NCAA Baseball Championships:
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5/18/13 6:10 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
On a special night at the Box, the LSU baseball team defeated Ole Miss 5-4 in very fitting come-from-behind fashion. I call it fitting because the 8th inning comeback, capped by Raph Rhymes’ 2-RBI home run, came on a night when the entire 1993 Tiger Team (known for its come-from-behind wins) was in attendance as a sign of respect for the former coach, Skip Bertman, who was honored before the game when the field was officially named “Skip Bertman Field.”
Bertman, who went 870-330-3 as LSU’s coach from 1984 to 2001 and led the program to five of their six CWS championships, and then later severed as the school's Athletic Director from 2001 to 2008, is very deserving of the honor and I think it was a classy move by LSU. Just so you know, LSU will refer to the baseball complex as “Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field” and the stadium will continue to be known in the shortened version as simply “The Box.” The baseball complex will not be referred to as “Alex Box Stadium at Skip Bertman Field” or “Skip Bertman Field at Alex Box Stadium.”
With last night's win, the Tigers improved to 48-7 overall and 23-6 in the SEC, giving LSU its most regular-season victories league wins in school history. The Tigers were led at the plate by Mason Katz (2-for-4), Mark Laird (2-for-4) and Raph Rhymes (1-for-3, 3 RBI), but it was Rhymes exhilarating 2-run homer in the eighth that was the difference in the game. The Tigers threw six pitchers in the game. Kurt McCune got the start and allowed three hits and one run in four innings. Nate Fury, Nick Rumbelow, Joey Bourgeois and Kevin Berry combined for four innings and allowed a total of three runs on four hits before Chris Cotton closed out the ninth by retiring the Rebels in order to earn his 12th save of the season. Kevin Berry (4-0) was credited with the win.
Here’s a brief scoring recap: LSU fell behind early on an RBI single by the Rebels in the top of the first inning, but answered in the fourth inning with two runs on a sacrifice fly from Rhymes and a bases-loaded walk from Ty Ross. Laird led off the fifth inning with his first triple of the season and was driven home on an RBI groundout from Bregman, giving the Tigers a 3-1 lead. Ole Miss responded in the seventh, leveling the game at 3-3 on an LSU throwing error and an RBI single. The Rebels later regained the lead in the eighth on an RBI groundout. With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Katz delivered a single to centerfield, and then Rhymes brought the crowd of over 10,000 to their feet and he launched a go-ahead home run over the wall in left-centerfield.
The Tigers will go for the series sweep today at noon, and the game will air on the CBS Sports Network.
Yesterday was also a special day for 64 LSU student-athletes who received their diplomas. Of the 64 degrees that were handed out, 57 were undergraduate degrees and seven were for graduate school. Seven members of the LSU baseball team received their diplomas, including four who are still on the roster for the Tigers - pitcher Kevin Berry (sports administration), pitcher Joey Bourgeois (interdisciplinary studies), first/second baseman Mason Katz (sports administration), outfielder Raph Rhymes (sports administration), undergraduate assistant coach and former first baseman Blake Dean (interdisciplinary studies), equipment manager and former infielder Matt Fury (chemical engineering) and former catcher Jordy Snikeris (finance). The LSU basketball programs were represented at graduation by Adrienne Webb (sports administration) and Bianca Lutley (general studies) on the women’s side and Andrew Del Piero (sociology) on the men’s side. Nine members of the LSU football team graduated with a Bachelor’s degree, including starting tight end for the 2012 Tigers Chase Clement (general studies). Former punter D.J. Howard (business administration) and tight end/deep snapper Alex Russian (business administration) both received their Master’s degree. Lauren Carleton, who is the most decorated distance runner in the history of the LSU women’s track program, received her Master’s degree in business administration after posting a 4.0 grade point average. Carleton, who was a University Medalist in 2011 as the graduate with the top grade point average in her class, was crowned the 2013 SEC Indoor Champion in the 5,000-meter run and she has set three school records as a senior this year. Hats off to all the student athletes, and to all the non-athlete students, for reaching this milestone in their lives.
In football recruiting news, several top in-state prospects have had a lot of eyes on them in the last few days during spring games and scrimmages. The other day I mentioned Parkway quarterback Brandon Harris (6'1", 185, No 15 on my list of top LA Prospects for 2014) who was offered a scholarship by LSU, and Thursday Coach Cameron and several other college scouts were at Parkway to check him out during their Spring Game. By all reports, he didn’t disappoint. Here's Harris” Spring Game highlights (via YouTube by GigEm247). Last night north Louisiana powerhouses Neville and West Monroe scrimmaged and lots of coaches were on hand to watch several top prospects including West Monroe's Cam Robinson (OL, 6'6", 315, No. 3 on my list) and Neville's Laurence “Hootie” Jones (CB, 6'2", 215, No. 7 on my list). According to a tweet by nola.com's Jimmy Smith, LSU o-line coach Greg Studrawa was in attendance to check out Robinson as was an Alabama coach, and the two were keeping their distance. Robinson was said to look leaner and meaner than ever. LSU defensive back coach Corey Raymond was there to check out Jones who is now pushing 220 pounds, according to Smith. Another prospect that's been receiving a lot of attention is 2015 WR Michael Chigbu (WR, 6'1", 205) of Holy Cross. LSU’s Frank Wilson and Alabama's Burton Burns were at Holy Cross to check him out in their scrimmage against John Ehret, and according to a Holy Cross coach whom I hear from often, Chigbu was very impressive. He caught three passes for about 100 yards including a 70-yard TD reception. The coaches were also there to see 2014 recruit Darrell Williams (RB, 6'1", 213, John Ehret, No. 13 on my list) who is a great prospect, but the Holy Cross defense was able to keep him in check and limit him to about 40 yards.
In other LSU football news, the Tiger Athletic Foundation and the LSU Alumni Association are offering travel packages for those of you who want to attend the season opener against TCU on August 31. For more info on the deals, check out lsutaf.org/TAFTravel or lsualumni.org/Trips.
Reader comments: Scott, here's just another reason why I love our coach at LSU! Miles Dons Sombrero at Hospital Event
5/17/13 5:45 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
The LSU baseball team defeated Ole Miss 7-1 last night in Game 1 of their last SEC series of the season, thanks to the big bats of seniors Mason Katz and Raph Rhymes and the solid pitching of Cody Glenn. With the win, LSU improved to 47-7 overall and 22-6 in the SEC, assuring the Tigers of single digit losses in the regular season.
The Tigers collected 10 hits in the game including four home runs, one of which was an inside-the-park home run by Raph Rhymes on his graduation day. In case you missed the flipped-out ending of that play, here's an animation of it posted by cfbsection. I didn't stay up late enough last night to see if it made SportCenter's Top-10, but it sure should have.
Cody Glenn (6-2) got the start for the Tigers and pitched seven strong innings to earn the win. Glenn had only given up five hits and no runs through six innings, but then gave up three consecutive hits and one run in the seventh before giving way to Joey Bourgeois who pitched a scoreless 8th. Will LaMarche pitched the ninth and allowed two hits but no runs. It was great to see Glenn continue to pitch well, and having three quality starters the caliber of Nola, Eades and Glenn will be a big boon for LSU in tournament play.
Here's a quick scoring recap of last night's game: Alex Bregman and Rhymes gave the Tigers an early 2-0 lead in the first inning with RBI hits. In the fourth, solo homers by Katz (his 14th homer and first since March 31) and Ibarra (his sixth homer) gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead. In the sixth, Rhymes hit his third homer of the season on the thrilling inside-the-park home run I mentioned earlier. The inside-the-park homer was LSU’s first since March 20, 2012 when Tyler Moore produced one against Southern in Alex Box Stadium. In the following inning, Sean McMullen launched a rocket of his own over the right-field wall, putting the Tigers in front 6-1. Tyler Moore gave the Tigers an insurance run in the eighth with a sacrifice fly to center.
Tonight's Game 2 will start at 7 p.m. and will be televised by Cox Sports Television. Prior to the game, LSU will honor its 1993 national championship team and designate the diamond at Alex Box Stadium as “Skip Bertman Field.” Kurt McCune will get the start on the mound for the Tigers while Aaron Nola is rested for the start of the SEC tournament.
Turning to football... with the start of LSU's season 106 days away, and the start of fall camp about 80 days away, expectations for the season seem to be considerably lower than last year at this time. But in retrospect, the sky-high expectations for last year's team were probably a bit unrealistic. After a couple of years of inconsistent and often frustrating quarterback play, Tiger Fans, myself included, were eager to believe that Zach Metterberger would make the Tigers unstoppable. And while Mettenberger didn't always live up to the lofty (read unrealistic) expectations, his season was not bad for a first year starter in the SEC. The good news is that he now has a very valuable year of experience under his belt and is getting better instruction than ever under the direction of Cam Cameron. And his receiving corps will be much better with Travin Dural and Quantavious Leslie joining the veteran returning starters. Add to that a deep and improved offensive line, a healthy Alfred Blue, and a leaner and meaner Kenny Hilliard, things looks very bright for the LSU offense. And if Jeremy Hill does in fact return to the team, look out. This Tiger offense could be the best it's been in years.
The biggest concerns for this year's team, unlike last year's, are on the defensive side of the ball. There's been a lot of talk about the challenge of replacing Sam Montgomery and Keke Mingo at the ends, but I'm not overly concerned there. Jermauria Rasco, Danielle Hunter, Jordan Allen, Kendal Beckwith, Frank Herron - these are all very talented athlete very capable of stepping in filling those big shoes. My bigger concern has been in replacing Kevin Minter at middle linebacker, but with all the underclassmen from the linebacker-rich 2012 signing class, plus Lamin Barrow and D.J. Welter, Coach John Chavis has plenty to work with there. So I guess you could say that I'm feeling pretty optimistic about this year's team once again, and it really doesn't bother me at all that the national media might not feel the same.
Speaking of expectations, yesterday Athlon Sports featured LSU in its Top-25 Countdown and revealed that they've picked the Tigers to finish 12th in the nation. Here's a link to their Tigers team preview and all related features, including their list of the 10 Greatest LSU Tigers since 1967, and their Five Greatest Moments in LSU Football History.
In basketball news, there have been multiple reports of Malik Morgan requesting a release from the LSU basketball team. As of now, there has been no official confirmation of this from LSU. The 6'4" guard from John Curtis started in 14 games last season and scored in double digits three times. Possible destinations for Morgan, as stated in this article by Nola.com, include Tulane, Oklahoma and TCU.
In women's basketball news, hats off to Nikki Caldwell for the second year in a row LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell has been chosen to represent the United States as an assistant coach for the 2013 USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team. Last year, Caldwell became the first LSU head coach to serve on a USA Basketball U19 World Championship staff, and in her two seasons with the Lady Tigers she has compiled a 45-23 record and led the team to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths. In 2012, LSU reached the NCAA second round and the Southeastern Conference Tournament championship game. A year later, the Lady Tigers improved that mark by reaching their first Sweet 16 since 2008.
Congratulations are also in order LSU softball’s A.J. Andrews, Bianka Bell and Rachele Fico for being named to the NFCA All-South team. Andrews and Fico made the first team, while Bell came away a second team selection.
These three ladies and the rest of the No. 9 seeded LSU softball team will begin NCAA Tournament play tonight at 6 p.m. versus Central Connecticut State, the Northeast Conference champion, as part of a four-team running from Friday to Sunday at Tiger Park.
Reader comments: LSU hosted the best 1st grade field trip in history! Check out the story and pics on CBSSports.com.
5/16/13 5:50 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
The No. 2 LSU baseball team will return to action tonight when they take on a very capable, 14th ranked Ole Miss team at 6:30 p.m. CT in a game that will be televised by ESPNU. As usual, sophomore left-hander Cody Glenn (5-2, 2.78 ERA, 68.0 IP, 16 BB, 33 SO) will get the start for the Tigers in Game 1, but in a bit of a twist junior right-hander Kurt McCune will get the start in Game 2 so that Aaron Nola can be saved for the Tigers first game in the SEC tournament which gets underway Tuesday.
Here’s info on this week’s game times, TV coverage and pitching match-ups.
Game 1- Thursday (Today) 6:30 pm. CT (ESPNU)
LSU – So. LHP Cody Glenn (5-2, 2.78 ERA, 68.0 IP, 16 BB, 33 SO)
UM – Jr. RHP Mike Mayers (4-4, 2.87 ERA, 75.1 IP, 29 BB, 59 SO)
Game 2 - Friday 7 p.m. CT (Cox Sports Television)
LSU – Jr. RHP Kurt McCune (3-1, 3.38 ERA, 13.1 IP, 4 BB, 8 SO)
UM – So. RHP Sam Smith (3-0, 3.15 ERA, 54.1 IP, 15 BB, 27 SO)
Game 3 - Saturday 12 p.m. CT (CBS Sports Network)
LSU – Jr. RHP Ryan Eades (8-1, 2.29 ERA, 82.2 IP, 23 BB, 69 SO)
UM – Jr. RHP Bobby Wahl (9-0, 1.43 ERA, 88.0 IP, 40 BB, 73 SO)
The LSU-Ole Miss series goes all the way back to 1906 and the Tigers lead it 166-142. LSU has won 10 of its last 14 regular-season series with Ole Miss, including a 2-1 series victory last season in Oxford. The Tigers also defeated the Rebels, 11-2, in an elimination game in last year’s SEC Tournament. The Rebels’ last series victory over the Tigers in Alex Box Stadium came in 1982, when Ole Miss won two of three to close the season.
In football news, a couple of days ago I mentioned that Quantavious Leslie had passed his Algebra class and was cleared to enroll at LSU, and yesterday I learned that his enrollment could come very soon. Leslie will graduate from Hinds Community College tomorrow and could be at LSU next week in time for the start of summer school. Last year LSU had a lot of trouble in the red-zone, and I suspect that Leslie will be a key part of the Tigers' improvement in that aspect of the game. At 6'4", Leslie ought to be a great weapon to utilize in a red-zone fade route.
In other news related to LSU football, according to this article by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, TCU has suspended Devonte Fields for the first two games of the 2013 season, meaning he'll miss the season opener against LSU. Fields (DE, 6'4", 240) is the best player on the TCU team and the best defensive player in the Big 12 conference, and his absence will be a big break for a Tiger offense that will be taking the field for the first time under the direction of Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron.
Now turning to football recruiting... Parkway quarterback Brandon Harris has announced via Twitter that he will commit to his school of choice on July 18th. What's particularly interesting about this is that LSU is currently courting three quarterbacks for 2013 in Harris (6'1", 185, No. 15 on my list of Top LA Football Prospects for 2014), Mason Rudolph (6'4", 210, Rock Hill, SC), and DeShone Kizer (6'5", 207, Toledo, Ohio), and the later two are expected to make their decisions in late June or early July (before Harris). Last week Coach Cam Cameron went to Parkway to meet with Harris and called him the best quarterback he has seen (presumably the best he has evaluated this spring), and later that day Coach Miles extended a scholarship offer to Harris. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out and how many QBs LSU takes in this class. My guess would be two. With Anthony Jennings and Hayden Rettig from the 2013 signing class, and two of the three aforementioned signal callers, LSU could be in great shape at QB for the foreseeable future.
In softball news, the No. 9 national seed Tigers softball team will begin NCAA tournament play tomorrow when they take on Central Connecticut State at 6 p.m. The game will not be televised but can be heard on 104.9 FM. Below is the schedule for the Baton Rouge Regional.
NCAA Baton Rouge Regional
Friday, May 17
Game 1: Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Northwestern State – 3 p.m.
Game 2: No. 9 LSU vs. Central Connecticut State – 6 p.m.
Saturday, May 18
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner – 12 p.m.
Game 4: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser – 3 p.m.
Game 5: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner – 6 p.m.
Sunday, May 17
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner – 1 p.m.
Game 7: Game 6 rematch if necessary – 4 p.m.
Ticket Information [www.LSUtix.net]
All-Session Prices [On Sale Now]
Adult Berm/Standing Room Only, $20
Youth Berm/Standing Room Only, $15
Single Game Tickets [On Sale: Thursday 8 a.m.]
Adult Berm/Standing Room Only, $7
Youth Berm/Standing Room Only, $5
Students Berm/Standing Room Only, $5
Groups (10 or more) Berm/Standing Room Only, $5
Reader comments: hi Scott - a link to a blog by an Alabama writer. LSU/Alabama NFL team
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