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2/25/17 5:50 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

In what was a very enjoyable game to watch, the LSU baseball team defeated Maryland 6-1 behind the dominating pitching of Alex Lange and a three-run blast by Michael Papierski. With the win, the Tigers improved to 5-1 on the season. Here’s a quick rundown of how the game played out.

Alex Lange turned in a performance reminiscent of his remarkable freshman campaign by striking out 12 batters in six innings of work. And it wasn’t just the number of Ks that stood out, but the way he accumulated them, as half only required three pitches. The only bit of trouble Lange ran into was in the fourth inning when he gave up a walk and two hits, including an RBI double that plated the Terrapins’ only run. But like the fighting Tiger that he is, Lange bounced back by striking out the final two batters of the frame to record his seventh and eighth Ks. He would record two more strikeouts in the fifth and another two in the sixth before being replaced by Todd Peterson who is quickly becoming the Tiger’s go-to middle reliever. Peterson looked good in 1.2 innings of work but was replaced in the eighth after allowing two singles. The second single came after a rare errant throw by shortstop Kramer Robertson on what would have been a double play and a strikeout that would have been the third out of the inning had the double play been executed. Hunter Newman got the final out of the eighth inning and Austin Bain closed things out in the ninth. Considering the game that Lange had and the fact that the bullpen didn’t allow a run, I’d say it was an effective outing all around for LSU pitching. 

Offensively, the Tigers collected eight hits on the night, highlighted by Papierski’s three-run homer in the eighth that gave LSU plenty of insurance. Prior to that blast, all of LSU’s runs had come in a three-run third. That inning began with a single by Brennan Breaux, who moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a sacrifice by Cole Freeman. Antoine Duplantis’ clutch triple would score Breaux, Kramer Robertson’s single would score Duplantis, and Jake Slaughter’s sac fly would score Robertson. 

Here are the game’s video highlights and complete boxscore.

The Tigers will go for the series win today at 2 p.m. with Jared Poché on the mound. Just like last night’s contest and tomorrow’s series finale, today’s game can be viewed online on SECN+ accessible at WatchESPN.com and via the WatchESPN app. And if you plan on working out in the yard this afternoon, as I do, you might want to note that the game can be heard on 100.7 FM in Baton Rouge and online at LSUsports.net/live.

In football recruiting news, LSU’s 2018 class took a hit yesterday when Kenan Jones of Berwick announced that he has de-committed. Jones (WR, 6-3, 205) is the second highest-ranked receiver on our list of LA Top Prospects for 2018 and was LSU’s lone commitment on the offensive side of the ball. With wide receiver being among LSU’s biggest positions of need in the 2018 class, this loss is a tough one, though I don’t find it all that surprising. I say that because Jones was first offered by Les Miles and had built a relationship with former wide receiver coach Dameyune Craig who was fired and replaced by Mickey Joseph. At this point, I understand that offensive prospects, especially those at the skill positions, might be a little hesitant to commit to LSU without having ever seen the offense of new Coordinator Matt Canada, new receivers coach Mickey Joseph and new running backs coach Tommie Robinson. That will change as players get to know the coaches during camps and spring practice, and even more so once they see the product these coaches put on the field. Writing that makes me realize that this year’s Spring Game, which will be televised in primetime on April 22, will be much more significant than ever.

In other football news, former LSU quarterback Brandon Harris said yesterday that he hasn’t ruled out transferring to another SEC school. In a radio interview with 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge, Harris was asked about his potential graduate transfer destinations and whether he had spoken to any SEC schools. Without naming any teams, Harris affirmed that he has spoken to “a couple schools in the SEC about different opportunities.” Harris’ plan is to transfer after graduating from LSU this Summer and play immediately at whichever school he chooses. He will have one year of eligibility remaining. 

Turning to gymnastics, congratulations to Coach D-D Breaux and her Tigers for securing at least a share of the program’s first SEC title yesterday with a 197.675-196.100 win over No. 14 Auburn. With the victory, LSU improved to 11-1 overall and 6-0 in league competition while extending its streak of consecutive meets with scores of 197 or higher to 17. Junior Myia Hambrick captured the all-around title with a score of 39.475, while senior Sydney Ewing set a new career high on beam with a 9.925 and earned a pair of 9.90s on vault and floor. Fellow senior Ashleigh Gnat earned wins on vault and floor with scores of 9.95. The Tigers will square off against the third-ranked Gators at 2:30 p.m. next Sunday inside the PMAC. A win by LSU would capture the SEC title outright, while a victory by the Gators would split the regular season title.

Today’s closing tidbits:

• The LSU men's basketball team (9-18, 1-14) will try to avoid the school's longest losing streak of 15 games when they play Georgia (16-12, 7-8) in Athens today at 5 p.m. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. Georgia will be playing less than 45 hours after an impressive 60-55 victory at Alabama, while the Tigers are obviously in a downward spiral. All we can hope for at this point is an inspired performance that somehow gives LSU its tenth victory of the season. The last time LSU failed to win 10 games was 1997-98 when the Tigers finished 9-18 under first-year head coach John Brady. Today’s game will be televised on the SEC Network

• In a West Coast game that ended well past my bedtime, the LSU softball team pounded Long Beach State for a 13-0 win in five innings. The victory, which was the Tigers’ third run-rule win in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, extended LSU streak of wins to 11.  For more on that contest, see this article on LSUSports.net. The team returns to action tonight for a late-night doubleheader with Game 1 against UCLA at 7:30 p.m. and Game 2 against Utah at 10 p.m.

• Lastly, a big thanks to the SEC for delivering a check in the amount of $100,000 to LSU this week to assist University employees who suffered losses during the catastrophic flood last August. The donation was made to the LSU Employee Assistance Fund, which was established at the request of LSU President Dr. F. King Alexander. On making the contribution to the flood relief fund for LSU employees, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said, “it’s a privilege of the Conference office to make this donation and we wish the people of Baton Rouge and LSU continued success in their recovery form the devastating floods that occurred in August of 2016.”




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2/25/17 5:50 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

In what was a very enjoyable game to watch, the LSU baseball team defeated Maryland 6-1 behind the dominating pitching of Alex Lange and a three-run blast by Michael Papierski. With the win, the Tigers improved to 5-1 on the season. Here’s a quick rundown of how the game played out.

Alex Lange turned in a performance reminiscent of his remarkable freshman campaign by striking out 12 batters in six innings of work. And it wasn’t just the number of Ks that stood out, but the way he accumulated them, as half only required three pitches. The only bit of trouble Lange ran into was in the fourth inning when he gave up a walk and two hits, including an RBI double that plated the Terrapins’ only run. But like the fighting Tiger that he is, Lange bounced back by striking out the final two batters of the frame to record his seventh and eighth Ks. He would record two more strikeouts in the fifth and another two in the sixth before being replaced by Todd Peterson who is quickly becoming the Tiger’s go-to middle reliever. Peterson looked good in 1.2 innings of work but was replaced in the eighth after allowing two singles. The second single came after a rare errant throw by shortstop Kramer Robertson on what would have been a double play and a strikeout that would have been the third out of the inning had the double play been executed. Hunter Newman got the final out of the eighth inning and Austin Bain closed things out in the ninth. Considering the game that Lange had and the fact that the bullpen didn’t allow a run, I’d say it was an effective outing all around for LSU pitching. 

Offensively, the Tigers collected eight hits on the night, highlighted by Papierski’s three-run homer in the eighth that gave LSU plenty of insurance. Prior to that blast, all of LSU’s runs had come in a three-run third. That inning began with a single by Brennan Breaux, who moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a sacrifice by Cole Freeman. Antoine Duplantis’ clutch triple would score Breaux, Kramer Robertson’s single would score Duplantis, and Jake Slaughter’s sac fly would score Robertson. 

Here are the game’s video highlights and complete boxscore.

The Tigers will go for the series win today at 2 p.m. with Jared Poché on the mound. Just like last night’s contest and tomorrow’s series finale, today’s game can be viewed online on SECN+ accessible at WatchESPN.com and via the WatchESPN app. And if you plan on working out in the yard this afternoon, as I do, you might want to note that the game can be heard on 100.7 FM in Baton Rouge and online at LSUsports.net/live.

In football recruiting news, LSU’s 2018 class took a hit yesterday when Kenan Jones of Berwick announced that he has de-committed. Jones (WR, 6-3, 205) is the second highest-ranked receiver on our list of LA Top Prospects for 2018 and was LSU’s lone commitment on the offensive side of the ball. With wide receiver being among LSU’s biggest positions of need in the 2018 class, this loss is a tough one, though I don’t find it all that surprising. I say that because Jones was first offered by Les Miles and had built a relationship with former wide receiver coach Dameyune Craig who was fired and replaced by Mickey Joseph. At this point, I understand that offensive prospects, especially those at the skill positions, might be a little hesitant to commit to LSU without having ever seen the offense of new Coordinator Matt Canada, new receivers coach Mickey Joseph and new running backs coach Tommie Robinson. That will change as players get to know the coaches during camps and spring practice, and even more so once they see the product these coaches put on the field. Writing that makes me realize that this year’s Spring Game, which will be televised in primetime on April 22, will be much more significant than ever.

In other football news, former LSU quarterback Brandon Harris said yesterday that he hasn’t ruled out transferring to another SEC school. In a radio interview with 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge, Harris was asked about his potential graduate transfer destinations and whether he had spoken to any SEC schools. Without naming any teams, Harris affirmed that he has spoken to “a couple schools in the SEC about different opportunities.” Harris’ plan is to transfer after graduating from LSU this Summer and play immediately at whichever school he chooses. He will have one year of eligibility remaining. 

Turning to gymnastics, congratulations to Coach D-D Breaux and her Tigers for securing at least a share of the program’s first SEC title yesterday with a 197.675-196.100 win over No. 14 Auburn. With the victory, LSU improved to 11-1 overall and 6-0 in league competition while extending its streak of consecutive meets with scores of 197 or higher to 17. Junior Myia Hambrick captured the all-around title with a score of 39.475, while senior Sydney Ewing set a new career high on beam with a 9.925 and earned a pair of 9.90s on vault and floor. Fellow senior Ashleigh Gnat earned wins on vault and floor with scores of 9.95. The Tigers will square off against the third-ranked Gators at 2:30 p.m. next Sunday inside the PMAC. A win by LSU would capture the SEC title outright, while a victory by the Gators would split the regular season title.

Today’s closing tidbits:

• The LSU men's basketball team (9-18, 1-14) will try to avoid the school's longest losing streak of 15 games when they play Georgia (16-12, 7-8) in Athens today at 5 p.m. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. Georgia will be playing less than 45 hours after an impressive 60-55 victory at Alabama, while the Tigers are obviously in a downward spiral. All we can hope for at this point is an inspired performance that somehow gives LSU its tenth victory of the season. The last time LSU failed to win 10 games was 1997-98 when the Tigers finished 9-18 under first-year head coach John Brady. Today’s game will be televised on the SEC Network

• In a West Coast game that ended well past my bedtime, the LSU softball team pounded Long Beach State for a 13-0 win in five innings. The victory, which was the Tigers’ third run-rule win in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, extended LSU streak of wins to 11.  For more on that contest, see this article on LSUSports.net. The team returns to action tonight for a late-night doubleheader with Game 1 against UCLA at 7:30 p.m. and Game 2 against Utah at 10 p.m.

• Lastly, a big thanks to the SEC for delivering a check in the amount of $100,000 to LSU this week to assist University employees who suffered losses during the catastrophic flood last August. The donation was made to the LSU Employee Assistance Fund, which was established at the request of LSU President Dr. F. King Alexander. On making the contribution to the flood relief fund for LSU employees, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said, “it’s a privilege of the Conference office to make this donation and we wish the people of Baton Rouge and LSU continued success in their recovery form the devastating floods that occurred in August of 2016.”

2/24/17 5:45 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of LSU baseball and I’m ready to see the No. 2 Tigers (4-1) in action tonight when they take on Maryland (1-2) in the first game of this weekend’s series at Alex Box Stadium. Tonight’s contest is set to begin at 7 p.m. with LSU junior RHP Alex Lange on the mound. Look for the Tigers to use the same pitching rotation that worked so well last week in the sweep of Military Appreciation weekend with senior LHP Jared Poché starting tomorrow’s 2 p.m. game and freshman RHP Eric Walker starting Sunday’s 11 a.m. game. See below for the complete pitching matchup. All three LSU-Maryland games can be viewed online on SEC Network +, accessible at WatchESPN.com and via the WatchESPN app. The games can also be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge) and online at lsusports.net/live

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Game 1
LSU – Jr. RHP Alex Lange (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5.0 IP, 0 BB, 6 SO)
UM – Jr. RHP Brian Shaffer (0-0, 1.80 ERA, 5.0 IP, 2 BB, 6 SO) 

Game 2
LSU – Sr. LHP Jared Poché (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7.0 IP, 0 BB, 4 SO)
UM– Jr. RHP Taylor Bloom (0-0, 9.00 ERA, 3.0 IP, 3 BB, 3 SO) 

Game 3
LSU – Fr. RHP Eric Walker (1-0, 1.80 ERA, 5.0 IP, 1 BB, 6 SO)
UM – Fr. LHP Tyler Blohm (1-0, 3.60 ERA, 5.0 IP, 2 BB, 4 SO)    

Maryland hasn’t played since last weekend, when it lost two of three games at the Clearwater Tournament in Clearwater, Fla. The Terrapins lost to Ball State and Louisville before recording a 9-7 win over Alabama State to conclude the tournament. LSU leads the all-time series with Maryland, 3-0, as the only prior series meeting between the schools came in 2013, when the Tigers opened the season with a three-game sweep of the Terrapins by scores of 1-0, 5-1 and 14-3 in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. 

Don’t let the above fool you into thinking that this will be a cakewalk for the Tigers. Maryland has advanced to an NCAA Super Regional in two of the past three seasons, making back-to-back appearances in 2014 and 2015, and should provide a good test for the Tigers this weekend.

Here are a few more baseball tidbits from the notes sent out by LSU’s sports information department last night:

•  The Tigers are hitting .340 as a team with eight home runs and only 14 strikeouts in five games. Senior shortstop Kramer Robertson is hitting .500 with three doubles, one triple, one homer and six RBI to lead the Tigers’ offense.

• Senior second baseman Cole Freeman is batting .471 with two doubles and four RBI, and freshman first baseman Jake Slaughter is hitting .438 with one homer and four RBI. Junior rightfielder Greg Deichmann has team-highs of three homers and eight RBI. For what it’s worth, if Deichmann keeps up his remarkable pace he’ll hit 34 homers this season. 

• Maryland is hitting .294 as a team through its first three games with four doubles, one triple, one homer and eight stolen bases in 11 attempts.

• The Terrapins are led at the plate by sophomore outfielder Marty Costes, who is hitting .500 with one triple and two RBI. Senior infielder Brandon Gum is hitting .500 with one double and two RBI, and sophomore infielder Nick Dunn has team-highs of one homer and three RBI.

In softball news, No. 7 LSU won its double header in sunny California yesterday with a 9-0 run win over the New Mexico State Aggies and a 12-1 win over Bethune-Cookman. 

In the first game, LSU scored a pair of runs in the second and exploded for seven more in the very next frame to put the game out of reach. Offensively, the Tigers plated nine runs on nine hits from seven players and were led by Emily Griggs and Amber Serrett who each ended the game with a pair of hits. Serrett was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Griggs was 2-for-3 with an RBI, run scored and stolen base. Sahvanna Jaquish cranked her first home run of the season, a three-run shot in the seven-run third, while Constance Quinn drove in two on her only hit of the game. On the mound, sophomore Sydney Smith (4-0) held the Aggies to a pair of hits in the complete-game shutout.  

In the second game, the Tigers produced 12 runs on 14 hits, scoring 10 of those runs in the first two innings alone. Nine different LSU (11-1) players earned hits in the contest, with five earning two. Sydney Springfield finished the game 2-for-2 with a double and three RBI, while Constance Quinn was 2-for-3 with two triples and two RBI. Amber Serrett hit her third home run of the season and roped a double on a 2-for-3 afternoon with three runs scored, while Bailey Landry was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Amanda Doyle rounded out the multi-hit Tigers by going 2-for-3. Of LSU’s 14 hits, six were for extra bases with the doubles from Serrett and Springfield, the triples from Quinn and home runs from Serrett and Shemiah Sanchez, who hit the first of her LSU career on a two-run shot. Freshman Maribeth Gorsuch (1-1) earned her first LSU win in the circle with a complete-game victory by striking out five with no walks and allowing just one run on three hits 

Turning to football, yesterday I spent some time updating a few pages, including our Way Too Early Unofficial LSU Football Depth Chart. Give it a look and share your feedback. One thing you’ll probably notice is that I’ve placed Michael Divinity at inside linebacker because I have a suspicion that he might be moved there this spring, especially in light of the fact that Donnie Alexander and Devin Voorhies will be limited in their availability this spring after undergoing offseason shoulder procedures. Another thing you’ll notice is that I’ve placed the veteran players above the newcomers and used italics for the incoming signees’ names. The other page I updated is our LSU Football Schedule, which I’ve changed to reflect the special dates LSU announced on Wednesday (Homecoming, Gold Game, etc.)

Today’s closing tidbits:

• Just like last week, the LSU football program released a new video showing what’s going on in offseason training. Here’s the 1:25 clip for your enjoyment.

• For fellow “recruitniks,” here’s an interesting read by The Advocate’s Ross Dellenger titled, “Has LSU lost control of recruits in north Louisiana? Answers might surprise you.

• As I’m watching the baseball game tonight, my wife and at least one of my daughters (my nine year old gymnast) will be watching the LSU gym team as it continues its quest for the program’s first SEC regular season championship. The team is set to battle Auburn tonight at 7:30 p.m. in a nationally televised meet inside Auburn Arena. With a win tonight, the purple and gold Tigers (10-1, 5-0) would hold at least a share of the regular season championship with the chance to win it outright in the final conference meet on March 5 against Florida.

• The LSU women’s basketball team saw a seven-point lead slip away late in the fourth quarter last night as Auburn rallied for a 54-49 win over LSU at Auburn Arena. With the loss, LSU fell to 18-10 overall; 7-8 in the SEC. More on that game can be found here.

• Now, lastly, I don’t play golf and I really don’t follow it, but I was asked by several readers to share the good news of the 3rd-ranked LSU golf team’s recent big victory in California. Here’s an excerpt from LSU’s press release: “Led by a 4-under par 67 in Wednesday’s final round and a second-place individual finish by sophomore All-American Sam Burns, No. 3-ranked LSU kept its crown at The Prestige at PGA West while defending its team title with a four-shot victory over Pepperdine in the event held at the Greg Norman Course. The Tigers broke par for the second-straight day as they posted a team score of 1-under par 283 to take the trophy back to Baton Rouge with a final 54-hole score of even-par 852 in the 17th-annual event.”

That’s it for today, folks. Enjoy your Friday and tune in tomorrow for your daily dose of Tiger news including a recap of tonight’s baseball game and gym meet.



 

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