If Friday's results are instructive, Texas Southern really may be the worst team in the tournament.
Behind the William Tecumseh Sherman, slash and burn hotness of Blake Dean's bat, the LSU Tigers crushed the Texas Southern Tigers 12 - 1. Jordan Brown (win, 3-0) pitched a shut-out until a homer, a hit, and a walk led Mainieri to relieve him with Austin Ross. Ross shut Texas Southern out to save the game.
Blake "My Pants Are On Fire" Dean hit two homers, Matt Clark had one homer and 3 hits, and Jared Mitchell had 3 hits as well.
None of this means TOO much, since Texas Southern is probably extremely lucky to be in the Regional at all. But it's a nice win on two fronts. First of all, LSU keeps it's confidence-building winning streak alive at 21. Second, LSU did not overlook or otherwise hand an opportunity to this team. It was 4 zip at the end of the first and never in doubt after that.
Had LSU struggled to win on Friday, the team may have allowed their Superman status to become a question mark instead of an exclamation point. Question marks suck your will to live. Exclamation points win close games with two outs in the ninth. !!!!!!!!
Southern Miss beat UNO, so LSU plays Southern Miss tomorrow. I like that result. LSU has beaten them 8-4 in April. UNO, on the other hand, has given the Tigers fits.
I cannot help, though, look at LSU's roster, and who's carrying the mail in the last half of the season. It's very, very encouraging. Of the four seniors on the team, only Bradford and Hollander are significant. True, some of the underclassmen may get drafted and opt out. But that can be said for every team, every year. The bottom line is that LSU's youth is carrying the team right now. And, of the underclassmenwho start or get lots of playing time, Mitchell, Bertuccini, Dean, Schimpf, Bradshaw, Renaudo, Gibbs, LeMahieu, Ross, and Landry are either sophs or freshmen.
So, regardless of how the current run terminates, if the Tigers can recruit well this summer and hold on to at least of few of their juniors, next year's team should start the season very highly ranked.
Welcome back from nowhere, Tigers. Good to see you back in form.