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2007 BCS Champions

2007 BCS
National Champions

2003 BCS National Champions

2003 BCS
National Champions

1958 National Champions

1958
National Champions

NCAA Baseball Championships:

1991
1993
1996
1997
2000
2009

 

DandyDon is proud to recognize David Toms as a great ambassador of the Tiger Nation.

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3/28/15 6:15 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

First of all, I want to thank all of you who wished me a happy birthday yesterday. I had an outstanding day working in the garden, eating supper with the family and then heading out for a long overdue night out with my wife. I don’t know what is says about my age when our night out ended long before the Friday night LSU baseball game did, but I’m not complaining. I was happy to be able to catch the last hour of the extra-innings game, even though it didn’t end the way any of us would have liked. 

In what Coach Mainieri described as one of the most frustrating losses of his career, the No. 1 ranked LSU baseball team lost to Kentucky, 5-4 in 12 innings. The Tigers left 15 men on base, including the bases loaded a couple of times, had a few base-running blunders, and didn’t take advantage of several opportunities to win the game. The Tigers also had a bit of misfortune in the 11th when what would have likely been a game-winning line drive by Hale hit Alex Bregman on the base path to end the inning. As I mentioned above, I didn’t get to listen to much of the game, so rather than give you my own report I’ll pass along to you the recap issued by LSU. But before doing so, I will comment on one play that a lot of you have asked me about. In the 11th inning the Tigers had runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs and freshman Greg Deichmann at the plate. Instead of bunting Deichmann, Mainieri let him swing away and he ended up hitting into a double play. The best possible explanation I can think of for Mainieri’s decision is that Deichmann, the Brother Martin High School career home run leader, probably had never been asked to bunt before in a game. Still, I suspect Coach Mainieri is regretting that decision, and others, today.

Below is an extract from LSU’s press release on the game, and here is the boxscore.

“This was one of the most frustrating games I’ve ever coached, because we made mistakes that we don’t usually make,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “That falls back on coaching – it’s my responsibility to make sure we don’t make those kind of mistakes, and I have to make sure the players understand how to correct them and are prepared to execute the right way. Kentucky has a good ball club, so we have to brush this game off and look forward to tomorrow for a chance to even the series.”

In the top of the second, centerfielder Andrew Stevenson singled up the middle to lead off the inning, and first baseman Chris Chinea followed with a single through the right side. With runners on first and third and no outs, left fielder Jake Fraley grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Stevenson from third. After second baseman Jared Foster reached on a walk, designated hitter Chris Sciambra singled to right-centerfield, scoring Fraley from second base. The Tigers lead Kentucky 2-0 heading into the third inning.

Poche’ retired 12 straight batters, heading into the fifth inning. Kentucky second baseman JaVon Shelby reached on an error by third baseman Conner Hale. Poche’ worked out of the inning after giving up his first hit to right fielder Dorian Hairston.

In the top of the seventh with one out, Hairston doubled to right-centerfield, and third baseman Thomas Bernal followed with an RBI single. After Bernal advanced to second base with two outs, back-to-back singles by shortstop Connor Heady and centerfielder Kyle Barrett plated two runs for the Wildcats. Kentucky was up 3-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Laird singled through the right side. Hale reached on an error by Bernal, allowing Hale to advance to second and Laird to score with two outs. The score was tied at 3-3 after seven innings, and the game eventually headed into extra innings.

In the top of the 12th, Barrett singled through the right side, and first baseman Evan White was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second for Tom with two outs.  Tom doubled down the right field line, and Kentucky took the 5-3 lead.

In the bottom of the 12th, pinch hitter Grayson Byrd and Andrew Stevenson reached on throwing errors by the third baseman and second baseman, respectively. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to scoring position, Fraley flied out to right field, scoring Byrd, leaving the score 5-4.

Jack retired Foster on a ground ball to shortstop to end the game.

I look forward to seeing LSU bounce back in Game 2 of the series today at 6:30 p.m. CT. The game will be available online only via SEC Network+ and can be accessed at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. It will also be broadcast live on LSU Radio Network affiliates, including 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge. Fans can also go to LSUsports.net for live stats and audio through the GeauxZone. Freshman right-hander Alex Lange will get the start on the mound for LSU, while Kentucky will counter with junior right-hander Dustin Beggs.

Unfortunately, the LSU softball team didn’t fare any better against Kentucky

than the baseball team. As the temperatures cooled in Lexington, so did LSU’s bats as the Tigers fell to the Wildcats 3-1 in the series opener.  LSU couldn’t capitalize with runners in scoring position and stranded five runners on base in the contest. It was such a slow night offensively for the Tigers, LSU didn’t get on the board until the sixth inning. A.J. Andrews led LSU at the plate, going 2-for-3 in the loss. For more on yesterday’s game, please see this article by LSUSports.net. The Tigers will look to even the series today at 11 a.m. in a game that will be televised by the SEC Network.

In football news, there was a mighty big buzz in the LSU indoor practice facility yesterday as nearly 100 NFL representatives, including NFL head coaches, gathered to watch LSU’s Pro Day. Danielle Hunter, Kwon Alexander, La’el Collins, Elliott Porter, Terrence Magee, Jalen Collins and Kenny Hilliard garnered the most attention for the Tigers. In a bit of a surprise,  Quantavious Leslie recorded the fastest 40-yard dash time with a 4.45, while Porter had the most bench press reps (225 pounds) with 34.  Another surprise was that Hilliard improved his 40-yard time from 4.83 at the NFL combine to an impressive 4.6 yesterday.  Danielle Hunter led the way with a 36.5-inch vertical jump and was also first in the broad jump with a leap of 10-feet, 10.5-inches. You can see the complete Pro Day results here. Among the NFL coaches in attendance was Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, who was likely there to watch both Jalen Collins and La’el Collins. La’el is being looked at by many teams as either a guard or a tackle, and NFL scout Bucky Brooks said La’el could have an impact similar to Zach Martin’s for the Dallas Cowboys. Nick Underhill, who covers the New Orleans Saints for The New Orleans Advocate, tweeted that Jalen said the Saints were high on him. Jalen did not participate as he continues to recover from his foot surgery. NFL draft analyst Mike Loyko said New England Patriots running back coach Ivan Fears was present, likely getting a good look at both Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard. One side note from the event: LSU great Rohan Davey was the QB throwing passes during position drills. 

The LSU football team will hold it’s third closed scrimmage of the spring today, and I hope to have some stats to share with you in tomorrow’s update.

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3/27/15 5:47 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

The top-ranked LSU baseball team (22-3, 4-2) plays host to Kentucky (16-9, 2-4) this weekend in a three-game SEC home series starting tonight at 7 p.m. All three of this weekend’s games can be viewed online on SEC Network + (accessible at WatchESPN.com and via the WatchESPN app), and can be heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, including WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge. Normally I send out occasional tweets and score updates to those of you who follow DandyDonLSU on Twitter, but tonight I won’t be doing so since I will be out celebrating my birthday with my family.  I’ll still have a full recap of the game for you in tomorrow’s update, although it may be posted just a bit later than normal.  

Coach Mainieri has announced that he will go with his customary pitching rotation again this weekend, as noted in the pitching matchup listed below. Speaking of pitchers, a lot of you have asked me about the status of  highly-touted freshman left-handed pitcher Jake Latz who is dealing with an elbow injury. The latest I’ve heard is that Latz is about halfway through his throwing rehabilitation program, and there’s a chance he could be ready to begin pitching again in about a month. Coach Mainieri is hopeful that Latz will be able to contribute on the mound late in the season or in post-season play. (Writing that makes me realize how fast the season is going by. After this weekend’s games, the Tigers will be past the midway mark of the regular season. Actually, writing this on my 45th birthday makes me realize how fast life goes by, but that’s another story.) It is also being reported that freshman outfielder Beau Jordan, who suffered a knee injury that required surgery a month ago, has been cleared to return to action.

Here are the pitching matchups and times for this weekend’s games:

Friday, 7 p.m. CT (SEC Network Plus)
LSU – So. LHP Jared Poche’ (5-1, 3.37 ERA, 34.2 IP, 13 BB, 23 SO)
UK – So. RHP Zack Brown (2-2, 2.43 ERA, 33.1 IP, 15 BB, 31 SO) 

Saturday, 6:30 p.m. CT (SEC Network Plus)
LSU – Fr. RHP Alex Lange (5-0, 1.42 ERA, 38 IP, 10 BB, 45 SO)
UK – Jr. RHP Dustin Beggs (3-2, 3.44 ERA, 36.2 IP, 10 BB, 28 SO)
 
Sunday, 11 a.m. CT (SEC Network Plus)
LSU – Fr. RHP Jake Godfrey (5-0, 2.25 ERA, 32 IP, 18 BB, 18 SO)
UK – Jr. RHP Kyle Cody (2-2, 4.88 ERA, 31.1 IP, 7 BB, 30 SO) 

The LSU football team returned to action yesterday for their ninth practice of the spring, and I was able to gather the following tidbits from media reports:

• Jim Kleinpeter of Nola.com reports that tight end DeSean Smith and defensive tackle Frank Herron were not present during the portion of the practice the media is allowed to view.  In his report is a 5:01 video of the Big Cat drill which featured a big win by WR Travin Dural over CB Kevin Toliver. 

• Ross Dellenger of The Advocate reports that cornerback Dwayne Thomas (knee surgery) remained in a green no-contact jersey, and offensive lineman K.J. Malone was also in a green no-contact jersey for unknown reasons. Dellenger also noted that Lewis Neal was working with the first string at defensive end. 

Yesterday evening after practice, the media conducted a few interviews with LSU players and some interesting tidbits emerged. In this report by The Advocate, Dellenger writes about the many changes defensive coordinator Kevin Steele is implementing. He also writes that quarterback Brandon Harris said he had five or six touchdowns in the Tigers’ first scrimmage of the spring. In this report by Nola.com, Kleinpeter quotes Harris as saying that the his improvement is “like night and day compared to last spring.”

Today LSU will hold its Pro Day event (scroll down for the schedule in yesterday’s report), and tomorrow the team will hold its third closed scrimmage. Next week the team will practice twice (Tuesday and Thursday) before taking off eight days for Spring Break. The following week the team will practice two times before concluding the 15-practice spring session with the National L-Club Spring Game on Saturday, April 18 at 2 p.m. in Tiger Stadium. 

Yesterday it was officially announced that LSU’s Spring Game will be available for live viewing via SEC Network Plus (online only), and that the SEC Network will also air the game on regular television on Monday, April 20. 

I’ll close out today’s report with another brief personal note: By the time most of you are reading this, I will have started my annual birthday ritual of planting my spring garden. Each year I promise myself that I won’t plant until this day, but I usually get impatient and start my planting a few weeks early, as I did this year. I already have a dozen tomato plants in the ground and I sowed my sweet corn earlier this week. So today, it’s more tomatoes, beans, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers, squash and a few herbs. Simple pleasures, here I come.

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3/26/15 5:55 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

Well, it’s official: LSU forward Jarrell Martin has announced that he will forego his final two seasons at LSU and enter the NBA Draft. Like most Tiger Fans, I would have loved to have seen Martin come back for his junior season, and I think he could have improved his draft stock by doing so, but I recognize that there are many factors that go into making such a big decision and that the financial lure of playing in the NBA is hard to resist. In his press conference, Martin said that his family’s financial situation played a big part in his decision. When asked if he had spoken to fellow Tiger Jordan Mickey about his decision, Martin said he had not. Mickey was not present at Martin’s press conference. 

Losing Martin wasn’t the only blow LSU basketball sustained yesterday. LSU also lost associate head coach Eric Musselman who has taken the head coaching job at the University of Nevada. In Coach Johnny Jones’ season-in-review press conference yesterday, he spoke of what a great job Musselman did in his one season as Jones’ top aide and said that Musselman’s mission from the get-go was to get a head coaching job, and that he’s very happy for him. As of now there’s been no word on who might fill Musselman’s vacated position, but Jones described the job as “championship caliber” and said a lot of interest in it has been expressed. 

For a transcript and video yesterday’s basketball press conference, see this article on LSUSports.net. Below are a few key comments I gathered by following the tweets of reporters covering Coach Johnny Jones’ presser. 

• Coach Jones said he’s very happy with the track the program is on, and when asked if he thinks he did a good job this year, he answered with a definitive yes.

• When asked whether he thinks Jordan Mickey should return to LSU, Jones said players can always get better and stronger, but that the decision lies with Jordan and his family. He added that Johnny O’Bryant and Jarell Martin benefited by returning to LSU to play another season.

• When asked about next season, Jones quickly pointed out Craig Victor as a potential difference maker. He said he also wants to see improvements from Elbert Robinson and Aaron Epps.

One player who has the potential to make a huge impact on LSU’s basketball program is signee Ben Simmons, and yesterday he was honored as the Gatorade National Player of the Year.  Here is the official Ben Simmons Gatorade Player of the Year Video that I encourage you to take a moment to view. And if you want to see more of Simmons, his season highlights video is also in our Media Gallery.

In football news, LSU’s Pro Day takes place tomorrow and several former Tigers will be taking place in an attempt to impress the 100+ NFL coaches, managers and scouts in attendance. The list of former Tigers expected to take part in the event includes projected first round offensive lineman La’el Collins, linebackers Kwon Alexander and D.J. Welter, running backs Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard, fullback Connor Neighbors, defensive end Jermauria Rasco and safety Ronald Martin. The SEC Network will be on site to televise the event which begins at noon with the running events (40-yard dash, various shuttle runs). Below is a complete schedule of Pro Day events  and times. Fans can also watch LSU’s Pro Day on the WatchESPN app or on SEC Network+. 

2015 LSU Football Pro Day – Schedule of Events

10:30 a.m. - Vertical jump, broad jump (weight room); bench press
12 p.m. - 40-yard dash, 3-cone drills, etc.
1:15 p.m. - Passing tree
1:40 p.m.- Running backs
2:00 p.m.- Tight ends
2:15 p.m. - Offensive line
2:35 p.m. - Defensive backs
2:55 p.m. - Linebackers
3:10 p.m. - Defensive line 

A complete recap and real-time results can also be found on LSUsports.net.

In baseball news, the No. 1 LSU baseball team (22-3, 4-2) will return to action with a three-game series against Kentucky (16-9, 2-4) starting tomorrow. Coach Mainieri has said that he will go with the same starting pitching rotation of Poché, Lange and Godfrey in this series. Later today I should receive more information on the series and can let you know who Kentucky will counter with. A lot of you have asked me about the status of Kade Scivicque who was hit by a pitch in the forearm during Tuesday’s game against Tulane. The good news is that Scivicque’s X-ray came back negative and he should be good to go tomorrow night. Scivicque, also known as the Maurepas Masher, is LSU’s leading hitter with an incredible .423 average and has been exceptional behind the plate. If I were asked to name LSU’s MVP at this point in the season, I wouldn’t hesitate in naming Scivicque. 

A few brief football-related tidbits in closing:

• LSU entertained an out-of-state recruit at a major position of need yesterday - linebacker Jonathan Jones (6-1, 220) of Orlando, Florida. I’m hearing that things are looking good with Jones, as well as with in-state sensations Devin White (RB/LB, 6'3", 224, North Webster) and Michael Divinity (LB, 6'2", 200, John Ehret) who are ranked No. 3 and No. 8, respectively, in our list of Top LA Prospects for 2016.

• A few days ago I named three LSU football players who appear to be making a splash this spring - FB David Ducre, LB Donnie Alexander and WR D.J. Chark. Here’s a great article on the impact Chark is making with video interviews of Chark and QB Anthony Jennings. 

• And on a lighter note, you know that Helmet Madness challenge I included a link to yesterday? Well, LSU won! LSU beat Mississippi State, Auburn, Notre Dame and Michigan and Navy en route to being honored by CBSSports as having the top football helmet in all of college football.

 

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