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.