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2007 BCS Champions

2007 BCS
National Champions

2003 BCS National Champions

2003 BCS
National Champions

1958 National Champions

1958
National Champions

NCAA Baseball Championships:

1991
1993
1996
1997
2000
2009

 

DandyDon is proud to recognize David Toms as a great ambassador of the Tiger Nation.

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5/30/15 6:00 am CT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

The LSU baseball team overcame a two-hour rain delay and an early 2-0 deficit to storm past Lehigh 10-3 in the opening round of the Baton Rouge Regional. Along the way, the Tigers sent seven pitchers to the mound, stole a record eight bases (the most ever for LSU in an NCAA Tournament game), and pounded out 13 hits. 

Alden Cartwright got the start for the Tigers and looked sharp in the first inning, needing just 11 pitches to retire the side in order. I would have liked to have seen more of Cartwright, but Mother Nature had other plans. As soon as LSU was coming up to bat in the first, the skies opened and the rains came down, resulting in a 2-hour, 17-minute rain delay. When play resumed, LSU sent Austin Bain to the mound for the next three innings, and then used five more relievers over the course of the game. The bullpen had a few hiccups along the way, but ultimately got the job done while allowing only five hits on the night. The good news is that none of the seven pitchers used, except for Bain, pitched for more than one inning in the game, so all will be available if needed throughout the rest of the tournament. The bad news is that Bain once again had a rough outing, allowing three of Lehigh’s five hits and two earned runs.  

The Tigers were led at the plate by Andrew Stevenson (3-for-5), Chris Chinea (2-for-4), Jake Fraley (2-for-5) and Chris Sciambra (1-for-1). Together, these bottom four hitters in the lineup accounted for seven runs and four RBI. Kade Scivicque went 1-for-4 with two RBI and Connor Hale went 1-for-3 with one RBI. Every Tiger in the lineup collected at least one hit, except for Danny Zardon and Alex Bregman, although Bregman did reach base four times after walking twice and getting hit twice. Although the Tigers certainly did what was needed to win convincingly, it was a bit concerning that they left five runners on base through the first three innings while the game was still scoreless. Against a better opponent, those missed opportunities could have been very costly. 

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

Next up for the Tigers is an 8 p.m. contest tonight against the UNCW Seahawks. UNCW advanced in the winners bracket after beating Tulane 10-1 last night. LSU will send freshman ace Alex Lange (10-0, 1.94 ERA) to the mound, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how he handles the big stage. The winner of tonight’s game will advance to the regional title game at tomorrow at 7 p.m. and would have to lose twice (tomorrow and Monday) to not make it to the best-of-three super regional next weekend.

Over in Oklahoma City, the LSU softball team was not as fortunate as they fell to the top-seeded Florida Gators, 4-0 in the Women’s College World Series. With the loss, the Tigers will play tonight at 8 p.m. against the winner of this afternoon’s Alabama-Oregon elimination game. In yesterday’s contest, the Tigers and Gators were locked in a pitchers’ duel until late in the game when Florida scored four unanswered runs. LSU (51-13) was held to just five hits in the game, while Florida (57-6) amassed 10, including two homers. The defending champion Gators also benefited from two Tiger errors to pull away with the win. Carley Hoover (18-6) suffered the loss for LSU, allowing three runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings of work with four walks and four strikeouts. Kelsee Selman entered in relief and pitched 1.1 innings, allowing an unearned run on two hits with a walk and strikeout. For more on the contest, please see this article on LSUSports.net. Here’s hoping, and believing, the Tigers can bounce back tonight and continue their magical season. 

Now, without taking anything away from the LSU baseball and softball teams which are very deserving of Tiger Fans’ attention, let’s continue our countdown to the start of LSU’s football season, which is 98 days away. In today’s installment of our countdown, we’ll kind of piggy-back on yesterday’s topic by looking at a player on the current team who wears No. 98. In case you missed it, yesterday I wrote that LSU’s number of sacks in the previous four years is trending consistently downward, and mentioned that this trend needs to be reversed this season. One player who has the potential to play a big role in making this happen is No. 98, defensive end Deondre Clark. While Clark isn’t projected to be a starting defensive end, he will likely be on the two-deep depth chart, and with the way new defensive line coach Ed Orgeron likes to rotate D-linemen he should see significant playing time. Clark came to LSU as a highly regarded High School All-American and a consensus four-star prospect. As a senior at Douglass High School in Oklahoma City, Clark registered 22 sacks, finishing his prep career with 61 total sacks, which is no small feat. 

And of course we can’t cruise past No. 98 without giving a shout-out to two special former Tigers who wore the number - All American Claude Wroten (2004-05), and inside linebacker Verge Ausberry (1986-89). Wroten was one of the most dominating defensive linemen in school history, and when he lined up alongside fellow All-American defensive tackle Kyle Williams the Tigers’ defensive middle was quite a force to reckon with. As for Ausberry, he was part of two SEC championship Tiger teams and is now Senior Associate Athletic Director at LSU where his responsibilities include supervising of football operations and scheduling. 

Speaking of scheduling, it was announced this week that LSU’s home opener against Auburn on September 19 will be televised by CBS and will kickoff at 2:30 p.m. 

A couple more tidbits in closing: 

• As mentioned in a previous report, LSU will be hosting its annual “Bayou Picnic” recruiting event this weekend.  Here’s an excellent writeup by Hunter Paniagua of scout.com that provides an overview of who will be attending

• Here’s a good read by nola.com on each SEC school receiving a record $31.2 million in revenue distribution from the conference this year. The payout amounted to more than $10 million per school when compared to last year’s distribution, and the increase is due in large part to the SEC Network.

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5/29/15 6:00 am CT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

Coach Beth Torina and her Tiger softball team took care of business yesterday with an impressive 6-1 win over Auburn in the opening game of the College World Series. The Tigers’ win was powered by the outstanding pitching performance of Carley Hoover, who threw a compete game and allowed only one run on six hits. Equally impressive were the Tiger bats that pounded out a WCWS-tying 10 hits, including home runs by Bianka Bell and Kellsi Kloss. As one of my readers put it, the Tigers “got their mojo back” and looked sharp in every aspect of the game. For more on yesterday’s big win, including a scoring recap, please see this article on LSUSports.net.

With the win, the Tigers advance in the winners bracket where they’ll face the Florida Gators tonight at 6 p.m. in a game televised on ESPN2. 

A few other notes about yesterday’s softball win:

The victory marked Coach Torina’s 300th win as a head coach. 

• Bianka Bell’s first inning home run was her team-leading 18th home run of the season, which is an LSU single season record. 

• Emily Griggs matched her career‐high with three hits as part of a 3‐for‐3 performance, making her the third LSU player to ever register three hits in a WCWS game.

As for the LSU baseball team, its road to Omaha begins today in Alex Box Stadium when the Tigers take on Lehigh University at 3 p.m. in the opening round of the Baton Rouge NCAA Regional. The game will be televised by the SEC Network. I know that many of you will be working and unable to watch the game, but if you follow DandyDonLSU on Twitter and can risk taking a peak at your smartphones from time to time, I’ll keep you informed with score updates and occasional comments and stats. 

Yesterday it was announced that LSU sophomore right-hander Alden Cartwright will get the start on the mound today. This will be the Baton Rouge native’s first start of the season and the eighth start of his career at LSU. Even though Cartwright (0-0, 3.79 ERA) doesn’t have a whole lot of starts under his belt, he is no stranger to the big stage, and that’s the reason Mainieri has chosen to go with him as the first of what will likely be several pitchers used today. Cartwright’s second to last start came in last year’s SEC Championship game against Florida, in which he allowed no runs and only one hit in four strong innings of work, but his last start was against Houston in last year’s Regional action and it didn’t go very well. I’m happy that Cartwright is getting this chance today and have the utmost confidence that he’ll be up to the task. 

Lehigh, who punched their ticket to the tournament by winning the Patriot League Tournament, will counter with senior left-hander Nick Macaione (3-4, 2.82 ERA). One thing you can bank on is that the Mountain Hawks (25-29) will be as fired up as can be to face the No. 1 team in the nation in the greatest venue in College Baseball.  If you need help getting fired up for today’s game (I don’t know why you would), here’s a great hype video produced by LSU that should do the trick. Sorry iPhone and iPad users, but the video format used by LSU is not compatible with iOS devices.

One little known tid-bit about Lehigh: It’s the alma mater of LSU director of athletics Joe Alleva, who was the quarterback of the Mountain Hawks football squad and team captain in 1974.

Yesterday Coach Mainieri met with the media after practice and provided the following comments:

On starting the regional…

“I try to make the regional as normal as possible. During the course of the year, I put a lot of pressure on the kids. I try to make them do everything perfect in practice and of course in games. You want them to focus each game because it’s important. I do it so that when we get to the postseason and the regional they don’t have to try harder or do anything out of the ordinary. It’s still the game of baseball. The only thing that is different is that the margin of error is much smaller. You have to take advantage of your scoring opportunities, you can’t make base running mistakes, you’ve got to make big pitches, and you have to make the plays because the stakes are so much higher. If all of a sudden you act differently, then the players get tight. They won’t play as well as they did all year. I’m big about setting a standard every day. They can relax, have fun and play the game like they do.”

On the bullpen bouncing back…

“We sometimes call it the bullpen but it’s actually a bunch of individuals out there. Sometimes guys pitch well and one didn’t pitch well or vice versa. I hate to group them all together and say that they all need a bounce back game. The two games prior to Florida the guys pitched well out of the bullpen. One game doesn’t destroy confidence when they might have pitched subpar. Zac Person has been outstanding all year. He faced two batters and it’s categorized as a poor outing. Jesse Stallings pitched outstanding except for one pitch when he left a changeup, up. He knows and I’ve explained to him that he can’t make that mistake. When a changeup is called he can’t miss it. We’re too late into the season and it could cost the team the season. I think we’re still in the learning phase with some of the guys. I have not lost confidence in any way though. I think that they are all ready to go. I think they’re all going to do a great job for us.”

For quotes from freshman pitcher Alex Lange and junior shortstop Alex Bregman, click here 

Speaking of Lange and Bregman, they are two of four LSU players who received 2015 All-America recognition yesterday from Collegiate Baseball magazine. Lange and Bregman both were named to the first team, while senior catcher Kade Scivicque made the second-team and junior first baseman Chris Chinea was named to the third-team. Congratulations to all the young men on the well deserved recognition. By the way, Bregman is now the sixth two-time first-team All-American in LSU history. The other five are pitcher Ben McDonald, second baseman Todd Walker, first baseman Eddy Furniss, catcher Brad Cresse and pitcher Aaron Nola. 

With the 2015 football season-opener 99 days away, today we’ll continue our countdown by taking a brief look at three Tigers who wore No. 99 - Sam Montgomery, Rydell Melancon, and Oliver Lawrence. What these three men have in common, besides wearing No. 99 for the Tigers, is that they each led their respective Tiger teams in number of sacks. Lawrence holds the LSU single-season sack record with 12 and Melancon holds the LSU career sack record with 25. As for “Sonic Sam” Montgomery, he led the legendary 2011 LSU defense with nine sacks and was a huge factor in LSU recording its best regular season record ever that year (13-0). For his efforts, he was named All-SEC and All-American. (Here are Montgomery’s LSU career video highlights for your enjoyment.)

Throughout this year’s countdown, I will often (not always) try to relate the day’s topic to this year’s season, and that’s what we’ll do today. I mention those three sack leaders because pressuring the quarterback is something last year’s LSU defense didn’t do especially well. In fact, the Tigers’ sack totals have steadily declined over the last three years. LSU had 38 sacks in 2011, 35 in 2012, 27 in 2013, and only 19 last year (half as many as in 2011). This is a trend the Tigers need to buck this year, and with Ed Orgeron coaching the defensive line I am confident they will. In Orgeron’s three years as USC’s defensive line coach, the Trojans averaged 34 sacks per year, and in 2012 they had 45. Coach O has emphasized that the Tigers will pressure opposing quarterbacks more this year, and that’s something I’m looking forward to seeing.

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5/28/15 6:00 am CT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

For the first time since 2012, and just the fourth time in program history, the No. 8 LSU softball team will be on softball’s biggest stage today for the start of the 2015 Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. LSU will meet up with Auburn at 1:30 p.m. in a game televised on ESPN and streamed online via WatchESPN. Coach Beth Torina’s Tigers battled through three elimination games two weeks ago, and swept the Arizona Wildcats last weekend to improve to 6-1 in tournament play to get to where they are today, and now they will be looking to cap this truly historic season with the program’s first national championship. Of course, that’s much easier said than done. On the LSU side of the bracket are many familiar competitors, including Auburn, Florida and Tennessee, while the other side features Alabama, Oregon, Michigan and UCLA. LSU is 5-4 against teams on its side, with series wins against Florida and Tennessee and a series loss to Auburn at the end of the regular season. The eight teams will be pared down to just two through the double-elimination round of the tournament which begins today, and then the three-game championship series will begin Monday. Here’s hoping the Tigers win tonight to remain in the winner’s bracket and give Coach Beth Torina her 300th win as a head coach. 

The LSU baseball team will begin NCAA Tournament Regional play at Alex Box Stadium tomorrow afternoon with a 3:00 contest against LeHigh University. We’ll have much more on this contest tomorrow. For now, I’ll answer a question many of you have posed to me by email, that is: Who is LSU going to pitch in Friday’s game? Although a final decision has not been made, or at least not announced, it appears as though LSU will go with the “Jack Wholestaff” approach and throw several pitchers tomorrow against a Mountain Hawks team that is batting .266 on the season. (And yes, Coach Mainieri usually uses the term “Jack Wholestaff” instead of the more popular “Johnny Wholestaff.”). LeHigh is expected to start senior southpaw Nick Macaione (3-4, 2.82 ERA). 

One more baseball note: LSU will practice this morning at 10:00 at Alex Box Stadium and the practice is open to the public. UNCW will practice at 11:30, Tulane at 1:00 and LeHigh at 2:30. Each practice session lasts about 75 minutes and you’re welcome to watch.

Now moving on to our much-anticipated 100-day countdown to the start of LSU football season! First of all, thanks to all of you who sent suggestions for numbers 100-90. I had a lot of great options to choose from and decided to go with a review of one of the most exciting plays of last year’s season, which happened to come in the last game of the season. Here we go…

For number 100, let’s kick this thing off with a look at the 100-yard kickoff return by Leonard Fournette during LSU’s 31-28 loss to Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl. As I wrote in our daily update the following morning, that loss gave Tiger Fans many reasons for concern, but it also provided many reasons for hope, none of which was greater than the show put on by Fournette. The highly-touted freshmen entered the game needing 112 rushing yards to break LSU’s single-season freshman rushing record, and he reached that milestone in the third quarter on an 89-yard touchdown run. But first, he got the entire Tiger nation buzzing when he tied the game at 14-14 (after PAT) by going the length of the field virtually untouched on this 100-yard kick return, which was the Tigers’ first 100-yard kickoff return since Eric Martin’s in 1983. (You might notice that I put kickoff return in italics; that’s because LSU had another remarkable 100-yard return in 2013 when Odell Beckham, Jr. returned a missed field goal for a touchdown against UAB. That return was actually 109 yards, but was credited as a 100-yarder in the records book.)

With Terrance Magee and Kenny Hilliard no longer at LSU, Fournette should receive a lot more carries this year than he did last year, so it will be interesting to see if LSU still has him returning kicks. [ How do you feel about  it – Should LSU’s Leonard Fournette be used on kick returns this year? Vote in our online poll. ] If Fournette is not used in this capacity, it will be interesting to see who takes his place. One candidate for the role, if not this year than next, is true freshman Donté Jackson who will be joining the team shortly. Since this is “Day 100,” it seems appropriate to mention Jackson and note that he won the state 4A track and field title this year in the 100-meter event with a blazing time of 10.30. As a senior last year for Riverdale High, Jackson was a standout on special teams, averaging 38.8 yards per kickoff return.

In football news, LSU will be entertaining several top recruits this weekend for its annual Bayou Picnic. Many of the Tigers’ top targets are expected to attend the event, including several highly recruited out-of-state prospects and in-state sensations like Michael Divinity, Willie Allen, Kristian Fulton, and Rashard Lawrence. (Here’s a visitors list posted by Jimmy Smith of nola.com.) I wouldn’t be surprised to see LSU land a commitment or two during or shortly after the event. Last year LSU landed a commitment from running back Derrius Guice at the event, and the next day they landed a commitment from 2016 quarterback Feliepe Franks.

While on the topic of football, here’s an article by SaturdayDownSouth.com which breaks down the number of arrests per SEC football team in 2015. Those  of you who follow DandyDonLSU on Twitter have probably already seen it, but if you haven’t I think you’ll be interested in what it depicts. Hint: LSU has had only one arrest (knock on wood), while Alabama leads the conference by a long-shot with 10. 

As I often do, I’ll leave you today with a few closing tidbits:

Congratulations to the Legendary Voice of the Tigers, Jim Hawthorne, for winning the 2015 Chris Schenkel Award, presented annually to an individual with a long and distinguished career in broadcasting with direct ties to a university. As most of you know, Hawthorne, 71, is in the midst of his final season as baseball announcer and will retire after the 2015-16 basketball season. Hawthorne was also recognized by the Louisiana House and Senate yesterday for his years of dedication to our beloved Tigers. I think that was a great gesture by our lawmakers.

• Here’s an article that appeared in the Omaha World Herald earlier this week in which staff writer Steven Pivovar predicts who will make to Omaha for the CWS. LSU is one of his eight selections, and here’s what he has to say about the Tigers: “The Tigers can hit it, pitch it and catch it, ranking in the top 25 in batting average, ERA and fielding percentage. Toss in 112 stolen bases, and this might be one of Paul Mainieri’s most dangerous teams.”

• Last but not least, I’ve updated our Ticket Exchange page.

 

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