The LSU Tigers are heading into Omaha with victories in 25 out of their last 26 games with an overall record of 48-17-1 while going 18-11-1 in the SEC. They are led by second year head coach Paul Mainieri who will be making his second appearance in the College World Series after taking Notre Dame to Omaha in 2002. The Tigers swept through the Baton Rouge Regional with a victory over Texas Southern by a score of 12-1 before beating Southern Miss twice by scores of 13-4 and 11-4. The Tigers followed that up by playing against UC-Irvine where they lost Game 1 by a score of 11-5 then rallying in the top of the ninth in Game 2 to get a 9-7 victory and destroying UC-Irvine in the winner take all game 21-7.
The LSU offense is led by Matt Clark who leads the team with 26 homers on the year while being second on the team in average at .347. Blake Dean leads the team with a .359 average and is second to Clark in homers with 20 on the year. DJ LeMahieu is third on the team with a .340 average and catcher Micah Gibbs is hitting .323 on the year. Ryan Schimpf leads the team with 16 steals in 20 attempts.
The Tigers pitching staff is led by Ryan Verdugo who is 9-3 with a 3.90 ERA in 19 appearances including 17 starts. His opponents are hitting only .249 off of him this season. Blake Martin is the second best pitcher on the team with a 5-3 record with a 4.83 ERA and the other starting spot is filled by Jordan Brown who is a perfect 5-0 with a 5.43 ERA. The closer for the LSU Tigers is Jared Bradford who is 10-4 with a 4.50 ERA with five saves.
The LSU Tigers need to be able to hit the quality pitching they will see in the College World Series as they will not be able to win 2-1 games with the weaknesses in the LSU pitching staff.
PHOTO COURTESY OF LSU