NCAA Baseball Championships:
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4/19/14 6:10 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
The LSU baseball team fell to Ole Miss last night, 5-1, to even the series at one game a piece. With the loss, LSU dropped to 29-10-1 overall and 9-7-1 in the SEC.
Jared Poché got the start for LSU and allowed four runs (two earned) in six innings of work while striking out two and walking two. The freshman from Lutcher actually pitched a little better than those numbers indicate and showed a lot of toughness in battling out of jams, and his night would’ve been a lot better if not for a couple of mishaps in a rough fourth inning. Trailing 2-1, Poché issued a four-pitch walk to start the inning, and then induced a ground ball to third base that should have resulted in a double-play. Instead, Ibarra made an errant throw to second to put runners at the corners with no outs. Later in the inning with the bases juiced and two outs, Mark Laird dropped a pop-up in foul territory that would’ve gotten Poché out of the inning unscathed. The next Rebel batter followed with a 2-RBI single to make it a 4-1 ballgame.
This post game quote by Coach Mainieri pretty much sums up Poché’s outing and the loss:
“I thought Jared Poche’ gave us another courageous effort and really battled throughout the game. He wasn’t quite as sharp as he usually is with his command, but he competed and kept us within striking distance. Unfortunately, we didn’t play well enough to win and couldn’t generate the offense we needed. To win in a place like this against a good team, you have to play very well and we didn’t do that tonight. We’ll look forward to tomorrow with a chance to win the series in a tough road environment.”
Three bullpen pitchers combined for the final two innings of the game. Cody Glenn entered in relief of Poché in the seventh and gave up a solo home run on his third pitch of the night. To say it’s been a rough year for Glenn would be an understatement.
The Tigers were led at the plate by Mark Laird who went 2-for-4 and scored LSU’s only run of the night. Sean McMullen, Alex Bregman, Chris Chinea and Danny Zardon each collected one hit in three at-bats, while Andrew Stevenson chipped in one hit in four at-bats to give LSU a total of seven hits on the night. Eight Tigers were left on base.
The rubber game of the series will be played today at 1:00 and will be televised regionally on Fox Sports South. It can also be viewed online at ESPN3.com. As usual, the game can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, and live audio and stats may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.
As of now, LSU’s starting pitcher for today’s game is TBA (to be announced). The likely candidates are Zach Person, Kurt McCune and Parker Bugg. McCune and Bugg each pitched an inning in LSU’s 13-inning marathon win Friday night.
In softball news, Game 1 of the three-game series between LSU and South Carolina was suspended due to rain. The game was called in the top of the fourth inning with LSU leading 7-5 and the bases loaded with one out and Allison Falcon at the plate for LSU. Today’s originally scheduled contest set for 4 p.m. in Columbia will be played at the original time and televised live on ESPNU, and following that game the two teams will resume Game 1 where it left off.
Reader Comments: Scott, I know you’ve been high on the Lake Charles tight ends - Desean Smith and Jacory Washington. Here’s an article by ESPN about the two possibly being used in hybrid-receiver roles. Would love to see that!
4/18/14 5:45 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans, and Happy Easter weekend to all of you.
Well, it took 13 innings and over four-and-a-half hours, but LSU came away with a hard-fought 4-3 victory over Ole Miss in Game 1 of the series. The win was really big for the Tigers as it would have been a tough blow to lose the game while burning your ace (Aaron Nola) and working your closer (Joe Broussard) for three and one-third innings. The Tigers also used Parker Bugg and Kurt McCune for an inning a piece, so it will be interesting to see what kind of shape LSU’s bullpen is in by the time Game 3 comes around.
The Tigers collected 13 hits in the game and were led at the plate by Connor Hale who collected three hits and scored three runs. Hale went 3-for-5 and scored the winning run for the Tigers in the top of the 13th after coming through with a timely one-out double. Freshman Jake Haley was also a big part of LSU’s offensive production as he came through with a clutch RBI pinch hit single in the 11th. The Tigers also benefited offensively from two costly Ole Miss errors on routine ground balls.
Here’s a quick scoring summary: Ole Miss grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning with a leadoff solo homer. LSU tied the game in the third when Hale walked, moved to third on a single by Christian Ibarra and scored on McMullen’s sacrifice fly. LSU broke the tie in the sixth when Ole Miss’ second baseman misplayed Hale’s two-out grounder, allowing Alex Bregman to score from third base. The Rebels tied the game at 2-2 in the eighth on an RBI groundout, and the game remained deadlocked until the top of the 11th, when LSU pinch hitter Jake Fraley delivered an RBI single to score Hale, who had led off the inning with a single. Ole Miss answered in the bottom of the 11th with an unearned run against Broussard on a sacrifice fly. After a scoreless 12th, the Tigers scored a run in the 13th on a walk by Ibarra, a double by Hale, and a sharply-hit grounder by Danny Zardon that was misplayed by the Rebel shortstop. McCune came in to pitch the 13th and retired the side in order to earn his second save of the season.
With the win, LSU improved to 29-9-1 overall and 9-6-1 in SEC play. The Tigers will go for the series win tonight at 6:30 with freshman Jared Poché on the mound. The game will not be televised, but it can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network.
The LSU softball team returns to SEC play today, opening a big three-game series against the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia at 2 p.m. The Tigers are coming off of a doubleheader split against the Hofstra Pride on Wednesday in Hempstead, New York, taking the first game 5-2 in the afternoon slot while dropping the second game 5-3 in the nightcap. At the end of March, the Tigers were looking at a 2-7 SEC record, but since then they’ve won two big weekend series at home against No. 2 Tennessee and No. 13 Georgia to improve to 6-9 in conference play. Much like their male counterparts, the Lady Tigers will have to bring their A-game this weekend to come away with the series win, as South Carolina is 21-3 at home this season.
In football recruiting news, 247Sports released its initial Top-247 for 2016 and the state of Louisiana is well represented. A total of 15 prospects from Louisiana are on the list, including three in the top 30 - Edwin Alexander (DT, 6-3, 280, St.Thomas Aquinas), Willie Allen (OT, 6-6, 265, John Curtis) and Kristian Fulton (CB, 6-0, 165, Archbishop Rummel). As Sonny Shipp points out in this article, the 2014 class is Louisiana was something special, and it’s looking like 2016 will be too.
4/17/014 5:45 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
The No. 7 LSU baseball team will begin a very challenging three-game road series tonight at 6:30 against No. 10 Ole Miss. When you look at the two teams’ records and rankings, they seem very similar. LSU’s average ranking in the four major polls is 10.25, while Ole Miss’ is 12.25. Their records are even more alike and would be exactly the same if LSU would have won the game that they tied against Georgia. But when you look a little deeper into these two teams, there are some differences that really stand out. For example, the Rebels are very aggressive on offense with a league-best team batting average of .310 to go along with 25 homers and 66 steals in 81 attempts. The Tigers, on the other hand, are No. 9 in the SEC with a .273 team batting average, have 18 home runs on the season, and have only stolen 28 bases in 42 attempts. Another concerning stat to point out is that Ole Miss has only lost two games at home this season (20-2). I feel good about LSU’s chances tonight with Aaron Nola on the mound, but the Tigers will have to bring their A-Game to come away with the series win.
Here’s the weekend schedule with TV coverage and pitching match-ups:
Game 1 - Thursday, April 17 – 6:30 p.m. CTâ€¨
TV = ESPNUâ€¨
LSU – Jr. RHP Aaron Nola (7-1, 0.70 ERA, 64 IP, 13 BB, 84 SO)
UM – Jr. RHP Chris Ellis (5-0, 1.81 ERA, 54.2 IP, 17 BB, 35 SO)
Game 2 - Friday, April 18 – 6:30 p.m. CTâ€¨
LSU – Fr. LHP Jared Poche’ (6-2, 2.54 ERA, 49.2 IP, 15 BB, 34 SO)
UM – So. LHP Christian Trent (4-0, 2.44 ERA, 59.0 IP, 8 BB, 49 SO)
Saturday, April 19 – 1 p.m. CT
TV = Fox Sports South
â€¨LSU – TBA
UM – Jr. RHP Sam Smith (5-2, 2.30 ERA, 54.2 IP, 11 BB, 30 SO)
In football news, the SEC announced yesterday that the season-opener against Wisconsin on Aug. 30 at Reliant Stadium in Houston will kickoff at 8 p.m. CT and will be televised by ESPN. The matchup between the SEC and Big Ten powerhouses will take place in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff in what will be LSU’s first game in Reliant Stadium. LSU will be making its first appearance in Houston for a football game since 1983 when the Tigers beat Rice, 24-10. The Wisconsin contest will mark LSU’s first game against the Badgers since 1972 when the Tigers posted a 27-7 win in Tiger Stadium. LSU is 2-0 against Wisconsin with the other win coming in 1971 by a 38-28 count at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisc.
On a similar note, LSU announced yesterday that it has officially added a home-and-home series with Syracuse in football starting with a game at the Carrier Dome in 2015. The Tigers will face the Orange in Syracuse, N.Y. on Sept. 26, 2015 during the fourth week of the season. Syracuse will make the return trip to Tiger Stadium on Sept. 9, 2017.
LSU also announced that the Tigers will open the 2015 season against McNeese State in Tiger Stadium. LSU and McNeese played one other time, that coming in 2010 when the Tigers posted a 32-10 win over the Cowboys in Tiger Stadium.
In closing, I’d like to thank those of you who voted in our poll yesterday asking: “What was the biggest factor in LSU’s offensive success last football season?” The answer that won by a landslide (67% of the vote) was “Coach Cam Cameron as Offensive Coordinator,” and I feel the same way. And really, that’s why I feel very optimistic about LSU’s offense this year, regardless of which quarterback emerges on top. Coach Cameron is as good a quarterbacks coach as there is in the business, and he’s got plenty of talent to work with. With that said, I wouldn’t expect either quarterback to be polished in the first couple weeks of action, but with a solid offensive line and a stable of running backs including Terrance Magee, Kenny Hilliard, Leonard Fournette and Darrell Williams, the Tigers’ offense should be a force to reckon with from the get-go. That, combined with the fact that LSU’s defense should be much improved, makes me confident in saying that LSU’s football future looks very bright indeed. 134 days and counting!
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