5/3/15 5:50 am CST
Good Morning, Tiger Fans,
Congratulations are in order for three more Tigers – Danielle Hunter, Kwon Alexander, and Kenny Hilliard – who were selected in yesterday’s final rounds of the 2015 NFL draft. With these three and Jalen Collins, who was selected in the first round on Friday, LSU had a total of four players drafted. This brings the school’s total number of players drafted during the Les Miles era to 64, which ranks second nationally behind USC. The four LSU players selected, however, were also the fewest in any draft since 2005.
Below is a status update on every Tiger that was either drafted or has signed a free agent deal:
Round 2 (42nd overall), Atlanta Falcons
Round 3 (88th overall), Minnesota Vikings
Round 4 (124th overall), Tampa Bay
Round 7 (235th overall), Houston Texans
Signed a free agent contract with the Baltimore Ravens
Signed a free agent contract with the Tennessee Titans
Notably absent from the list above is LSU’s La’el Collins who just a few days ago was a lock to go in the first round. As most of you know by now, Collins’ draft stock plummeted when news broke of police wishing to speak with him concerning the death of his ex-girlfriend Brittney Mills. Collins was not drafted, and at this point his future is uncertain. If he would have been drafted but not signed, he could have reentered the 2016 draft, but because Collins was not drafted at all, he has exhausted his NFL draft eligibility and will likely have to rely on free agency to make it to the NFL. Collins is reportedly scheduled to meet with police in Baton Rouge on Monday.
One more NFL draft tidbit: For the ninth consecutive season, the SEC had by far the most players drafted of any conference (54). The next highest was the ACC with 47. Here’s a breakdown of SEC schools by draft selection:
Mississippi St.: 5
South Carolina: 4
Texas A&M: 2
Ole Miss: 1
In baseball news, LSU lost game 3 of the series at Mississippi State, 8-7 in 12 innings. The game was a great one in which the Tigers rallied in the ninth to tie the game and send it to extra innings, and it ended on a controversial call when centerfielder Mark Laird appeared to throw out MSU’s Jake Vickerson at home plate but the runner was ruled safe. I heard from a lot of you after the game who were upset about the call (I was too), but the Tigers can’t blame the loss on that one play. LSU had several opportunities to score more runs, but stranded a total of 13 runners, including three in scoring position during extra innings.
Freshman Austin Bain got the start for the Tigers and struggled. In two innings of work, Bain gave up two runs on four hits with two walks and one strikeout. Russell Reynolds relieved Bain in the third and gave up two runs in 1.2 innings of work while allowing two hits, walking one and striking out one. Collin Strall, Jake Godfrey and Parker Bugg pitched the final 7.2 innings and combined to allow four runs on seven hits. The most encouraging thing I saw from LSU’s bullpen was the pitching of Bugg. In the final 3.2 innings, Bugg held the Bulldogs scoreless on two hits with four strikeouts until the final batter of the night singled up the middle for the walk-off win.
Offensively, the Tigers out-hit the Bulldogs 15-13 and were led at the plate by Chris Chinea who went 4-for-5 with four RBI. Three other Tigers had at least two hits in the game – Kade Scivicque, Connor Hale and Alex Bregman - but perhaps the biggest hits of the game came from the bats of Bregman and Chinea in the ninth inning. Bregman’s clutch single with two outs kept the game going and then a few batters later Chinea followed with a 2-RBI single to tie it at 7-7.
Here is the game’s boxscore, (there were no LSU video highlights posted) and here’s what Coach Mainieri had to say about the contest: “It’s extremely difficult to sweep an SEC series, especially on the road, and I thought we competed very hard, especially in the ninth, to keep the game going. That comeback was tremendous, and it demonstrated the resolve of our team. Unfortunately, we had some opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on, and we fell short today. We had won nine straight SEC road games until today, which is an amazing accomplishment. The loss doesn’t diminish the fact that we won our seventh SEC series in eight weekends, and we’re right where we want to be with two weeks to go in the regular season.”
The Tigers now have a long break before playing their final home series of the regular season this weekend against top-20 Missouri. LSU does not have a mid-week game this week because of final exams.
Unfortunately, the No. 6 LSU softball team didn’t fare any better than its male counterpart yesterday as the Tigers lost to No. 8 Auburn, 1-0. After being held to just two hits in Friday’s loss, LSU outhit Auburn 5-1 in Game 2 but stranded 10 runners on base and found it tough to get anything going with runners on. Freshman Allie Walljasper (13-4) suffered the loss, but turned in one of her most dominant performances while holding the powerful Auburn offense to only one hit with three strikeouts and two walks. Walljasper had a no-hitter through 3.2 innings before giving up Auburn’s first and only hit. The series finale between LSU and Auburn is set for a 2 p.m. today at Tiger Park and the game will be televised by ESPN.
That’s it for now, folks. Have a great day, and thanks to all of you who commented on the garden pics I posted yesterday.