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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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5/28/15 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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5/27/15 5:50 am CT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

Up until yesterday, the football offseason had been remarkably unremarkable in terms of off-the-field incidents, which is a good thing, but that changed when news broke of LSU offensive tackle Jevonte Domond being arrested for domestic violence. According to reports like this one from the Advocate, Domond was arrested Monday after he allegedly grabbed his fiancée “from behind by the neck” and also ”slammed her on the couch.” What’s worse is that this apparently took place in the company of their newborn baby. According to reports, Coach Les Miles has stated that Domond has been suspended from the team, and that the kind of behavior Domond is accused of will not be tolerated. You may recall that Domond, a junior from Glendale, Arizona, was  one of several players given the Alvin Roy Fourth Quarter Award this spring for Outstanding Performance in LSU’s Off-season Program, and was one of several players designated as “Most Improved.”

With our 100-day countdown to the start of football season and the Women’s College World Series both starting tomorrow, and the NCAA Baseball Tournament starting Friday, I thought today would be great time to sneak in another mini Mail Call to address a half-dozen comments and questions I’ve received lately before news starts picking up. Every time I post one of these they are well received and I’m asked to do it more often, so I’ll gladly oblige today. I hope you find it interesting and informative. Here we go…

DandyDon Mail Call - May 27, 2015

Reader Comments: Scott, what is that motion LSU players make after an extra-base hit, when he batter twirls both hands on the side of his head?

My Response: I have been told the motion means something like “the pitcher must be crazy to pitch to me.” The Tigers have hit 202 extra-base hits this season, so we’ve seen that gesture quite often. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more of it in the next month. 

Reader Comments: Dear Scott, I was trying to remember the team several years ago that LSU beat in the Regional in a very close game. The fans wanted them to take a lap around the old Alex Box. Their Coach Was so moved by the response. He wrote a letter about the experience and the class act LSU fans are.

My Response: The team you’re referring to was UNC Wilmington Seahawks, and the letter came after LSU defeated them in the 2003 Regional. Interestingly, UNCW is in LSU’s regional again this year. That was definitely a class act by the greatest of college baseball fans.

Reader Comments: Scott, Thanks for another newsy daily post. I read the salary facts and was blown away that Nicky Caldwell makes more money than Paul Mainieri. Paul would have to win the National Championship to pass her.  He is underpaid or she is overpaid, one of the two. Just saying!

My Response: I agree and felt the same way when I read that. 

Reader Comments: Scott, you might want to put a note up that anybody planning to come to OKC (Softball World Series) needs to prepare for WET, STORMY weather! It has been raining very hard for about 3 weeks with flash flooding and we are in the middle of a very active tornado season! Plus the weather has been unseasonably cool. The forecast is for more of the same all through the tournament. 

If anyone is coming in their RV's they need to make sure they stay someplace that has a shelter and if tornado warnings are posted, GET THERE AND STAY THERE UNTIL THE ALL CLEAR IS GIVEN! If they are staying in a hotel be sure to check with the staff about what tornado procedures they have. And don't try to outrun one or drive through water on the road.

I don't want to alarm anyone or discourage anyone from coming but this has been a very unusual year in OKC as far as the weather is concerned and I want people to be prepared and safe.

Hope everyone has a great trip and the Tigers go deep into the tourney, all the way to the top!

My Response: I appreciate the info and I’ll pass it along, but you know good and well a little stormy weather won’t keep Tiger fans away! At this time of the year especially, I wouldn’t want to be a weatherman as things can change in a heartbeat. I hope Tiger fans will tun out in full force to cheer on Coach Beth Torina and the softball team. 

Reader Comments: Scott, any word on LSU quarterback commit Feliepe Franks of Florida? I know you’ve said he’s a helluva baseball prospect and a possible pro risk. Any word on how he’s doing this season? 

My Response: Actually, I’ve looked online but haven’t found any stats on how he’s doing this year in baseball. (I’ll post this in our Mail Call and maybe a DandyDon reader can fill us in.) I can tell you this though: He appears to be “all in” for playing both football AND baseball at LSU. In fact, he just participated in the Steve Clarkson Trendsetters Football Camp, and according to scout.com he was one of the most impressive performers out there and won the “deep ball competition” with a 78-yard toss. Here’s the article with video. I can’t wait to see this young man in the purple and gold!

That’s just about it for today, but here are few closing tidbits:

Here’s a video of the Killer B’s – LSU basketball signees Ben Simmons and Antonio Blakeney – putting in work in preparation for the much-anticipated 2015-16 LSU basketball season.  All I can say is what a workout. I’m feeling sore just having watched it. 

• Congratulations are in order for LSU softball senior utility player Dylan Supak who was named the winner of the Elite 89 Award, which is given to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's 89 championships. A kinesiology graduate, the LaGrange, Texas, native maintained a 4.0 grade point average and received her degree earlier this month, while also participating with the team in the 2015 SEC Softball Tournament in Baton Rouge. The accolade is one of many for Supak, who was also named a CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District first team selection this season. During her tenure at LSU, Supak has been named to the SEC First-Year Honor Roll, a two-time Academic All-SEC selection and an NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete. 

• Thank all of you who sent me suggestions for the football countdown’s numbers 90-100. So far I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I’ll write about for each of those numbers except 96, so if you have thoughts on that one please let me know. It all gets underway tomorrow, so stay tuned.

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5/26/15 5:50 am CT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

As many of you know by now, the LSU baseball team was named the No. 2 national seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament which gets underway this Friday. Like many of you I heard from yesterday, I feel like LSU was certainly deserving of the No. 1 seed, and it would have been nice to see LSU recognized as such for the first time in program history, but quite frankly it makes no difference at all. What’s important is that LSU is a top-8 National Seed, meaning the Tigers are guaranteed to host a Super Regional two weeks from now if they win their Regional this weekend. 

The four teams participating in the Baton Rouge Regional are LSU (1), UNC Wilmington (2), Tulane (3) and Lehigh (4). I don’t know much about Lehigh and UNC Wilmington, but based on what little bit I’ve read about them, and on the way the bracket is setup, I think LSU received a pretty good draw. No. 4 Lehigh University is a private research university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and their Mountain Hawks baseball team made it to the NCAA tournament by winning the Patriot League tournament. They finished the season 25-29 overall, 12-8 in conference play and with an RPI of 239. No. 2 UNC Wilmington, on the other hand, seems like a more formidable opponent, having finished the season 39-16 overall, 18-6 in the conference play (Colonial Athletic Association), and with an RPI of 36. As for No. 3 Tulane, we’ve been playing them since 1893 and know them pretty well. LSU has won 13 of its last 16 meetings against the Green Wave, including a 6-0 win last month. What I really like about the tournament bracket is that if LSU wins this weekend’s double-elimination Regional, the Tigers would move on to face the winner of the Houston regional in the best-of-three Super Regional round, which could provide a chance to avenge last year's Regional loss to the Cougars. Of course, it could also pit LSU against UL-Lafayette who came in as a No. 3 seed in the Houston Regional.

A lot of you have asked who I think LSU will pitch this weekend in the Regional games. I know that Coach Mainieri would like to pitch Alex Lange on Saturday, assuming LSU wins Friday and is not faced with the necessity of winning four consecutive elimination games to make it out of the Regional. If things go as planned, I would expect to see either Austin Bain or Russell Reynolds on Friday, Lange on Saturday, Poché on Sunday, and Jack Wholestaff on Monday (if necessary). 

Below is a look at the Baton Rouge Regional schedule, and here’s the complete NCAA Tournament bracket.

NCAA Regional Schedule
Baton Rouge, La.

Alex Box Stadium

All times Central and subject to change

Friday, May 29
Game 1 - 3 p.m. - #4 seed Lehigh vs. #1 seed LSU (SEC Network)

Game 2 - 7 p.m.  - #3 seed Tulane vs. #2 seed UNC-Wilmington (ESPN3)

Saturday, May 30
Game 3 - 3 p.m. - Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser  (SEC Network or ESPN3)

Game 4 - 8 p.m. - Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner (SEC Network or ESPN 3)

Sunday, May 31
Game 5 – 3 p.m. - Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Loser (SEC Network or ESPN3)

Game 6 – 7 p.m. - Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner (SEC Network or ESPN3)

Monday, June 1
Game 7 – 7 p.m. - Game 6 Winner vs. Game 6 Loser (if necessary – SEC Network or ESPN3) 

When the LSU team met to watch the NCAA Tournament bracket announcement on ESPNU, Coach Mainieri dished out postseason awards to two of his players. Below is a press release issued by LSU’s Sports Information Department about the honors.

SCIAMBRA, BREGMAN RECEIVE LSU POSTSEASON AWARDS 

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU coach Paul Mainieri honored on Monday two of his players – senior outfielder Chris Sciambra and junior shortstop Alex Bregman – during the Tigers’ postseason gathering at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

The team met to watch the NCAA Tournament bracket announcement on ESPNU.

“These young men embody the mission of the LSU baseball program,” Mainieri said. “They strive for excellence in every endeavor, and they are tremendous representatives of our university and of our state. I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as their coach.”

Just before the tournament field was revealed, Sciambra received the Wally Pontiff Jr. Scholar Athlete Award. Pontiff was an all-SEC third baseman at LSU who played for the Tigers from 2000-02 and died tragically in 2002 due to a heart abnormality. The award was presented to Sciambra by Pontiff’s father, Wally Pontiff Sr.

Sciambra, a native of Baton Rouge, is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, and he earned his LSU degree in construction management earlier this month.

Sciambra was also named to the 2015 SEC Community Service Team for his outstanding participation in philanthropic events. He is batting .309 this season as the Tigers’ starting designated hitter with eight doubles, three triples, two homers, 24 RBI and 24 runs.

Legendary former LSU coach Skip Bertman then presented Bregman with the Skip Bertman Award, which goes to the player who best exemplifies the spirit of the LSU Baseball program. Bertman directed LSU to five national championships during his coaching tenure (1984-2001), and he served a highly successful seven-year term as athletic director.

Bregman, a native of Albuquerque,  NM, is an candidate for the 2015 Golden Spikes Award and for the Brooks Wallace National Shortstop of the Year Award. A 2015 first-team all-SEC selection, he is hitting .329 this season with 22 doubles, three triples, nine homers, 47 RBI, 54 runs and 32 stolen bases.

Bregman, a first-team all-American and National Freshman of the Year in 2013, leads the SEC this season in stolen bases and doubles, and he is No. 4 in the league in runs scored and total bases (131).

We’ll close out today with a couple of football-related tidbits:

• Yesterday LSU entertained the No. 1 defensive tackle prospect in the nation for the Class of 2017 – Marvin Wilson. LSU offered the 6-4, 300-pounder from Bellaire, Texas a little less than a week ago, so to see him make it to campus so quickly is definitely a good sign for the Tigers. LSU already has a commitment from the nation’s No. 3 defensive tackle prospect for 2017, Tyler Shelvin. 

• Before we know it, our 100-day countdown to the start of LSU’s football season will begin. Today is day 102, meaning I’ve got just two days to figure out what I’m going to do for this year’s countdown. Actually, I’m just kidding as I’ve already decided to continue the wide-open format we used last year –  meaning the countdown will be a mix of historical tidbits, player jerseys, general trivia and the like. Basically, anything goes. If you have suggestions for any of the numbers, particularly numbers 90-100 since they’re quickly approaching, please let me know. 

Reader Comments: Hey Scott, 7 SEC teams made the final 64 and 4 are top seeds in their respective regionals.  Baseball is very much alive and well in the SEC!

 

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