NCAA Baseball Championships:
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5/15/13 5:55 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
The LSU baseball team broke the school's record for regular season victories with an 11-2 win over UNO last night. With the win, LSU's record improved to a historic 46-7 mark, and the Tigers have now won 27 consecutive games against Louisiana schools and 34 straight non-conference mid-week games.
Freshman right-hander Hunter Newman (2-0) got the start for the Tigers and earned the victory with an impressive outing. Newman allowed only one hit and one walk while striking out three in a season-high five innings of work. Six bullpen pitchers combined for four innings of work in preparation for this weekend's regular season finale and postseason play.
The Tigers came out swinging and collected five runs in the first inning. DH Sean McMullen led off with a triple and was driven home on a groundout by Mark Laird. RBIs by Raph Rhymes, JaCoby Jones, and Ty Ross gave the Tigers an early 5-0 lead. LSU added four runs in the fifth on a beautiful squeeze bunt by Andrew Stevenson, a 2-RBI double by McMullen, and Michael Barash’s long home run into the left-field bleachers. The homer was Barash's first as a Tiger. UNO answered with two runs in the sixth off of Brent Bonvillain who struggled in his one inning of work before working out a jam with a couple of strikeouts. LSU added single runs in the sixth and seventh to make the final score 11-2.
LSU will now turn its attention to the last regular season series of the season which begins tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. against a very capable Ole Miss team (38-15). The game will be televised by ESPNU. Friday’s game will start at 7 p.m. (Cox Sports Television) and Saturday’s finale will begin at noon (CBS). Kurt McCune is expected to start in tomorrow's game, as Coach Mainiei will save Aaron Nola for the start of the SEC tournament on Tuesday.
In basketball news, there have been a lot of rumblings of LSU picking up a commitment from Ilker Er, but as of now this has not been confirmed. Er (6'7", 195, SG/SF) is a native of Turkey who played at Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, FL) last season and averaged 14 points per game and shot 44% from 3-point range. Er would be a great get for Coach Jones and his staff.
Speaking of Coach Jones' staff, Randy Rosetta of Nola.com has reported that assistant coach Robert Kirby has been offered a job by Memphis. Kirby, a native of Memphis, is widely regarded a one of the best recruiters in the nation and I sure would hate to see him leave. I have a feeling LSU will do all they can within reason to keep him, as he and Jones seem to have a great chemistry on the recruiting trail.
Now for a few football recruiting tid-bits: 1) Clifton Garrett, the big-time linebacker from Illinois whose highlight video I posted yesterday, had a good visit with Coach John Chavis yesterday and things are looking good for LSU. 2) In a bit of a surprise to me, Speedy Noil (WR, 5'10", 175, Edna Karr, No. 5 on my list of Top LA Football Prospects for 2104) has named Texas A&M and USC as his leaders, according to multiple reports. 3) Cameron Robinson (OL, 6'6", 315, West Monroe, No. 3 on my list) has recently confirmed that LSU and Alabama still lead for his signature and that there is no front-runner.
Lastly, I'd like to remind all of you football season ticket holders that the deadline for renewing your tickets is May 31.
5/14/13 5:55 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
First of all, it was great hearing from so many of you about the interview with Mike Detillier I posted yesterday. The thing I got the most comments on was Mike's 9-3 prediction for the Tigers this season. Most of you I heard from feel a little more optimistic than that, and I do too. I'm going to wait and see how the Jeremy Hill thing plays out before making a prediction, but with Hill’s status being uncertain and with the question marks in the defensive line and at middle linebacker, I can understand why Mike would be cautious with his prediction.
LSU received a bit of good news for the upcoming season yesterday when JUCO wide receiver Quantavious Leslie tweeted that he is cleared to go and LSU bound. His exact words were, “Happy is an understatement for how I'm feeling right now. Found out I passed my college algebra class. #lsubound#thankgod.” As I stated earlier, with Leslie on board and with Travin Dural fully recovered from his knee injury, the Tiger receiving corps should be much improved this year. And that's not even mentioning LSU's leading receivers in Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jarvis Landry who are both set to have big junior years, and Kadron Boone and James Wright who look to make a significant contribution in their senior seasons.
Speaking of Landry, yesterday someone shared with me this College Football Hype Video that really got me pumped and reminded me of what incredible hands Landry has. At about the 1:06 mark of the video, they show his spectacular one-handed catch against Arkansas. Man, that catch was incredible! Do yourself a favor and check out the video if you have a few moments to spare this morning. Although there are still 114 days until the start of the season, it's never too early to get fired up.
In football recruiting news, Coach John Chavis is reportedly visiting one of LSU's top targets for 2014 today - Clifton Garrett. Hailing from Plainfield, Illinois, Garrett (6'2", 215) is a hard-hitting consensus five-star linebacker who has LSU at the top of his list ever since attending the Spring Game. If you haven't seen Garrett's highlights yet, check them out. There aren’t very many defensive highlight reels as exciting as his.
Turning to baseball news, after winning two out of three against Texas A&M last week, the Tigers have moved up to No. 2 in Baseball America's rankings and stayed put at No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. LSU's weekend opponent, Ole Miss, came in at numbers 20 and 13 in the two polls, respectively.
Before turning their attention to Ole Miss, the Tigers (45-7, 21-6) will play their last non-conference game of the regular season tonight when they host New Orleans. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the game will be televised by Cox Sports Television. Freshman right-hander Hunter Newman (1-0, 2.63 ERA) is expected to get the start for LSU, while UNO will counter with sophomore right-hander Alex Smith (3-8, 4.10 ERA). Look for lots of Tiger bullpen pitchers to see action in tonight's game in preparation for the regular season finale and postseason play. Coach Mainieri also announced that he will not pitch Aaron Nola this weekend against Ole Miss but instead will save him for Game 1 of the SEC tournament, which begins a week from today.
A win tonight would give the Tigers their most regular-season wins ever in a single season. LSU’s 21 league wins is already the most by a Fighting Tiger club since the 1998 team posted a 21-9 SEC record and is one shy of the school's all-time record of 22, set in 1986 and 1997. The Tigers have a very good chance of breaking that record this weekend against Ole Miss. Of course, Coach Mainieri and his Tigers know that the success of this season won't be measured by regular season wins, but rather how the team performs in postseason play.
Here is this week's baseball schedule:
May 14 (Today) – NEW ORLEANS, 6:30 p.m. (Cox Sports Television)
May 16 (Thu.) – OLE MISS, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
May 17 (Fri.) – OLE MISS, 7 p.m. (Cox Sports Television)
May 18 (Sat.) – OLE MISS, 12 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
Reader comments: Scott, a few days ago you mentioned Coach Miles' son, Manny, and the no-hitter he pitched. Here's a great article on him, and here's another that also talks about Coach Moffitt's son who is also a prospect.
5/13/13 5:50 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans. I hope you all had a great weekend and that all you Moms out there had a great Mothers’ Day.
As promised, today I’m posting a new Q&A interview I conducted with NFL draft guru and Louisiana football expert Mike Detillier about some of the recent going-ons in LSU football. In it, I ask Mike about Tigers drafted in the NFL, the LSU spring game, the Jeremy Hill mess, his prediction on the upcoming season, and much more.
Click here to read my full interview with Mike Detillier, and then contact me to chime in with your thoughts.
After having most of my interview with Mike ready to post, LSU picked up the huge commitment from D’haquille Williams Friday night, so I had to get back with Mike to get his opinion on the 6'3" game-changing receiver as well. Mike had some pretty strong words about Williams and I think you'll like what he had to say. One thing is for sure, Williams has generated a lot of buzz, and the thought of him on the field in 2014 lined up with several other top offensive targets for 2014 like Leonard Fournette, Trey Quinn and Speedy Noil (all of whom I feel good about LSU signing), is enough to get Tiger Fans looking ahead to future seasons.
With that said, there’s no reason to look beyond 2013 to get excited about LSU’s potential for a revitalized offense. With Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator, Mettenberger in his senior season with a year of SEC experience under his belt, and an improved receiving corps with a healthy Travin Dural and incoming JUCO sensation Quantavious Leslie, there’s plenty of reason for optimism. I'm also looking forward to a big senior year from Alfred Blue, and we never know how this Jeremy Hill deal will work out. More on all these points as we approach the season which is now 110 days away.
That reminds me, when we reach the 100-day mark I will begin our annual jersey countdown. If you have suggestions for the countdown, please start sending them my way
In softball news, the LSU Lady Tigers learned last night that they are the No. 9 national seed and will host the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament at Tiger Park, starting Friday, May 16. LSU will face Central Connecticut at 6 p.m. CT, following a matchup between Northwestern State and Louisiana-Lafayette at 3 p.m.
Lastly, I'd like to congratulate the Catholic High Bears for winning the Class 5A state baseball championship over Zachary. Also, yesterday when I mentioned the champions in the other classifications I forgot to mention the smaller schools in Class B and C. Forest won class B for the third time in four years, and Family Christian won class C for the second year in a row.
Reader comments: Scott, (former Tiger) Mikie Mahtook made an amazing catch this weekend. Here's the YouTube video.
Reader comments: Mingo will prove he was worthy of a first round pick!
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