NCAA Baseball Championships:
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4/19/17 5:50 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
The LSU baseball team improved to 26-12 last night with a 10-4 win over Lamar. After a delay of 70 minutes due to lightning and rain, the game began with a thunderous home run by Lamar on the first pitch of the night. That would be the first of five home runs hit between the two teams, including back-to-back shots by LSU in a six-run second inning. All told, the Tigers collected 13 hits on the night with every member of the starting lineup logging at least one.
The Tigers sent six pitchers to the mound with mixed results. Caleb Gilbert got the start and allowed two harmless hits after the leadoff home run before giving way to Matthew Beck in the third. Of the six pitchers who threw, Beck was hit the hardest, as he allowed three runs on five hits in 1.2 innings of work. This was surprising since Beck had only given up four hits all season in 14 innings of work. Austin Bain, Nick Bush, Zack Hess and Hunter Newman combined to keep the Cardinals off the board in the final 5.1 innings while allowing only one hit and three walks.
Here’s a quick recap of how the game played out: After giving up the first-pitch home run, LSU stormed back with six runs on six hits in the second inning to take a 6-1 lead. The first three runs came on back-to-back boomsticks – a two-run dinger by Nick Coomes and a solo shot by Josh Smith. The other two were driven in on singles by Zack Watson and Jordan Romero. Lamar would cut the Tigers’ lead to two, 6-4, with a run in the third and two in the fourth. All three of the runs would come on homers, including a second dinger of the night by leadoff hitter Cutter McDowell. LSU extended its lead in the fifth on back-to-back singles by Beau Jordan and Antoine Duplantis to make it 7-4 and tacked on its final three runs in the seventh on an RBI single by Kramer Robertson and a two-RBI single by Greg Deichmann.
Next up for the Tigers is a treacherous seven-game road stretch beginning this Friday at 5:30 p.m. against a very good Kentucky team that sits atop the SEC East standings. Last night the Wildcats beat the consensus No. 1 team in the country, Louisville, by a score of 11-7.
In softball news, LSU snapped a four-game skid with a 5-2 win over Northwestern State. The Tigers (33-12) put up a pair of crooked numbers in the third and fourth innings to jump out to a 4-0 lead and added an insurance run in the sixth after the Demons scored twice in the top of the inning. Leading the way offensively for the Tigers was Emily Griggs who had two of the team’s six hits in the game, including two doubles. Sophomore pitcher Sydney Smith bounced back from a tough loss against Ole Miss on Saturday to earn the win. In 6.1 innings of work, Smith allowed only one hit while striking out five and walking one. The Tigers will return to action this weekend when they host Tennessee for the three-game series beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Turning to football, Coach Ed Orgeron’s Tigers returned to the practice field yesterday for their second-to-last practice before Saturday’s Spring Game. You can find a thorough report on the practice by The Advocate here, but if you just want the basic cliff notes, here ya go:
• Speedster Donté Jackson was running jet sweeps. I couldn’t help but smile as I typed those words.
• Coach Aranda employed a new-look pass-rushing nickel package with outside linebackers André Anthony and Ray Thornton on the field at the same time.
• Michael Divinity worked out as a first-string inside linebacker in place of Donnie Alexander, who’s out for the rest of spring while recovering from shoulder surgery.
In basketball news, it sounds like LSU is closing in on landing JUCO transfer combo guard Daryl Edwards. According to Tiger Rag’s Cody Worsham, Edwards had an “amazing” visit last weekend and left sky high on LSU. Edwards already had a good relationship with Coach Will Wade, who recruited him while at Chattanooga and VCU, but also left very impressed with new assistant coach Greg Heiar. Edwards particularly enjoyed the unusual workout Heiar put him through during the visit, which involved “crazy ball handling drills with a tennis ball” and “hook shots from outside the block.” LSU currently has one scholarship available if all of the current players and signees remain Tigers.
Today’s closing tidbits:
• I doubt you need any help getting pumped about football returning to Tiger Stadium in just three days, but in case you do here’s a brand new LSU Spring Game Hype Video. LSU has also published additional info on the game including a parking map and seating chart which you can find at LSUSports.net/SpringGame.
• I heard from a lot of you yesterday who are pumped about LSU’s newest football commitment, defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko. Just as the video highlights I posted yesterday left many of you impressed with Fehoko’s talents, I suspect this piece by The Advocate will leave you impressed with his maturity as well: Q&A with new Tigers defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko: 'I know I'll be in good hands at LSU’
• Reading the Q&A with Fehoko and seeing him mention how much he enjoyed eating crawfish on his visit reminds me to mention our page of LSU Alumni Crawfish Boils. A couple of the dozen or so alumni associations listed will be holding their boils this weekend and most of the others will be in the next two to three weeks.
• LSU announced yesterday that its gymnastics, men’s golf, and women’s golf programs will each host NCAA Regional Championships between 2019 and 2021. For more on this topic, here’s the full press release.
• Lastly, I’ve updated our Ticket exchange with a few new listings.
Reader Comments: Scott, just wanted you to know we lost two lifelong LSU supporters in the Shreveport area this week. Dr. Eugene St. Martin (age 98) and Eddie Blanchard (age 90). Both were LSU grads and great supporters of the program. May they rest in eternal peace.
4/18/17 5:50 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
IT’S TIME FOR TUESDAY’S TIDBITS: Your Daily Dose of Tiger News Delivered in a Baker’s Dozen Quick-Hitters
1. LSU picked up a huge football commitment yesterday when Texas Tech defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko announced that he is transferring to LSU. At 6-foot-3, 287 pounds, the native of Hawaii not only has exceptional size but exceptional talent, as evidenced by his five-star rating on scout.com. Along with his size and talent, Fehoho will bring a breadth of experience to the Tigers. During his two seasons at Texas Tech, Fehoko started 25 games for the Red Raiders and recorded 38 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks. Here are his impressive video highlights.
2. Fehoko will count as the Tigers’ 24th commitment for the 2017 class. Remember, this is the class that missed out on defensive linemen Marvin Wilson and Phidarius Mathis, which makes Fehoko’s addition somewhat of a delayed consolation. While Fehoko will count towards 2017, he won’t be eligible to play until 2018 because of NCAA transfer rules. After sitting out this season, he’ll have two years of eligibility.
3. While on football recruiting, LSU is now in the mix for five-star 2018 running back James Cook of Miami. Cook (6-0, 181) has long been committed to Florida State but tells SECCountry.com that LSU has been recruiting him very hard and that he’s listening. Why? Because LSU is RBU, and because Cook has a longstanding relationship with LSU running backs coach Tommie Robinson, who recruited Cook while he was an assistant coach at Southern Cal.
4. With running back being a big priority in LSU’s 2018 class, Cook is far from the only big-time back LSU is recruiting. Other out-of-state Tiger targets at the position include Harold Joiner (6-3, 218) of Birmingham, Ala. and Chris Curry (5-11, 200) of Lehigh Acres, Fla. LSU is also recruiting the state’s top-two running backs, AJ Carter (6-0, 220) of Many and Tony St. Julien (6’2", 190) of Vinton, although neither holds an LSU offer at this time.
5. I know a lot of you are probably wondering why I didn’t include West Monroe’s Slade Bolden in the tidbit above about LSU running back targets. That’s because Bolden is being recruited by LSU as an athlete. From what I understand, LSU told Bolden they would not decide where to play him until he got on campus but it would be either at safety or slot receiver and also as a return specialist. Bolden excels at baseball too and wants to play both in college. His top choices right now are LSU, TCU and Louisiana Tech.
6. Speaking of baseball, LSU made a slight jump in the weekly polls after winning three of four games last week including two-out-of-three over Ole Miss. The Tigers check stayed put at No. 9 in Baseball America and D1 Baseball, climbed two spots to No. 10 in Perfect Game and fell two spots to No. 12 in Collegiate Baseball.
7. The Tigers will have a chance this weekend to gain some ground in the polls and even more in the SEC rankings when they travel to Kentucky to take on a very good Wildcats team. Kentucky sits atop the SEC East and is ranked as high as No. 10 in the nation. If LSU can take 2-out-of-3 in Lexington, that would be big.
8. Before facing the Wildcats, LSU will take on Lamar tonight at 6:30 p.m. LSU will likely send several pitchers to the mound, starting with sophomore RHP Caleb Gilbert (1-1, 3.22 ERA). Lamar will counter with junior LHP Ryan Johnson (1-0, 1.35 ERA, 6.2 IP, 7 BB, 4 K). One more note: LSU will wear blue batting helmets tonight to promote prostate cancer awareness.
Here a look at this week’s baseball schedule and coverage:
April 18 (Tue.) – LAMAR, 6:30 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)
April 21 (Fri.) – at Kentucky, 5:30 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)
April 22 (Sat.) – at Kentucky, 5:30 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)
April 23 (Sun.) – at Kentucky, 12 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)
9. The No. 11 LSU softball team will also return to action today when it takes on the Northwestern State Lady Demons at 6 p.m. at Tiger Park. The Tigers are looking to bounce back after a rough weekend series in Oxford where they were swept by Ole Miss, dropping all three games by one run apiece. Two of the games were lost in heartbreaking fashion on walk-off home runs. The losses dropped LSU’s record to 32-12 and 8-7 in the SEC.
10. Congratulations to D-D Breaux and assistant coaches Jay Clark and Bob Moore for being named the 2017 National Association of College Gymnastics Coaches (NACGC) National Coach and Assistant Coaches of the Year. This is the second time the trio has swept the national awards, with the first time being in 2014.
11. LSU students, mark your calendars: ‘LSU Student Day’ at football practice is set for this Thursday, April 20. Students are invited to take a tour of the locker room, touch the “Win” bar and enter Death Valley “through the chute” from 3 to 4 p.m. and then watch the team practice until approximately 5:30. Once the Tigers are done with practice, LSU students will get a chance to take the field in Tiger Stadium to participate in a Punt, Pass and Kick competition. For all the details, see this article on LSUSports.net.
12. I’ll leave you today with this very good read by Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated: “The fixer: New OC Matt Canada sets out to rewire LSU's stagnant offense.” In it, Coach O is quoted as saying Canada’s offense is “kicking our defense’s tail this spring.”
13. I don’t have a new recipe to share with you this today since I did a variation of my Italian sausage pasta for last night’s cooking night. So, for the lagniappe portion of today’s baker’s dozen, I’ll share with you this great video SEC Network produced of LSU football players impersonating their one-of-a-kind coach, Coach O. Rush da passah bébé, rush da passah! Funny stuff!
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