NCAA Baseball Championships:
DandyDon is proud to recognize David Toms as a great ambassador of the Tiger Nation.
5/21/13 6:00 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
After winning three games last week including one against UNO and two against Ole Miss before resting the regulars for the series finale, the LSU baseball team moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 in the final regular season Baseball America and USA Today Coaches’ polls. The Tigers gave the voters, and Tiger fans, a lot to be encouraged by in the first two games of the Ole Miss series as Cody Glenn turned in his third consecutive strong outing on Thursday, and then Kurt McCune looked impressive in place of Aaron Nola in Friday's game. As most of you know, Nola was being rested for SEC tournament action, but it looks like he won't see that action until Thursday as Coach Mainieri said in yesterday's press conference that Glenn will get the start in tomorrow's game. According to multiple tweets I saw from the presser, Mainieri also said that Jacoby Jones will not be on the active roster for the SEC tournament because of his hand injury, but should be ready in time for the NCAA tournament. Mason Katz will continue to play second base in Jones’ absense, and in Jones’ place on the active roster will be pitcher Hunter Newman, who could prove to be a valuable addition to the Tiger bullpen.
Speaking of postseason play, the SEC tournament gets underway today when No. 6 seed Ole Miss takes on No. 11 Kentucky at 9:30 a.m. After that game, Hoover will really get jumping as in-state rivals Alabama and Auburn (7th and 10th seeds respectively) take part in their baseball Iron Bowl. LSU will play the winner of that game on Wednesday at about 1:30.
In other baseball news, a couple of congratulations are in order as Mason Katz has been named to the 2013 SEC Baseball Community Service Team and Raph Rhymes was named SEC Player of the Week.
Katz has been the leader of the baseball program’s outstanding community service effort for the past season and has participated in lots of philanthropic efforts such as visiting children’s hospitals and schools in the Baton Rouge area. He also participated in the Buddy Walk in Baton Rouge – the event is conducted to promote awareness and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome – and he attended the Blue Ribbon Soiree to raise funds in the fight against prostate cancer. Katz also annually takes part in the Halloween “Boozar” at LSU, as he and his teammates distribute candy to children in the local community, and served food to the homeless at Thanksgiving. He also helped to conduct youth baseball clinics throughout south Louisiana, and worked as a volunteer with disabled children in the Miracle League, a non-competitive baseball offering for children with physical or mental disabilities. Hats off to Mason Katz for representing LSU with class on and off the baseball field.
Rhymes was named SEC Player of the Week after batting .455 (5-for-11) in last week's four games with one double, two homers and six RBI. His two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning Friday erased a 4-3 Ole Miss lead and lifted the Tigers to a 5-4 victory that clinched the series and allowed LSU to set single-season school records for regular-season wins (48) and SEC wins (23). He also had that very memorable inside-the-park home Thursday night that ended with him flipping over the Ole Miss catcher.
In basketball news, here are a couple of tid-bits: 1) According to Tiger Rag, Malik Morgan has changed his mind and will be returning to LSU for his sophomore season. If true, he could be a big boost for the 2013 Tiger team which is shaping up to be very good. 2) Lady Tiger Theresa Plaisance was one of 12 players selected to lead the USA Basketball Team at the World University Games in Russia. She was one of two SEC players to make the cut, joining Tennessee’s Ariel Massengale. LSU guard Danielle Ballard just missed the team, but she was one of the few freshmen who were selected to tryout.
Before going any further, I'd like to say that I regret not congratulating the UL-Lafayette softball team yesterday for their solid play in the Baton Rouge regional. They have a strong, well-coached softball program and I wish the best of luck as they represent the state of Louisiana in the remainder of the tournament.
In closing, I'd like to remind you that the LSU football season is “only” 102 days away. In a couple of days I will post a countdown clock, and the following day I will start our annual jersey countdown. If you would like to suggest a player for the countdown, please email me his information and be sure to include his jersey number and any interesting facts you may have about him. And on a related note, we are almost ready to replace our old Where Are They Now page with a new and improved database-driven page that will make it easier for you to keep track of former Tigers. The information on the page is entirely “crowd-sourced,” meaning it comes from you, the readers. Once the new system is launched, there will be an online form that you can use to submit information to be included. Lastly, with football season quickly approaching, we'll soon be updating our Ticket Exchange page. Thanks in advance for your help in making these site features a valuable resource for the Tiger Nation.
Reader comments: Scott, please let your readers know that the can vote for Mikie Mahtook as the SEC's All-Time Outfielder. Here's the link to vote.
5/20/13 5:45 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans. I hope you all had a great weekend.
Today I’ll lead with the unfortunate news of the No. 3 national seed LSU softball team (42-16) being eliminated from the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional with a 1-0 loss to UL-Lafayette yesterday. The loss to UL-L (46-13) was the Tigers second in as many days, and in both games the Cajuns took an early first inning lead that the Tigers were unable to overcome. While All-American Tiger pitcher Rachele Fico pitched great in her last outing as a Tiger and only allowed two hits and two walks, LSU was unable to come through with timely hits at the plate and left 10 Tigers on base.
After the game, LSU Coach Beth Torina got emotional when speaking about Fico, as you’ll see in this video by Jaques Doucet, and with good reason. You see, Fico's father is very ill and has been fighting for his life against cancer the entire weekend. For Rachele to be able to go out there and stay focused on the task at hand shows just what an incredible competitor she is, and I know I speak for all of you when I wish her and her family all the best in the very difficult time. To those of you who believe as I do, I ask that you keep the Fico family in your prayers.
In baseball news, the SEC tournament will get underway in Hoover, Alabama tomorrow. As the No. 2 seed, the Tigers get a bye on Day 1 and will not take the field until Wednesday at about 1:30 when they take on the winner of No. 7 and No. 10 Auburn. LSU’s game will be televised by Cox Sports Television. (Please scroll down to yesterday’s report for the full tournament schedule, and click here for the tournament bracket.)
With a record of 48-8 overall and 23-7 in SEC play, the Tigers are entering the tournament with the most wins and most league victories in school history. However, at 48-7 overall and 26-3 SEC, No. 1 seed Vanderbilt’s record is even more impressive. The Commodores lead the SEC with a .319 team batting average, and their second baseman, Tony Kemp, leads the league in hitting with a .408 average. LSU freshman shortstop sensation Alex Bregman leads the SEC in hits (90) and ranks third with a .388 batting average. I’m hoping the Tigers and Commodores meet up in the championship as that would be an outstanding game, but even if they don’t ithere’s a good chance that they could meet up in the NCAA tournament next month. Both teams are projected to be among the eight national seeds, along with North Carolina, Virginia, Cal State Fullerton, Oregon State, Florida State and Louisville. The 64-team NCAA tournament bracket will be announced next Monday, May 27.
I’ll close today with a few recruiting tid-bits: 1) Last week I told you about Parkway quarterback Brandon Harris who has had an extremely impressive spring and really excelled in his team’s scrimmage (check out this scrimmage highlights video that I mentioned Saturday if you haven’t already), and yesterday he saw his stock rise quite a bit as he climbed 143 spots in 247Sports rankings and is now listed as the top dual-threat quarterback in the country. I've also moved him up from No. 15 to No. 11 on my list of Top Louisiana Football Prospects for 2014. 2) 5-star outside linebacker Clifton Garrett (6'2", 228, Plainfield, Illinois) has reportedly affirmed that LSU is at the top of his list at this time, but that he will probably not make a decision until later this fall. As most of you recruitniks already know, Garrett visited Alabama on April 19 and then visited LSU the very next day and left much more impressed with the Tigers (which is always music to my ears). 3) Here's an article about Darcy Malone, the Australian seven-footer who’s looking to follow Shaq’s footsteps and boost the LSU basketball program.
5/19/13 6:10 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
The LSU baseball team lost to Ole Miss yesterday, 11-9, in an unusual game in which Coach Paul Mainieri rested his regular starters and gave his reserves a chance to shine in their last game of the regular season. Other than the pitching staff, seniors Mason Katz and Raph Rymes were the only “regulars’ who saw action in the game, and that was just for a cameo appearance in the first inning. The two went out to their spots in the top of the 2nd inning, and then exited to a standing ovation. The Tiger “reserves” played their hearts out and collected 15 hits in an error-free effort, which should have been more than enough to win, but LSU's pitching just fell short.
In a game that was expected to be a pitchers’ dual, Ole Miss ace Bobby Wahl was driven from the mound after giving up six earned runs on six hits in only 2.2 innings of play. The outing was the shortest of Wahl’s season, and the six earned runs, which all came in the 3rd inning, were more than he had given up in any game all season. Ryan Eades got the start for LSU but lasted only four innings after allowing five earned runs on seven hits. The Tigers sent three relief pitchers to the mound – Brent Bonvillain, Kevin Berry and Hunter Newman – who gave up a combined six runs on seven hits. Berry was hit particularly hard and allowed three runs on four hits in just two-thirds of an inning. While I still feel very good about LSU's chances of success in postseason play, they will need better pitching than they were able to muster yesterday in order to reach their goals.
The Tigers were led at the plate by Casey Yocum, Tyler Moore, Chris Chinea, Jared Foster, and pitcher Nate Fury who played second base in yesterday’s game. Yocum went 4-for-5 with three RBI, Moore went 2-for-3 with one RBI, Chinea went 2-for-4 with one RBI, Foster went 1-for-4 with two RBI, and Fury went 2-for-4.
Here's a brief scoring summary: Ole took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on the first of four Rebel home runs. LSU answered loudly in the third by erupting for seven runs off of RBI singles from Chris Sciambra, Alex Edward, Moore and Yocom. Foster added an RBI double, and Chinea provided another run on a sacrifice fly to give LSU a comfortable 7-2 lead. The Rebels answered with a three-run homer in the fourth to cut the Tigers' lead to two runs, 7-5. LSU added a pair of runs in the sixth with a fielder’s choice and another RBI single from Yocom, but Ole Miss would counter again with a pair of home runs to make the make the final score 11-9.
After finishing the regular season with the most wins and most league victories in school history, LSU (48-8, 23-7 SEC) now moves on to the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama to face either Auburn or Alabama at approximately 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. Below are the tournament seedings and schedule, and here's the full tournament bracket.
SEC Tournament Seeding
1. Vanderbilt (.897)
2. LSU (.767)
3. Arkansas (.621)
4. South Carolina (.586)
5. Mississippi State (.533)
6. Ole Miss (.500)
7. Alabama (.483)
8. Florida (.467)
9. Texas A&M (.448)
10. Auburn (.433)
11. Kentucky (.367)
12. Missouri (.333)
SEC Tournament Schedule
Tuesday, May 21
Game 1 - 9:30 a.m. - #6 Ole Miss vs. #11 Kentucky [FSN]
Game 2 - TBD - #7 Alabama vs. #10 Auburn [FSN]
Game 3 - 4:30 p.m. - #8 Florida vs. #9 Texas A&M [CSS]
Game 4 - TBD - #5 Mississippi State vs. #12 Missouri [CSS]
Wednesday, May 22
Game 5 - 9:30 a.m. - #3 Arkansas vs. Winner Game 1 [CSS]
Game 6 - TBD - #2 LSU vs. Winner Game 2 [CSS]
Game 7 - 4:30 p.m. - #1 Vanderbilt vs. Winner Game 3 [CSS]
Game 8 - TBD - #4 South Carolina vs. Winner Game 4 [CSS]
Thursday, May 23
Game 9 - 9:30 a.m. - Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6 [SPSO]
Game 10 - TBD - Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8 [SPSO]
Game 11 - 4:30 p.m. - Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6 [SPSO]
Game 12 - TBD - Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8 [SPSO]
Friday, May 24
Game 13 - 3:00 p.m. - Winner Game 9 vs. Loser Game 11 [CSS]
Game 14 - TBD - Winner Game 10 vs. Loser 12 [CSS]
Saturday, May 25
Game 15 - Noon - Winner Game 13 vs. Winner Game 11 [ESPNEWS]
Game 16 - TBD - Winner Game 14 vs. Winner Game 12 [ESPNEWS]
Sunday, May 26
Game 17 - 3:30 p.m. - Winner Game 15 vs. Winner Game 16 [ESPN2]
All Times Central
FSN - Fox Sports South, Sun Sports, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Houston
SPSO - SportSouth, Sun Sports, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Houston
CSS - Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast
In softball news, after defeating Central Connecticut 3-2 on Friday, the No. 9 national seed Tigers were handed a 3-0 defeat by No. 21 UL-Lafayette yesterday and then bounced back with an 11-0 win over Central Connecticut to stay alive in the NCAA regional at Tiger Park. The Tigers will have to beat UL-L twice today to advance to the Super Regional. The first game will start at 1 p.m. with Tiger ace Rachele Fico on the mound.
Lastly, I have been making progress on converting our Where Are They Now page to a more user-friendly database format and should be able to launch the new version by mid-week. Once it's launched, I'll solicit your help in updating the very old information, which hasn't been revised in several years. Also, football season is just 104 days away, so that means I'll be starting our annual jersey countdown in a few days. If you have a former Tiger football player that you would like to suggest for the countdown, please email me his information and be sure to include his jersey number. I appreciate your help!
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.