bama Stories of 2006: Baseball Wins SEC Championship

This is the fourth installment of my Top 10 Bama Stories of 2006 series. So far, it's all good news, but we all know the bad stuff is on its way. We've covered the Cotton Bowl victory over Texas Tech, Jean Felix's 31-point performance against Marquette in the NCAA Tournament and Ashley Miles' winning a fourth individual national championship in gymnastics.

May 20
Knoxville, Tennessee
Lindsey Nelson Stadium
Alabama 5, Tennessee 1

Freshman Tommy Hunter hurled the Tide to the title clinching victory

Much to my surprise, this split championship with Kentucky gave Alabama their SEC leading 14th conference title (they were tied for first with 13 with LSU)...and that's not counting all of the Southern Conference titles...we're talking purely SEC (eventhough only three of those were won post-1980.)

I didn't see a lot of Bama baseball in 2006, so I can't comment about it in great depth, but I do have to give this team credit for rekindling my interest in the national pastime. I was given free tickets to a few games and found myself not only enjoying being outside in great weather, I discovered I could actually care about baseball again.

2006 saw Bama finish with a 39-17 (20-10) record and they took a no. 1 seed into the SEC tournament as well as having home field advantage during the NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals (where they were eliminated from the tournament by 2nd place finishers North Carolina.)

Freshman phenom pitcher Tommy Hunter guided the Tide to a 5-1 victory over the Vols to capture their share of the title. Former Tide QB Spencer Pennington contributed to the victory by hitting a crucial home run late in the game.

The Softball team also won the SEC title in 2006 marking only the second time that the same school has won the SEC in baseball and softball in the same year.

The 2007 season begins on Friday, February 9th in Tuscaloosa against Georgia Southern. See a full schedule here.