NCAA Baseball Championships:
DandyDon is proud to recognize David Toms as a great ambassador of the Tiger Nation.
4/20/14 5:30 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans, and Happy Easter.
The LSU baseball team came away with a huge 2-0 win yesterday to claim the series at Ole Miss and improve to 30-10-1 overall and 10-7-1 in the SEC play. Heading into the contest, Game 3 pitching was a huge concern for the Tigers, so it sure was nice to see an outstanding outing by starter Alden Cartwright and the three bullpen pitchers who followed him - Hunter Devall, Parker Bugg and Kurt McCune. The shutout was the Tigers’ 12th of the season, marking a new school record. It also marked the first time Ole Miss has been shutout this season.
Cartwright wasn’t really expected to work more than two innings in what was his first career SEC start, but ended up pitching four solid innings while allowing just two singles with no walks and two strikeouts. He retired the first 10 Rebel batters he faced before allowing back to back singles in the fourth and getting himself into a bit of a jam. Fortunately, Cartwright got out of the jam unscathed by inducing an inning-ending double play. I look for Cartwright to play a major role in the weekend pitching rotation moving forward.
Devall, Bugg and McCune followed Cartwright with outstanding outings of their own. Devall (1-0) was credited win the win as he entered the game to start the fifth and pitched 2.2 innings, limiting the Rebels to two hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Bugg relieved Devall in the seventh and pitched 1.1 innings, allowing only one hit. McCune worked the ninth and earned his third save of the season, allowing one hit with one strikeout.
The Tigers only collected five hits in the game, but swung the bat better than that sounds and seemed more aggressive at the plate then normal. Coach Mainieri made an interesting change the batting order and inserted freshman Jake Fraley in the three hole while moving Bregman down to 6th in the order. Unfortunately, the move didn’t help Bregman as he went 0-for-3 in the game. Fraley singled in his first at bat and went 1-for-4 on the day.
The Tigers were led at the plate by Connor Hale who went 2-for-3 with an RBI on a solo homer in the 8th. Hale has really been swinging the bat well and scored five of the Tigers’ seven runs in the three-game series despite not playing in Friday’s game.
Here are LSU’s video highlights of yesterday’s game. Check out Mark Laird’s remarkable catch at the 2:24 mark. He also made an outstanding catch in in foul territory that ended with a nice encounter with an Ole Miss cheerleader, but that one didn’t make the highlight reel. :)
The LSU softball team also came away with a big series win by defeating South Carolina 13-5 in the resumption of game one, which was suspended Friday, and then winning 14-1 in Game 2. The Tigers, who are now 27-19 overall and 8-9 in SEC play, will go for the series sweep today at noon from South Carolina’s Beckham Field.
In closing, I'd like to once again wish all of you a very blessed Easter Sunday. You know me, I tend to get a little reminiscent at holiday time, especially around Easter and Thanksgiving. For my family, both have always been very special holidays filled with traditions that I hope will be passed along to many future generations. As a kid, we would always get up early to see what the Easter Bunny brought, and then head to the early Easter mass before gathering with the extended family to share a good meal. And of course, we would always paque-paque eggs. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this Cajun tradition, it’s a contest whereby one person holds his hardboiled, dyed Easter egg, small side up, while the opponent takes his own egg, small end down, and gently knocks it against the other egg repeatedly. The loser (the person whose egg cracks) has to surrender his cracked egg to the winner. We used to always do this at my MawMaw and PawPaw Ardoin’s house in Ville Platte, and it seems like their country eggs would always beat our store-bought eggs. Now that I have chickens of my own, I’m eager to see how our yard eggs fare. In case you’re wondering, the term paque-paque (pock-pock) comes not only from the sound made by the knocking of the eggs, but also from the word for Easter in French, Pâques. However you spend your today today, make it a special one, and remember that Easter is about a lot more than bunnies and eggs.
4/19/14 6:10 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
The LSU baseball team fell to Ole Miss last night, 5-1, to even the series at one game a piece. With the loss, LSU dropped to 29-10-1 overall and 9-7-1 in the SEC.
Jared Poché got the start for LSU and allowed four runs (two earned) in six innings of work while striking out two and walking two. The freshman from Lutcher actually pitched a little better than those numbers indicate and showed a lot of toughness in battling out of jams, and his night would’ve been a lot better if not for a couple of mishaps in a rough fourth inning. Trailing 2-1, Poché issued a four-pitch walk to start the inning, and then induced a ground ball to third base that should have resulted in a double-play. Instead, Ibarra made an errant throw to second to put runners at the corners with no outs. Later in the inning with the bases juiced and two outs, Mark Laird dropped a pop-up in foul territory that would’ve gotten Poché out of the inning unscathed. The next Rebel batter followed with a 2-RBI single to make it a 4-1 ballgame.
This post game quote by Coach Mainieri pretty much sums up Poché’s outing and the loss:
“I thought Jared Poche’ gave us another courageous effort and really battled throughout the game. He wasn’t quite as sharp as he usually is with his command, but he competed and kept us within striking distance. Unfortunately, we didn’t play well enough to win and couldn’t generate the offense we needed. To win in a place like this against a good team, you have to play very well and we didn’t do that tonight. We’ll look forward to tomorrow with a chance to win the series in a tough road environment.”
Three bullpen pitchers combined for the final two innings of the game. Cody Glenn entered in relief of Poché in the seventh and gave up a solo home run on his third pitch of the night. To say it’s been a rough year for Glenn would be an understatement.
The Tigers were led at the plate by Mark Laird who went 2-for-4 and scored LSU’s only run of the night. Sean McMullen, Alex Bregman, Chris Chinea and Danny Zardon each collected one hit in three at-bats, while Andrew Stevenson chipped in one hit in four at-bats to give LSU a total of seven hits on the night. Eight Tigers were left on base.
The rubber game of the series will be played today at 1:00 and will be televised regionally on Fox Sports South. It can also be viewed online at ESPN3.com. As usual, the game can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, and live audio and stats may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.
As of now, LSU’s starting pitcher for today’s game is TBA (to be announced). The likely candidates are Zach Person, Kurt McCune and Parker Bugg. McCune and Bugg each pitched an inning in LSU’s 13-inning marathon win Friday night.
In softball news, Game 1 of the three-game series between LSU and South Carolina was suspended due to rain. The game was called in the top of the fourth inning with LSU leading 7-5 and the bases loaded with one out and Allison Falcon at the plate for LSU. Today’s originally scheduled contest set for 4 p.m. in Columbia will be played at the original time and televised live on ESPNU, and following that game the two teams will resume Game 1 where it left off.
Reader Comments: Scott, I know you’ve been high on the Lake Charles tight ends - Desean Smith and Jacory Washington. Here’s an article by ESPN about the two possibly being used in hybrid-receiver roles. Would love to see that!
4/18/14 5:45 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans, and Happy Easter weekend to all of you.
Well, it took 13 innings and over four-and-a-half hours, but LSU came away with a hard-fought 4-3 victory over Ole Miss in Game 1 of the series. The win was really big for the Tigers as it would have been a tough blow to lose the game while burning your ace (Aaron Nola) and working your closer (Joe Broussard) for three and one-third innings. The Tigers also used Parker Bugg and Kurt McCune for an inning a piece, so it will be interesting to see what kind of shape LSU’s bullpen is in by the time Game 3 comes around.
The Tigers collected 13 hits in the game and were led at the plate by Connor Hale who collected three hits and scored three runs. Hale went 3-for-5 and scored the winning run for the Tigers in the top of the 13th after coming through with a timely one-out double. Freshman Jake Haley was also a big part of LSU’s offensive production as he came through with a clutch RBI pinch hit single in the 11th. The Tigers also benefited offensively from two costly Ole Miss errors on routine ground balls.
Here’s a quick scoring summary: Ole Miss grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning with a leadoff solo homer. LSU tied the game in the third when Hale walked, moved to third on a single by Christian Ibarra and scored on McMullen’s sacrifice fly. LSU broke the tie in the sixth when Ole Miss’ second baseman misplayed Hale’s two-out grounder, allowing Alex Bregman to score from third base. The Rebels tied the game at 2-2 in the eighth on an RBI groundout, and the game remained deadlocked until the top of the 11th, when LSU pinch hitter Jake Fraley delivered an RBI single to score Hale, who had led off the inning with a single. Ole Miss answered in the bottom of the 11th with an unearned run against Broussard on a sacrifice fly. After a scoreless 12th, the Tigers scored a run in the 13th on a walk by Ibarra, a double by Hale, and a sharply-hit grounder by Danny Zardon that was misplayed by the Rebel shortstop. McCune came in to pitch the 13th and retired the side in order to earn his second save of the season.
With the win, LSU improved to 29-9-1 overall and 9-6-1 in SEC play. The Tigers will go for the series win tonight at 6:30 with freshman Jared Poché on the mound. The game will not be televised, but it can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network.
The LSU softball team returns to SEC play today, opening a big three-game series against the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia at 2 p.m. The Tigers are coming off of a doubleheader split against the Hofstra Pride on Wednesday in Hempstead, New York, taking the first game 5-2 in the afternoon slot while dropping the second game 5-3 in the nightcap. At the end of March, the Tigers were looking at a 2-7 SEC record, but since then they’ve won two big weekend series at home against No. 2 Tennessee and No. 13 Georgia to improve to 6-9 in conference play. Much like their male counterparts, the Lady Tigers will have to bring their A-game this weekend to come away with the series win, as South Carolina is 21-3 at home this season.
In football recruiting news, 247Sports released its initial Top-247 for 2016 and the state of Louisiana is well represented. A total of 15 prospects from Louisiana are on the list, including three in the top 30 - Edwin Alexander (DT, 6-3, 280, St.Thomas Aquinas), Willie Allen (OT, 6-6, 265, John Curtis) and Kristian Fulton (CB, 6-0, 165, Archbishop Rummel). As Sonny Shipp points out in this article, the 2014 class is Louisiana was something special, and it’s looking like 2016 will be too.
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