NCAA Baseball Championships:
DandyDon is proud to recognize David Toms as a great ambassador of the Tiger Nation.
You are viewing an archived report. For the most recent report, click here.
3/12/18 5:35 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
Spring football got started Sunday but not exactly in a spring-like fashion. A deluge forced the Day One practice indoors, but that didn’t dampen Coach Ed Orgeron’s enthusiasm for what he saw from his team and staff. “What a tremendous day for the guys,” Orgeron told the media following practice. “The preparation that our coaches put in going in to this first practice was phenomenal. That execution today was ahead of where it is usually on the first day,” he said.
Below are a few practice observations and a recap of Coach O’s comments by Jim Kleinpeter who was on hand for the action. Jim also shot the following brief practice video from the few minutes of individual drills the media were allowed to see.
Injuries: NT Ed Alexander did not practice; OL Saahdiq Charles (shoulder) watched from the side, as did freshman DL Davin Cotton; OL Austin Deculus (wrist) was limited as was S Ed Paris (knee).
Spotted: it was hard to miss NT Tyler Shelvin (No. 72) as he’s still the biggest guy on the defensive line. He took snaps with the second group behind Glen Logan, who is now wearing No. 97. Orgeron said Shelvin is “still a little heavy” but made some plays.
Cornerbacks: Kristian Fulton, whose eligibility is still in question, was out there wearing No. 22. Orgeron said nothing has changed, so he’s still a question mark for the 2018 season. Jontré Kirkland was getting the first snaps across from Greedy Williams with Kary Vincent and Mannie Netherly in the second group.
Numeral changes: Besides Logan, who switched from 96 to 97, other changes include WR Racey McMath (81 to 17) Kary Vincent (15 to 5) and Mannie Netherly (86 to 28).
Without prompting, Orgeron sang the praises of JC transfer O-lineman Damien Lewis. “We couldn't beat him on the pass rush,” Orgeron said. “We’ve got to find a place for him to play (guard or center),” Orgeron said Charles is going to start at LT and Badara Traore and Austin Deculus will compete at RT with Ed Ingram and Garrett Brumfield at guard and Lloyd Cushenberrry center.
Orgeron also said:
• QBs won't get hit this spring and there is no first team QB right now. “All three guys had a tremendous day.” Orgeron singled out Justin McMillan as having a good day.
• WR Jonathan Giles was good as expected, “he made some plays and beat the safety on a deep pass.”
• RB Nick Brossette got the most snaps. RB Tae Provens had a “tremendous day” and “made some outstanding plays.”
• The offense doesn’t have a feature running back yet and it may force them to throw to the backs and be creative with the offense.
• WR Terrace Marshall is “75-80 percent” and won’t get contact until he’s ready.
• Tyler Taylor and Jacob Phillips are battling for the spot next to Devin White at ILB. “We have five ILBs” and one of them, Micah Baskerville, “was in the backfield a bunch.”
• “More than likely” LSU will sign a graduate transfer cornerback and they have one “in mind.”
Speaking of that potential graduate transfer cornerback, the one who’s been generating the most chatter lately is Terrence Alexander. You might recall that he’s the former John Curtis standout who has recently graduated from Stanford. Jimmy Smith tweeted yesterday that Alexander’s father was expected at LSU’s practice yesterday and that Terrence will visit LSU on April 1.
Several big-time in-state 2019 recruits were in hand for yesterday’s first practice. These include DT Ishmael Sopsher (1), DB Derek Stingily (2), WR Devonta Lee (4), WR Trey Palmer (5), and ATH Christian Harris (19). The numbers in parenthesis indicate the players' rankings on our list of Top LA Prospects for 2019.
Turning to baseball, LSU erupted for 14 runs on a season-high 17 hits to defeat Hawaii 14-3 and win the series in convincing fashion. With the series win, the Tigers are now 11-6 on the season. As an indication of how dominant the Tigers were officially, consider this: Before the end of the fifth inning, every Tiger in the starting lineup had a hit. And before the end of the 6th, everyone in the lineup had scored a run.
Here’s a quick scoring summary:
With one out in the top of the first, Brandt Broussard singled to right field, stole second, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Austin Bain’s single to left field. Hunter Feduccia followed with an RBI double to make it 2-0 Tigers.
LSU extended the lead to 6-0 with a four-run third inning. Antoine Duplantis singled to right field and stole second to lead off the inning. In the next at-bat, the “Bain Train” kept rolling with a base hit to left field to put runners in scoring position. Feduccia followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Duplantis. Beau Jordan doubled to left-center, driving in Bain, and then scored on Chris Reid’s single to centerfield. With two outs and Reid on second, Hal Hughes doubled down the left field line to bring home Reid.
The Tigers blew the game open in the fifth. With Feduccia and Beau Jordan in scoring position after a walk, a hit by pitch and a sacrifice bunt, Daniel Cabrera drove a two-RBI double to centerfield. Cabrera then scored on an error by Hawaii shortstop Maaki Yamazaki, which put Hughes on first. After a single by Zach Watson to put two runners on, Broussard drove an RBI double to left field to make it 10-0, and a sacrifice fly by Duplantis made it 11-0. After a throwing error by the third baseman put Tigers on the corners with two outs, Feduccia put his second double of the day into left field and brought in two runs to make it 13-0 Tigers.
The Tigers added their final run in the sixth on a Hal Hughes RBI which scored Reid, who led with a single and advanced to second on Cabrera’s walk.
In the top of the seventh with one on and two outs, Hawaii left fielder Jedd Andrade doubled to shallow left field to break up the shutout and put the Rainbow Warriors on the board.
Just as it was a big night offensively for the Tigers, it was a great night on the mound. Freshman right-hander Ma'Khail Hilliard (3-0) made his first start as a Tiger and fired 5.1 strong shutout innings, allowing only three hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Cam Sanders, Brandon Nowak, Clay Moffitt, John Kodros and Trent Vietmeier combined for the final 3.2 innings of work and limited Hawaii to just one run on two hits.
Next up, LSU will take on South Alabama at 6:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, March 14 for the Tigers’ final game prior to the start of SEC play. Wednesday’s game will be streamed only via SECN+, accessible at WatchESPN.com and via the WatchESPN app. If things go as planned, I’ll be watching from my cell phone while setting out a few bank polls on my favorite river. More on that in a subsequent report.
In softball, No. 8 LSU completed a huge series sweep of No. 10 Auburn with a 1-0 win yesterday afternoon. The sweep, which was LSU’s first against Auburn since 2010, improves the Tigers to 22-2 and 3-0 in conference play. It also gives the LSU softball program a remarkable 400 wins, which is the second most in SEC history behind only Alabama (422). The star of yesterday’s game was LSU senior Carley Hoover who completely shut down Auburns’s offense with a complete game three-hitter. The shutout was her fifth of the year. Here’s a complete recap of the game by LSUSports.net.
Last but certainly not least, the LSU men’s basketball program learned last night that it will host an opening round NIT game as the No. 3 seed against… are you ready for this… No. 6 UL-Lafayette. After losing to the Cajuns in baseball last week, I’m counting on a Tiger win in this first round game to spare me from a lot of smack talk from my friends here in Lafayette, not to mention my wife who is a Cajun alumna. But on a more serious note, I love the matchup and think it’ll draw a great crowd to the PMAC. Win or lose, reaching the postseason in his first year as the Tigers’ coach is a big feather in Will Wade’s hat. The game is set to tip off at 6 p.m. CT on Wednesday, March 14, at the Maravich Center in Baton Rouge and can be seen online at ESPN3.com. Unfortunately, there will be no over-the-air television broadcast. Tickets went on sale last night at www.LSUtix.net and can also be purchased over the phone at 225-578-2184 and in person at the LSU Athletics ticket office starting at 8 a.m. Monday. More info here.
Ok, I know you can’t get enough of LSU spring football practice and our video of a few individual drills probably didn’t exactly get the heart racing. This one by LSU’s video production department, however, might do the trick: The Sights and Sounds from Day 1.
3/11/18 5:50 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
Behind three innings of high-powered offense and solid pitching, the Tigers bounced back with a 5-1 win over Hawaii. With the victory, the Tigers improved to 10-6 on the season.
Zach Watson led the game in style with a first-pitch leadoff homer which kind of set the tone for some early inning fireworks. The Tigers would go on to score four more times in the first three innings. With two outs and one on in the bottom of the second, Hal Hughes ripped an RBI triple down the right-field line to give LSU a 2-0 lead. That lead would be extended to 5-0 in the third when Austin Bain’s RBI single was followed by a two-run boomstick off the bat of Hunter Feduccia. Those early inning fireworks were great to see from a Tiger team that had been in a bit of a scoring funk for the last two games. Unfortunately, the Tigers weren’t able to keep it up and only collected one hit the remainder of the game, but that turned out to be inconsequential thanks to solid Tiger pitching.
Caleb Gilbert gave LSU five strong innings and would have probably given more if not for the fact that a hard-hit “comebacker” struck his push-off foot in the second inning. By the fifth inning, it was obvious that the injury was making things difficult for him and he was pulled. Still, in five innings of work Gilbert kept the Rainbow Warriors off the board and only allowed four hits with one walk and a big strikeout in the first to strand the bases loaded. Matthew Beck followed Gilbert and his first inning was completely dominant. In his second, he got into a bit of trouble but then buckled down and escaped a bases-loaded jam unscathed. Todd Peterson pitched two-thirds of an inning and gave up two hits and the only run of the game before giving way to Tayler Petersen who slammed the door shut with one-and-a-third solid innings. Overall it was a great night for the LSU pitching staff.
Leading the way offensively for the Tigers were Austin Bain, Beau Jordan, Feduccia, and Watson. Bain, who started at first base (and needs to remain in the everyday lineup, in my opinion) went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Beau Jordan also went 2-for-4. Feduccia had the big two-run homer and Watson got things started with his first-pitch dinger. Also deserving of props is Hal Huges who looked outstanding at shortstop and went 1-for-3 with an RBI triple.
The Tigers will go for the series win today at 3:00 (changed to avoid inclement weather) with freshman right-hander Ma’Khail Hilliard (3-0, 0.00) on the mound. Hawaii will counter with senior right-hander Neil Uskali (2-1, 2.55 ERA). There was some discussion about freshman right-hander Nick Storz making his highly anticipated LSU debut today, but Coach Mainieri said after the game that he’s not quite ready.
Switching gears here… Believe it or not, spring football is upon us. Coach Ed Orgeron and his new-look staff will conduct the first of fifteen practices today and then afterward Orgeron will meet with the media. I won’t be able to make it out there, but my man Jim Kleinpeter will and we’ll have a report on what transpires, and hopefully some video, to share with you tomorrow.
Here are a few things we’ll be looking for in Day 1 of LSU Spring Practice:
NT Tyler Shelvin's weight, or lack thereof
Shelvin can be a game-changing force if his conditioning is up and his weight is down after a year on academic redshirt. Coach Ed Orgeron made reference to him having slimmed down but the last official weight we have is 378 pounds. As of Saturday, the school has yet to post a complete 2018 roster with updated weights, but we should be able to get a good idea of whether Shelvin and several other Tigers, pass the “eye test.”
CB Kristian Fulton's presence/status
A five-star recruit, Fulton saw limited action in three games as a freshman in 2016 and missed all of last season, presumably due to off-field issues. Coach O has been mum on what exactly is going on and whether Fulton will be eligible to play this year. If he’s good to go, that would obviously provide a huge boost at a position of need that is lacking in depth. Here’s hoping we learn a bit about his status today.
With four new faces on the coaching staff and some responsibility shifts, there may be noticeable changes in how practice is conducted. With Steve Ensminger at offensive coordinator instead of tight ends, that position group will likely be folded into the offensive linemen under James Cregg. Jerry Sullivan steps in as a passing game coordinator. Corey Raymond will have cornerbacks to himself with Bill Busch coaching safeties. And Greg McMahon has special teams full time. It’ll be interesting to see whether the new coaches – three of whom are coming directly from the NFL –bring with them some new and interesting drills and practice routines.
QB three-horse race
Coach O has said he feels like he’ll finally have the quarterback Tiger fans have been longing for. Whether that QB is Myles Brennan (the presumed front-runner), Lowell Narcisse, Justin McMillan, or some combination of the three is the big question. Don’t expect us to have an answer today or anytime soon, but we could get an early indication of how reps are divided and how each looks. Hopefully we’ll get some of that on video to share with you tomorrow.
Today’s Closing Tidbits:
• The LSU softball team improved to 2-0 in league play with yet another dramatic walk-off win over Auburn. This time, it was Amanda Doyle’s two-out RBI hit that kept the game from going to extra innings and gave the Tigers the win. Here’s a complete recap. LSU (21-2, 2-0) will look to earn the series sweep today at 4 p.m. CT and you can check it out on ESPN2.
• In men’s basketball, the NIT selection show gets underway tonight at 7:30 PM CT on ESPNU. Hopefully the Tigers can get a good draw and make some noise in the tournament to cap what has been a very successful Year 1 of the Will Wade era. As soon as we hear of LSU’s postseason future, we’ll tweet the news to those of you who follow DandyDonLSU on Twitter.
• Lastly, here’s a good read to go along with that second cup of Sunday morning coffee: Rabalais: LSU's veterans salute gives a higher meaning to the games the Tigers play
This web site is not officially affiliated with Louisiana State University. Opinions expressed herein are the property of Donald Long, Scott Long and friends, not Louisiana State University.