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2/21/16 5:40 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

IT’S TIME FOR TUESDAY’S TIDBITS: Your Daily Dose of Tiger News Delivered in a Baker’s Dozen Quick-Hitters

1. After sweeping three games to open the 2017 season, the LSU baseball team stayed put in all of the polls. The Tigers are No. 2 in Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game, No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, No. 4 in Baseball America, and No. 5 in D1 Baseball.  

2. Ready for some more baseball? If so, tune in tonight for what should be a good early road test for this Tiger team. Coach Mainieri’s Tigers are set to face off with a pretty talented UNO team coached by Mainieri’s former player, Blake Dean. The game starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be televised on Cox Sports Television. Those of you in non-CST markets can watch the game online at ESPN3.com.

3. The Privateers are 3-0 on the season with wins over Southern, Illinois-Chicago and Prairie View and are hitting .372 as a team with 11 doubles and two homers. By comparison, LSU batted .329 (28-for-85) as a team over the weekend with six doubles, one triple, and four homers. LSU sophomore right-hander Caleb Gilbert will be making his first start of the season while UNO will counter with freshman right-hander Reeves Martin.

4. Tonight’s game will be just one of five baseball games we’ll have the pleasure of watching this week, as the Tigers will turn around and play Hofstra tomorrow night at the Box before this weekend’s series against Maryland. In tomorrow’s game, highly-heralded freshman right-hander Zach Hess will make his first start. 

5. The nation rightly took note of Jared Poché’s incredible no-hitter on Saturday, as evidenced by the fact that the senior left-hander was named as one of Collegiate Baseball’s National Players of the Week and SEC Pitcher of the Week. Poché is also leading a Twitter poll for the Gold Standard Performance of the Week, which you can help him to win. To vote for Poché no-no as your favorite performance of the week, click here. Voting ends today at 5 p.m. EST.

6. The last pitch of Poché’s historic no-hitter (and his classic reaction that followed) is just one of several LSU Top Plays from last week that you can see in this cool video compilation. Also shown are top plays in gymnastics, softball and men’s and women’s basketball. 

7. While Poché, Greg Deichmann, and LSU freshmen Josh Smith, Jake Slaughter and Eric Walker rightly grabbed headlines for their play last weekend, one Tiger who probably hasn’t received the accolades he deserves is senior Cole Freeman. After leading the team in batting last season, Freeman picked up where he left off and led the team last weekend by hitting .600 (6-for-10) with two doubles, four runs, three RBI, two stolen bases and a .636 on-base percentage. Oh, and he also recorded a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 11 chances.

8. The Advocate’s Ross Dellenger provides this very interesting Look Inside LSU Athletics which shows TAF donations and profit/losses by sport. The cliff notes: In the 2015-16 academic year, football made $55 million, men's basketball made $2.3 million, and baseball made $1.5 million. All other sports lost money. Dellenger writes that these losses are normal for most major college athletic departments and that LSU is one of a few institutions that profits off baseball. Another interesting tidbit: men’s basketball made $406,000 more in ticket sales last season than it did in 2014-15, which was obviously due to “the Ben Simmons effect.”

9. In football recruiting news, LSU has reportedly reasserted itself among the favorites for Louisiana quarterback Justin Rogers of Parkway. Rogers (6-4, 195) is No. 11 on our list of Top LA Prospects and our top-rated in-state quarterback. The article by SECCountry states that Rogers had been waiting to hear from new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Matt Canada, but never did. During his visit to Baton Rouge on Saturday for the “Boys From The Boot” recruiting event, he found out why. Canada had been trying to contact Rogers via text, but apparently had the wrong number. With that now resolved, the two have been catching up and the word is that LSU is clearly among Rogers’ favorites. By the way, Rogers’ teammate, wide receiver Terrace Marshall, is No. 1 on our list of Top LA Prospects.

10. Can the LSU men's basketball team (9-17, 1-13) avoid matching its worst losing streak in program history? We'll find out tonight when they host the Auburn Tigers (16-11, 5-9) at 6 p.m. in a game that will be televised on the SEC Network. Considering their close loss at Auburn (78-74) on January 18th was one of their best conference performances this season, tonight's game is likely their best chance of getting their 10th victory of the season.

11. It’s always nice to hear about former Tiger greats doing for others, and with that in mind, I’ll share this announcement. Two-time Super Bowl Champion Corey Webster invites you to enjoy story time, cake ice cream and gifts in celebration of his birthday and the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Webster will be reading from the famous children’s author in an Imagination Celebration at the East Baton Rouge Public Library on Goodwood on Thursday, March 2. To register, call (225) 231-3760.

12. I don’t know about you, but I’m really enjoying this gymnastics team which checked in at No. 2 in the first edition of the Regional Qualify Score (RQS) ranking released Monday by RoadToNationals.com. This marks the sixth-straight week LSU has been ranked second in the nation. The Oklahoma Sooners own the top spot in RQS with a 197.890 average. The RQS is ascertained by taking a team’s top six scores – three of which must be from road/neutral meets – dropping the high score and averaging the remaining five scores. The Tigers squad, which is 10-1 overall and 5-0 against SEC opponents, returns to action on the road against Auburn at 7:30 p.m. CT Friday. 

13. Lastly, just like a baker might give a little something extra when you order a dozen, here’s a little lagniappe for today’s daily dose: Last night I cooked up a skillet cornbread worth sharing and served it with smothered pork chops. Both recipes can be found on our page of Recipes.




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2/21/16 5:40 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

IT’S TIME FOR TUESDAY’S TIDBITS: Your Daily Dose of Tiger News Delivered in a Baker’s Dozen Quick-Hitters

1. After sweeping three games to open the 2017 season, the LSU baseball team stayed put in all of the polls. The Tigers are No. 2 in Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game, No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, No. 4 in Baseball America, and No. 5 in D1 Baseball.  

2. Ready for some more baseball? If so, tune in tonight for what should be a good early road test for this Tiger team. Coach Mainieri’s Tigers are set to face off with a pretty talented UNO team coached by Mainieri’s former player, Blake Dean. The game starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be televised on Cox Sports Television. Those of you in non-CST markets can watch the game online at ESPN3.com.

3. The Privateers are 3-0 on the season with wins over Southern, Illinois-Chicago and Prairie View and are hitting .372 as a team with 11 doubles and two homers. By comparison, LSU batted .329 (28-for-85) as a team over the weekend with six doubles, one triple, and four homers. LSU sophomore right-hander Caleb Gilbert will be making his first start of the season while UNO will counter with freshman right-hander Reeves Martin.

4. Tonight’s game will be just one of five baseball games we’ll have the pleasure of watching this week, as the Tigers will turn around and play Hofstra tomorrow night at the Box before this weekend’s series against Maryland. In tomorrow’s game, highly-heralded freshman right-hander Zach Hess will make his first start. 

5. The nation rightly took note of Jared Poché’s incredible no-hitter on Saturday, as evidenced by the fact that the senior left-hander was named as one of Collegiate Baseball’s National Players of the Week and SEC Pitcher of the Week. Poché is also leading a Twitter poll for the Gold Standard Performance of the Week, which you can help him to win. To vote for Poché no-no as your favorite performance of the week, click here. Voting ends today at 5 p.m. EST.

6. The last pitch of Poché’s historic no-hitter (and his classic reaction that followed) is just one of several LSU Top Plays from last week that you can see in this cool video compilation. Also shown are top plays in gymnastics, softball and men’s and women’s basketball. 

7. While Poché, Greg Deichmann, and LSU freshmen Josh Smith, Jake Slaughter and Eric Walker rightly grabbed headlines for their play last weekend, one Tiger who probably hasn’t received the accolades he deserves is senior Cole Freeman. After leading the team in batting last season, Freeman picked up where he left off and led the team last weekend by hitting .600 (6-for-10) with two doubles, four runs, three RBI, two stolen bases and a .636 on-base percentage. Oh, and he also recorded a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 11 chances.

8. The Advocate’s Ross Dellenger provides this very interesting Look Inside LSU Athletics which shows TAF donations and profit/losses by sport. The cliff notes: In the 2015-16 academic year, football made $55 million, men's basketball made $2.3 million, and baseball made $1.5 million. All other sports lost money. Dellenger writes that these losses are normal for most major college athletic departments and that LSU is one of a few institutions that profits off baseball. Another interesting tidbit: men’s basketball made $406,000 more in ticket sales last season than it did in 2014-15, which was obviously due to “the Ben Simmons effect.”

9. In football recruiting news, LSU has reportedly reasserted itself among the favorites for Louisiana quarterback Justin Rogers of Parkway. Rogers (6-4, 195) is No. 11 on our list of Top LA Prospects and our top-rated in-state quarterback. The article by SECCountry states that Rogers had been waiting to hear from new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Matt Canada, but never did. During his visit to Baton Rouge on Saturday for the “Boys From The Boot” recruiting event, he found out why. Canada had been trying to contact Rogers via text, but apparently had the wrong number. With that now resolved, the two have been catching up and the word is that LSU is clearly among Rogers’ favorites. By the way, Rogers’ teammate, wide receiver Terrace Marshall, is No. 1 on our list of Top LA Prospects.

10. Can the LSU men's basketball team (9-17, 1-13) avoid matching its worst losing streak in program history? We'll find out tonight when they host the Auburn Tigers (16-11, 5-9) at 6 p.m. in a game that will be televised on the SEC Network. Considering their close loss at Auburn (78-74) on January 18th was one of their best conference performances this season, tonight's game is likely their best chance of getting their 10th victory of the season.

11. It’s always nice to hear about former Tiger greats doing for others, and with that in mind, I’ll share this announcement. Two-time Super Bowl Champion Corey Webster invites you to enjoy story time, cake ice cream and gifts in celebration of his birthday and the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Webster will be reading from the famous children’s author in an Imagination Celebration at the East Baton Rouge Public Library on Goodwood on Thursday, March 2. To register, call (225) 231-3760.

12. I don’t know about you, but I’m really enjoying this gymnastics team which checked in at No. 2 in the first edition of the Regional Qualify Score (RQS) ranking released Monday by RoadToNationals.com. This marks the sixth-straight week LSU has been ranked second in the nation. The Oklahoma Sooners own the top spot in RQS with a 197.890 average. The RQS is ascertained by taking a team’s top six scores – three of which must be from road/neutral meets – dropping the high score and averaging the remaining five scores. The Tigers squad, which is 10-1 overall and 5-0 against SEC opponents, returns to action on the road against Auburn at 7:30 p.m. CT Friday. 

13. Lastly, just like a baker might give a little something extra when you order a dozen, here’s a little lagniappe for today’s daily dose: Last night I cooked up a skillet cornbread worth sharing and served it with smothered pork chops. Both recipes can be found on our page of Recipes.

2/20/17 5:40 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

With a 10-3 win over Air Force, the LSU baseball team capped a nearly perfect opening weekend and improved to 3-0 on the early season. Freshman right-hander Eric Walker got the start for the Tigers and turned in a strong first outing. The righty from Arlington, Texas retired the first 10 batters he faced before running into a jam in the fourth when he allowed a single to centerfield which snapped a streak of 33 consecutive batters going hitless against LSU pitching. That hit was followed by a walk, an error and a single, but Walker showed great poise in bouncing back with a 1-2-3 fifth. Four Tiger pitchers followed Walker including two other highly heralded freshmen, Zach Hess and Todd Peterson. Hess showed a lot of potential with his blazing fastball and wicked slider but was a little erratic with his control. As a result, he allowed a solo homer and a single in his inning of work, while also issuing a strikeout and base on balls. Peterson held the Falcons hitless in his inning of action while notching one strikeout and issuing one walk. Doug Norman and Hunter Newman each pitched a hitless, scoreless inning to close things out in impressive fashion. 

At the plate, the Tigers swung the bat well and collected 11 hits, four of which went for extra bases, including two home runs. The dingers came from Greg Deichmann (a solo shot that marked his second homer of the weekend) and Josh Smith (a three-run shot that marked his first career home run). Kramer Robertson had another monster day by going 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI, while Cole Freeman and Jake Slaughter each collected a pair of hits and an RBI. 

If you missed the game, you can get a good feel for how it went by watching these video highlights. And here is the complete boxscore.

THREE THINGS WE LEARNED ABOUT THESE TIGERS IN OPENING WEEKEND

Starting Pitching Looks Awfully Strong
Between Alex Lange’s outstanding shutout and Jared Poché’s historic no-hitter, it’s clear to see that LSU has one of the best one-two punches in college baseball. And after seeing freshman Walker on the mound, I’m feeling pretty good about LSU having something they haven’t had in a few years – a solid third starter. 

Impact Freshmen as Good as Advertised
Jake Slaughter and Josh Smith lived up to their billing by going a combined 7-of-15 at the plate with two home runs and eight RBI. Heading into the season I questioned whether LSU would have much punch at the plate, but after seeing what these two guys add and the way Deichmann is swinging the bat, I feel confident that LSU has plenty of power potential. The two freshmen infielders also made some outstanding defensive plays at the hot corners. Of course, we already mentioned the outstanding performance of freshman right-hander Eric Walker, who had about as strong a debut as one could expect. 

Fab 4 Live Up to Namesake
Greg Deichmann, Kramer Robertson, Cole Freeman and Jared Poché were dubbed as Mainieri’s Fab 4, and man, were they fabulous this weekend. If you combine these guys’ stats at the plate, you end up with a .500 batting average (19-for-28), 12 RBI, four doubles, and two home runs. And when you throw in Robertson’s defensive gems and Poché’s remarkable no-hitter, you can see just how significant it is that these four returned to LSU when they could have very easily gone pro instead. 

The Tigers will now face a quick turnaround as they’re set to return to action tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. when they face New Orleans at Maestri Field in New Orleans. The game will be televised on Cox Sports Television and can be viewed in non-CST markets via the WatchESPN app. The game will also be broadcast on 100.7 FM in Baton Rouge and can be heard at LSUsports.net and via the LSU Sports mobile app.

In softball news, LSU defeated Georgia Southern 7-4 and Central Arkansas 2-0 to seal a clean sweep in the Purple & Gold Challenge. In the first game, the Tigers’ offense was solid producing seven runs on 12 hits, but it was the pitching of Allie Walljasper (4-0) that would be the difference in the game. She came on in relief of starter Maribeth Gorsuch with the Tigers down 4-2 and completely shut down GSU, throwing 5.2 hitless shutout innings with four strikeouts. The Tigers were led at the plate by Bailey Landry who went 4-for-4 with three singles and a triple, driving in four and scoring twice. Amanda Doyle went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, while Emily Griggs and Sahvanna Jaquish added two hits apiece. In the second game, it was Carley Hoover who was once again outstanding as she flirted with her second no-hitter of the week and held the Bears to just a single hit. Offensively, Shemiah Sanchez led the way by going 2-for-3 with a run scored. Amber Serrett delivered a double and scored a run, while Emily Griggs and Bailey Landry each contributed an RBI.

The softball team returns to action Thursday when the Tigers (9-1) travel to California for the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. 

Switching to gymnastics… the second-ranked LSU gym team posted a score of 197.975 in victories over No. 20 George Washington and No. 22 Iowa yesterday in front of over 9,000 fans at the PMAC. What makes that season-high score all the more remarkable is that it was done while Coach D-D Breaux was able to build depth by putting in some young ladies who needed experience. As a result, several gymnasts tied or set new career highs. Highlighting the scoring were Freshman Kennedi Edney who captured the vault title with a 9.95, Lexie Priessman who won her fourth career bars title with a 9.95, Sarah Finnegan who earned a 9.95 on beam, and McKenna Kelley who closed out the afternoon with a 9.975 on floor. The squad will return to action Friday when they take on Auburn inside Auburn arena. The meet will be televised live on the SEC Network. Here are video highlights of yesterday’s meet.

The only negative in LSU sports yesterday, if you can call it that, was the LSU women’s basketball team’s 70-65 overtime loss at Georgia. I was too busy watching baseball and following gym on Twitter to pay much attention to the game, so rather than trying to quickly write up something, I’ll direct you to this article on LSUSports.net for all the details. With the loss, LSU fell to 18-9 overall and 7-7 in league play, while Georgia improved to 14-13, 6-8.  The Tigers return to action this Thursday before closing out the regular season with a rematch against Vanderbilt on Feb. 26 at the PMAC. 

Lastly, a real quick tidbit on football recruiting: According to SECCountry, new LSU offensive coordinator Matt Canada has identified his top quarterback target for the 2018 recruiting class – pro-style passer Artur Sitkowski. If that name doesn’t sound familiar, it may be because he hails from New Jersey and is someone Canada began recruiting when he was at Pittsburgh. Since that time, Canada has moved to LSU and Sitkowski has moved to IMG Academy in Florida. Sitkowski is ranked as the No. 4 pro-style passer in the 2018 recruiting class and is expected to visit LSU this spring or summer. 

That’s it for today, folks. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for tomorrow’s daily dose of Tiger news.



 

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