dandydons-lsu-sporting-news
don-scott-dandydon-lsu


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.

FONT SIZE:

font-up font-down

3/31/15 5:50 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

After losing last weekend’s series to Kentucky (the Tigers’ first home series loss since April of 2013), the LSU baseball team took a dip in the polls, as expected. The Tigers are now ranked as high as No. 2 by Perfect Game and as low as No. 5 by Collegiate Baseball and D1Baseball.com. Baseball America has the Tigers at No. 3 and the USA Today Coaches Poll has LSU at No. 4. 

The Tigers have a busy week ahead of them, starting with today’s trip to Zephyr Field in Metairie to take on UL-Lafayette in the annual Wally Pontiff, Jr. Classic. The game starts at 7 p.m. and will be televised by Cox Sports Television. It can also be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network (98.1 in Baton Rouge). After that, the Tigers have a tough road series at Alabama on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

LSU (23-5, 5-4) enters tonight’s game with a league best .330 batting average, 24 homers and 44 steals in 60 attempts. Despite losing two of four games last week, LSU swung the bat very well and went 59-for-173 (.341) at the plate with 10 doubles, three triples, five homers, and 34 runs. (An example of how wacky a week it was is that two of the home runs were inside-the-park homers, which are very rare in college baseball.) Andrew Stevenson batted .421 (8-for-19) in four games with two doubles and four runs scored, and Jared Foster was 6-for-18 (.333) with two doubles, two homers, six RBI and four runs. Foster now leads the team in homers with seven on the season, and is third in RBI with 24. Jake Fraley also had an outstanding week at the plate, batting .353 (6-for-17) with one double, seven RBI and three runs scored. Speaking of Fraley, Coach Mainieri confirmed yesterday that his hamstring injury is not as bad as first expected and that he could return to action as early as this weekend for the Alabama series. 

UL-Lafayette (15-10, 7-4) is not having the kind of season they had last year, but they are still a very formidable opponent and you know they’ll be as fired up as can be to play LSU. The Cajuns are batting .281 as a team with 15 homers and 34 steals in 54 attempts. They’re led at the plate by shortstop Blake Trahan, who is hitting .385 with 10 doubles, one homer and 14 RBI. Catcher Nick Thurman is hitting .341 with eight doubles, two triples, one homer and 15 RBI, while second baseman Stefan Trosclair is batting .319 with seven doubles, one homer and 11 RBI. LSU leads the all-time series with UL-Lafayette, 49-24, and has won 10 of the last 15 meetings between the two schools, although the Cajuns posted a 4-1 win over the Tigers last season in Baton Rouge.

Here’s the pitching matchup for tonight’s game:

LSU – Sr. LHP Kyle Bouman (0-1, 8.31 ERA, 8.2 IP, 5 BB, 10 SO)
ULL – So. LHP Connor Toups (1-1, 1.00 ERA, 9.0 IP, 0 BB, 6 SO) 

I hope that those of you within driving distance to Zephyr Field will head out there tonight to show your support for the Wally Pontiff, Jr. Foundation and commemorate a special Tiger. For those of you who are not familiar with the story of Wally Pontiff, Jr., I’ll give you the very brief version here so you’ll know what tonight is all about. My hope is that those of you who are familiar with the story don’t mind being reminded of it again. In my opinion, it’s a story worth repeating, and the Wally Pontiff, Jr. Foundation is an organization worth supporting.

Wally Pontiff, Jr. was an All-SEC third baseman and captain of the 2002 LSU team who left this world far too soon due to a mysterious, previously undiagnosed heart abnormality that took him in his sleep. Pontiff, Jr. was not only a remarkable ball player; he was also an honor roll student (3.25 GPA Pre-Med) and a great young man who inspired his teammates. The Wally Pontiff, Jr. Classic is not only a baseball game, it is also a memorial service, and a way to support the Wally Pontiff, Jr. Foundation which funds an LSU baseball scholarship and aids many worthy organizations. If you've got a few minutes, please check out this video tribute to Wally Pontiff, Jr. that ESPN aired during it's coverage of the 2007 CWS.

The LSU softball team also returns to action this evening as they’ll host the ULM Warhawks at 6 p.m. at Tiger Park. The game will be streamed live online on SEC Network+ through WatchESPN for desktops, mobile devices, tablets and streaming devices. LSU enters the week 32-3 on the season and 6-3 in SEC play, coming off of a weekend similar to their male counterparts in which the Tigers dropped their first series of the year to the Kentucky Wildcats. After struggling through the first two games, the Tigers regrouped to take the finale and are hoping to ride some of that momentum into another week of action with ULM today and Ole Miss this weekend.

Here’s a look at this week’s LSU Sports TV Viewing Schedule:

Monday, March 30
Gymnastics - SEC Gymnastics Championship (replay) - SEC Network, 8 p.m. 

Tuesday, March 31        
Softball - LSU vs. Louisiana-Monroe (Live) - SEC Network+, 6 p.m.
Baseball - LSU vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (Live) - CST, 7 p.m.
Football - LSU Pro Day (replay) - SEC Network, 9 p.m. 

Thursday, April 2
Gymnastics - SEC Championship (replay) - SEC Network, 6 a.m.
Gymnastics - SEC Championship (replay) - SEC Network, 9 a.m.
Baseball - LSU at Alabama (Live) - SEC Network+, 7 p.m. 

Friday, April 3
Softball - LSU vs. Ole Miss (Live) - SEC Network+, 6 p.m.
Baseball - LSU at Alabama (Live) - SEC Network+, 7 p.m. 

Saturday, April 4
Softball - LSU vs. Ole Miss Game 2 (Live) - SEC Network+, 2 p.m.
Baseball - LSU vs. Alabama (Live) - SEC Network+, 2 p.m.
Softball - LSU vs. Ole Miss Game 3 (Live) - SEC Network+, 4:30 p.m.
Football - Heisman Winners of SEC - SEC Network, 9 p.m. 

While you’re marking your calendars, be sure to note that LSU football’s National L-Club Spring Game, which will be played on Saturday, April 18 in Tiger Stadium, will kickoff at 1 p.m (not at 2 p.m. as previously reported). And if you’re making plans to attend the Spring Game, please note that there are several events taking place on campus that day, so you might just want to make a day of it. Here’s what’s scheduled to take place that day:

All Day - LSU track hosts Alumni Gold Meet (Bernie Moore Stadium – FREE)
11 a.m. - Rock n’ Roar Block Party (North Stadium Drive – FREE)
1 p.m. - Kickoff – National L Club Spring Game (Tiger Stadium – FREE)
6 p.m. - LSU softball vs. Texas A&M (Tiger Park – LSUtix.net)

The LSU football team will return to practice today and I plan on riding out there to shoot some video and give you a first-hand report. I know that a lot of you would like to see video of drills other than the Big Cat, and believe me I would, too. Unfortunately, that’s about all I’ve been able to get in the previous practices I’ve attended. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the media is allowed a little more today, and I can assure you I’ll keep my camera rolling as long as I’m allowed. 

A few tidbits in closing:

If you like following LSU recruiting as much as I do, you’ll enjoy this great compilation of videos by 247Sports of several LSU targets and commits working out in last weekend’s Nike Opening Regional Qualifier in New Orleans.  

• Last week I mentioned a report of former LSU cornerback Rashard Robinson returning to LSU this fall in hopes of rejoining the team in 2016. Yesterday this Instagram post by Patrick Peterson seemed to back that up. In this article by nola.com Jim Kleinpeter says that Robinson could be allowed to enroll at LSU this fall but would be ineligible to play in the 2015 season. If he fulfills all academic and other requirements, he would be allowed to rejoin the team in 2016.

• Last but not least, I’ve updated our Ticket Exchange with several new listings. 

Reader Comments: Hey Scott, it looks like LSU has a tough schedule ahead. Nearly half of their opponents in 2015 are in the preseason Top 25. Anyway, I thought your readers would find this interesting: LSU Tigers 2015 Schedule and Analysis, by Athlon Sports.

FONT SIZE:

font-up font-down

3/30/15 5:40 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

It was a tough weekend for LSU baseball as the No. 1 ranked Tigers dropped the rubber match to Kentucky, 10-12 in 11 innings, to lose their first series of the season. With the loss, the Tigers fell to 23-5 overall and 5-4 in conference play. 

Just like in Game 1, it would be easy to point to a single bizarre play in yesterday’s game as the reason for the loss, but that would be over-simplifying things. The play I’m talking about, of course, was when Kentucky tied the game up in the ninth inning on the strangest inside-the-park home run I’ve ever seen. (See video.) The Tigers were one out from victory when Jared Foster misplayed a ball in left-field which allowed the ball to get past him, and then Alex Bregman, who ran down the ball, lost his footing and was unable to recover in time to throw the runner out at home. Yes, that was very unfortunate, but I don’t attribute the loss to that play. No, in yesterday’s case the Tigers pitching staff just didn’t get the job done as they allowed 12 runs on 19 hits.

Freshman Jake Godfrey got the start for the Tigers and was chased after only 1.2 innings, and that’s what I find most disturbing about the loss. Godfrey had looked outstanding all season up to the second inning of yesterday’s game, and at that point it looked like the Wildcats figured out that if they come out swinging on the first pitch they could get to the freshman who was throwing almost exclusively fastballs over the plate on the first pitch in an attempt to get ahead in the count. After allowing a home run and three straight singles on first pitches, Godfrey attempted to start batters off with a breaking pitch, but had trouble locating it effectively and things quickly escalated with a walk, a sac fly and an RBI single to make it a 4-0 ballgame. Collectively, LSU’s bullpen didn’t fare much better as they gave up 13 hits and eight runs in the loss. Now, before you get too down on LSU’s pitching staff, let me remind you that it has been very good overall this year, and LSU has one of the best pitching coaches in the nation in Alan Dunn. Series like this one are just part of the game of baseball, and even the best teams have them. I remain confident that the Tigers’ pitching will be fine. It’s also worth noting one positive in yesterday’s pitching performance: Sophomore Hunter Newman and freshman Austin Bain combined for five innings of one-run baseball and allowed only a pair of hits. 

Aside from the pitching, the Tigers did enough to win the game as they had 15 hits, including two home runs. The Tigers were led at the plate by Foster, Mark Laird, and Hale, who each went 2-for-5 with 2 RBI. Defensively, the Tigers played error-free ball, statistically speaking, but there were a few very significant plays that the defense should have made that weren’t ruled errors. 

Here’s the game’s boxscore, and here’s a brief scoring recap: After falling behind 4-0 in the second inning, LSU answered in the bottom of the third with two runs. Chris Chinea led off the inning with a double and scored on Jake Fraley’s two-out single. Laird followed with an infield single before pinch-runner Kramer Robertson scored on an error by Kentucky’s pitcher. The Tigers exploded for four runs in the fifth to take the lead. Foster hit a two-run homer over the left field fence to tie the game, and then Robertson followed with a triple off the wall and later scored on a fielding error. Hale added the sixth run with a solo home run to left field, his fourth dinger of the season. Kentucky responded with a run in the top of the seventh on an RBI double to make it 6-5. LSU once again responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning, all coming with two outs. Robertson scored from second on a throwing error, and Kade Scivicque doubled to the gap in right-center field to score Hale and give the Tigers an 8-5 lead. In the top of the eighth, reliever Collin Strall gave up back-to-back hits and was replaced by Zac Person. Person hit the first batter he faced to load the bases. Kentucky followed with a 2-RBI single, and two fielder’s choice RBIs to regain the lead, 9-8. LSU scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to get bak on top, 10-9, as Chris Sciambra and Foster singled to right and left field, respectively. Laird singled up the middle to score Sciambra and Bregman followed with a sac fly. Kentucky pulled off an improbable rally in the top of the ninth inning on the bizarre inside-the park home run I mentioned earlier. LSU threatened in the bottom of the ninth after Chinea hit a one-out double to left field, but Kentucky reliever Spencer Jack settled in to strike out Foster and Sciambra to push the game into extra innings. Kentucky took the lead for good in the top of the 11th inning on a lead-off solo home run and a two-out RBI single to make the score 12-10. 

One more tidbit about the game: In the third inning, Jake Fraley hit a double and pulled a hamstring muscle on the way to second base. The good news is that Fraley tweeted later in the afternoon that it was nothing serious and that he would be back “in a couple days.” 

The Tigers will look to get back on track when they take on UL-Lafayette (15-10, 7-4) tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Metairie for the annual Wally Pontiff Jr. Classic. The game will be televised by CST. Look for more on that matchup in tomorrow’s update.

Oddly enough, the No. 1 LSU softball team also suffered a gut-wrenching series loss to Kentucky this weekend, although they did win yesterday’s series finale, 2-0. After being unable to capitalize on opportunities Friday and Saturday, the Tigers (32-3, 6-3 SEC) outhit the Wildcats 7-2 yesterday and were the beneficiaries of four Kentucky (23-9, 3-6) errors. For more on that game, please see this article on LSUSports.net. LSU returns home to host its next four games, beginning with a non-conference matchup against the UL-Monroe Warhawks tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge. The game will be streamed (online only) on SEC Network+.

The LSU football team will return to practice tomorrow and Thursday before taking off for spring break. I plan on making the trip out there for one of the two practices this week to shoot some video and report on what I see, but as of now I’m not sure which day it will be. 

In closing, please note that I will be updating our ticket exchange later today, so if you have any LSU tickets for sale be sure to email me the information. 

 

FONT SIZE:

font-up font-down

3/29/15 5:58 am CT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

The LSU baseball team bounced back from Friday’s loss with a 7-3 win over Kentucky last night to even the series at one game apiece. The rubber game of the series will be played today at 11 a.m. Freshman right-hander Jake Godfrey will get the start for the Tigers, and Kentucky will counter with junior right-hander Kyle Cody. The game will be available online only via SEC Network+ and can be accessed at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. It will also be broadcast live on LSU Radio Network affiliates, including 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge.

Freshman right-hander Alex Lange got the start for LSU last night and was once again spectacular. Lange lasted seven innings (116 pitches), allowed one run (unearned) on six hits, and matched his career-high in strikeouts with 13. Zac Person and Alden Cartwright each allowed one run in one inning of relief and allowed a combined five hits.

The Tigers collected 12 hits in the game, and every batter in LSU’s starting lineup had at least one hit. With the game tied 2-2 in the eighth inning, Chris Chinea lined a ball into centerfield that got “lodged” under a pipe at the base of the fence, but it was clearly retrievable. At first, the play was ruled a ground-rule double, but then Coach Mainieri stormed the field and vehemently argued that LSU’s ground rules (which were reviewed before the game and are posted in the dugouts) state that when this happens the ball is still live. Remarkably, the ruling was reversed, resulting in a 3-RBI inside-the-park home run for Chinea. Two batters later, Jared Foster smashed a 2-run homer over the left-field wall to give LSU added insurance.

Here are the game’s video highlights and boxscore

Unfortunately, the No. 1 LSU softball team suffered its second consecutive loss to No. 16 Kentucky in Lexington, this time by a score of 5-2. LSU entered the series with only one loss in 32 games and were swinging the bat better than any team in the country, but in the last two games they haven’t been able to get the timely hit and have left a combined 16 runners on base. For more on yesterday’s game, please see this article

Now turning to football, LSU held its third closed practice of the spring yesterday, and according to Coach Miles it was the strongest outing yet for the offense. I know that many of you are most interested in how the quarterbacks did (so I am), so we’ll start with that. After the first scrimmage of the spring, Miles gave Brandon Harris the edge, and after the second one he said Anthony Jennings had the better outing. After yesterday’s scrimmage, Miles wasn’t as specific, but the stats he dished out seem to indicate that Jennings had the better day. Jennings passed for 200 yards and four touchdowns while completing “eight or nine” of 14 throws. Harris, on the other hand, completed 10-12 passes (at first Miles said “a handful” but then he quantified that by saying he has big hands and it was probably 10-12) in 22 attempts and “played pretty well overall.” No yardage was specified. In this article, Miles was quoted as saying, “We want to find a real quality quarterback and have separation from one to the other. That’s what I’m looking for. I’m not necessarily seeing that. Certainly Anthony Jennings has probably performed better more days, and other days its Brandon Harris.” 

Below are a few more scrimmage stats and key points that I gathered from Coach Miles’ post-scrimmage chat with the media, and here’s the official press release on the scrimmage as sent out by LSU’s Sports Information Department:

• D.J. Chark continues to have a big spring and once again led all receivers. Chark caught a 70-yard TD pass on the first possession of the game and ended the game with 99 receiving yards and a score.

• Miles also praised wide receiver Trey Quinn, calling him “very competitive.” Quinn had two catches for 35 yards and a pair of TDs.

• Tight end Jacory Washington had two catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.

• Leonard Fournette continues to have an impressive spring, rushing for 100-plus yards and a touchdown. Miles said that Darrel Williams, “ran hard” and finished with 55 yards. As for the fullback position, Miles said JD Moore is doing a really good job.

• Defensively, Miles singled out linebacker Deion Jones (six tackles and pair of sacks), Duke Riley (7 tackles), Jamal Adams (6 tackles, 1 sack), Sione Teuhema (6 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 TD). He also said Kendell Beckwith made some real significant speed plays. 

• Miles said Christian LaCouture and Devon Godchaux are the top defensive tackles, as expected, and added that Greg Gilmore is currently No. 3. Quentin Thomas hasn’t been practicing this spring in order to fully heal from a few nagging injuries, but should be good to go in the fall.

• Miles said they will be looking at freshman Donte Jackson as a return man when he reports in August. Travin Dural and TréDavious White are currently working as punt returners. 

In football recruiting news, several of LSU’s top targets participated at the New Orleans Regional Nike Opening yesterday. I spoke to a friend who attended the event and was told that LSU 2016 commits Donavaughn Campbell (OT, 6-5, 340, Ponchatoula, No. 11 on our list of Top LA Prospects) and Stephen Sullivan (ATH, 6-6, 230, No. 5) were extremely impressive. Campbell showed that he’s extremely light on his feet for a young man of 340 pounds, and Sullivan is an extremely well put together athlete at 6-6, 230 pounds. Sullivan was working as a receiver and making several spectacular catches, but has the frame to add 20-30 pounds and be an elite defensive end. LSU commits Clifford Chattman (2016, LB/S, 6-5, 190, McDonogh 35, No. 19),  Jamal Pettigrew (2016, TE, 6-6, 218, St. Augustine, No. 18 ) and Dylan Moses (2017, LB/RB, 6-2, 220, University Lab) were also at the event, although I didn’t get much feedback on them. Evidently Moses did very well as he and Sullivan were two of three Louisiana prospects who earned invitations to the Opening Finals in Oregon later this summer. The other in-state prospect to earn an invitation was Kriston Fulton (CB, 6-0, 165, Rummel, No. 9). 

As I usually do on Sundays, I’ll leave you today with a couple of good reads to go along with your Sunday morning coffee:

Miles wanted to keep Chavis, but had changes in mind

Rabalais: His resilience on display, Anthony Jennings won’t give up LSU’s starting quarterback job without a fight

Reader Comments: I remember you and others saying LSU should not pursue Jonathan Taylor, the big D-tackle who was kicked off of the Georgia team and then signed with Alabama. Looks like y’all were right. He was arrested again last night for domestic violence. Glad Miles passed on him.

 

Continue Browsing Reports

 

Continue Browsing Reports

 

 

 

 

This web site is not officially affiliated with Louisiana State University. Opinions expressed herein are the property of Donald Long, Scott Long and friends, not Louisiana State University.