NCAA Baseball Championships:
DandyDon is proud to recognize David Toms as a great ambassador of the Tiger Nation.
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4/21/14 6:05 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
First of all, thank you for the many Happy Easter wishes yesterday. I had a great day with my family and hope you did, too. After going to morning mass, we had Sunday dinner (lunch) with my side of the family at my sister’s house, and then made it back home just in time to rest a bit before hosting my wife’s family for an Easter supper. It made for a fun day filled with lots of good food and conversation, and of course much of that conversation centered around LSU sports.
One hot topic of conversation was the LSU baseball team’s big series win at Ole Miss. Back on the first of the month, I conducted a “glass half-full or half-empty” poll asking which expression better described your thoughts on LSU’s baseball team, and the results showed that a lot of people were down on the team. Of course, that was coming at a time when LSU hadn’t won any of their last six contests and had just been swept by Florida. My how things have changed. Since that time, LSU has won 10 out of 12 games, including a sweep of Mississippi State and series wins over Arkansas and Ole Miss. There’s no doubt that the team still needs to improve in some areas, namely hitting (team batting average is .268) and base-running, but there’s also no denying the turnaround the team has made. If LSU continues its stellar defense and if Alden Cartwright turns out to be the answer (or a big part of the answer) for LSU’s Game 3 dilemma, as it appears he will, LSU should make a lot of noise during the balance of the season and throughout postseason play. At this point, the Tigers have an RPI of 13 and sit in third place in the SEC at one-and-a-half games behind Alabama and Florida. When the polls come out later today, LSU should be a consensus top-ten.
The Tigers will return to action tomorrow against a pretty good Tulane team that beat LSU in 11 innings on March 25. After that, it’s a home series against Tennessee (25-13, 7-11) that the Tigers should be able to take, and I sure hope a large contingency of Tiger Fans will show up to fill the Box for what what will be the Tigers second to last home series of the season.
Another hot topic I was asked about quite a bit yesterday was the LSU football team’s quarterback battle between Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris. I have a feeling we’ll be discussing that well into the fall. The general opinion among those I hear from is that Brandon Harris will win the battle, and based on what I’ve seen this spring and in the spring game I tend to agree. However, as I’ve said before, unless Harris really separates himself drastically in Fall practice, I don’t foresee Coaches Miles and Cameron starting a true freshman against a formidable Wisconsin team in the season opener at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.
In closing, I want to do something I should have done yesterday - congratulate Coach D-D Breaux and her LSU gymnastics team for earning the highest finish in school history with a 197.600 to take third place at the NCAA Super Six Finals Saturday night. That’s quite an accomplishment and I regret not mentioning it yesterday morning. Also, congratulations are in order for LSU junior Rheagan Courville who repeated as NCAA vault national champion after posting a 9.9750 in the NCAA Individual Event Finals yesterday afternoon.
Reader Comments: We are hosting our annual LSU Atlanta Alumni crawfish boil on Sunday May 4th at Park Tavern in Piedmont Park. It’s from 2p -7p and tickets can be purchased through: www.lsuatlanta.com
5lb Crawfish Platter - $26.00
3lb Crawfish Platter - $18.00
Adult admission $5.00
Free admission for kids under the age of 12
Free Unplugged in the Park concert at 7pm
Reader Comments: Scott… something to pass along to your older Tiger readers… Former LSU broadcaster Walter Hill dies at 86.
4/20/14 5:30 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans, and Happy Easter.
The LSU baseball team came away with a huge 2-0 win yesterday to claim the series at Ole Miss and improve to 30-10-1 overall and 10-7-1 in the SEC play. Heading into the contest, Game 3 pitching was a huge concern for the Tigers, so it sure was nice to see an outstanding outing by starter Alden Cartwright and the three bullpen pitchers who followed him - Hunter Devall, Parker Bugg and Kurt McCune. The shutout was the Tigers’ 12th of the season, marking a new school record. It also marked the first time Ole Miss has been shutout this season.
Cartwright wasn’t really expected to work more than two innings in what was his first career SEC start, but ended up pitching four solid innings while allowing just two singles with no walks and two strikeouts. He retired the first 10 Rebel batters he faced before allowing back to back singles in the fourth and getting himself into a bit of a jam. Fortunately, Cartwright got out of the jam unscathed by inducing an inning-ending double play. I look for Cartwright to play a major role in the weekend pitching rotation moving forward.
Devall, Bugg and McCune followed Cartwright with outstanding outings of their own. Devall (1-0) was credited win the win as he entered the game to start the fifth and pitched 2.2 innings, limiting the Rebels to two hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Bugg relieved Devall in the seventh and pitched 1.1 innings, allowing only one hit. McCune worked the ninth and earned his third save of the season, allowing one hit with one strikeout.
The Tigers only collected five hits in the game, but swung the bat better than that sounds and seemed more aggressive at the plate then normal. Coach Mainieri made an interesting change the batting order and inserted freshman Jake Fraley in the three hole while moving Bregman down to 6th in the order. Unfortunately, the move didn’t help Bregman as he went 0-for-3 in the game. Fraley singled in his first at bat and went 1-for-4 on the day.
The Tigers were led at the plate by Connor Hale who went 2-for-3 with an RBI on a solo homer in the 8th. Hale has really been swinging the bat well and scored five of the Tigers’ seven runs in the three-game series despite not playing in Friday’s game.
Here are LSU’s video highlights of yesterday’s game. Check out Mark Laird’s remarkable catch at the 2:24 mark. He also made an outstanding catch in in foul territory that ended with a nice encounter with an Ole Miss cheerleader, but that one didn’t make the highlight reel. :)
The LSU softball team also came away with a big series win by defeating South Carolina 13-5 in the resumption of game one, which was suspended Friday, and then winning 14-1 in Game 2. The Tigers, who are now 27-19 overall and 8-9 in SEC play, will go for the series sweep today at noon from South Carolina’s Beckham Field.
In closing, I'd like to once again wish all of you a very blessed Easter Sunday. You know me, I tend to get a little reminiscent at holiday time, especially around Easter and Thanksgiving. For my family, both have always been very special holidays filled with traditions that I hope will be passed along to many future generations. As a kid, we would always get up early to see what the Easter Bunny brought, and then head to the early Easter mass before gathering with the extended family to share a good meal. And of course, we would always paque-paque eggs. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this Cajun tradition, it’s a contest whereby one person holds his hardboiled, dyed Easter egg, small side up, while the opponent takes his own egg, small end down, and gently knocks it against the other egg repeatedly. The loser (the person whose egg cracks) has to surrender his cracked egg to the winner. We used to always do this at my MawMaw and PawPaw Ardoin’s house in Ville Platte, and it seems like their country eggs would always beat our store-bought eggs. Now that I have chickens of my own, I’m eager to see how our yard eggs fare. In case you’re wondering, the term paque-paque (pock-pock) comes not only from the sound made by the knocking of the eggs, but also from the word for Easter in French, Pâques. However you spend your day today, make it a special one, and remember that Easter is about a lot more than bunnies and eggs.
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!
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