Nevada Native Casey Yocom Embraces LSU’s Traditions
For many young boys growing up in the 1990s, LSU baseball making a run to another National Championship seemed to occur every summer. The impact of LSU’s success reaches much farther than the state of Louisiana; in fact, it stretches throughout the whole country.
Watching LSU baseball during its championship seasons, senior infielder Casey Yocom always had the Tigers in the back of his mind, although he never thought he’d make it to Baton Rouge.
When Yocom graduated from Reed High School in Reno, Nev., going to a community college was the perfect path to improve his game and eventually fulfill his goal in playing for a Division I college.
“I think it was really good for me because I could have gone to a small Division I school but it was always my dream to go to a big-time Division I school,” Yocom said. “When I was there I really focused on baseball and I dedicated all of my time to it. I think it was really good for me.”
After two years at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif., Yocom received a call from the LSU coaching staff asking him to make a visit to campus.
“Being from Nevada, we have a lot of West Coast schools that I dreamed of going to but I would see LSU at the College World Series almost every year,” Yocom said. “When I got the call, it was surreal that the team that I saw miles away almost every year in Omaha was calling me to play for them.”
Since making his way to Baton Rouge, Yocom has proved to be a leader on and off the field. He plays every position in the infield and has contributed every time he has been given the opportunity, something of which coach Paul Mainieri has taken note.
“Casey has been a tremendous joy to have in our program, and he is a wonderful young man. He’s a versatile player. He doesn’t get to play as much as a lot of the guys, and yet he is one of our most valuable players because he’s our insurance,” Mainieri said. “If anyone in our infield were to have an unfortunate injury, then Casey has to be ready. It’s a tough job but he has to be ready.”
Through his two years in Baton Rouge, Yocom has come to learn there’s more to LSU than the championships.
“It’s kind of hard to explain because before I came here I knew they were really good and had a lot of tradition,” Mainieri said. “I didn’t know about the fans, football, and all about southern living. It’s kind of hard to explain it. You just have to come down here and experience it all. I tried to tell my family, and they didn’t believe me until they came to visit.”
As Yocom’s senior season comes to an end, the goal, as always, is making it back to Omaha and winning the school’s seventh national championship. Yocom’s gratefulness, though, for everything the LSU coaches and his teammates have given him goes beyond the playing field.
“When I came here I didn’t know anyone, but when I leave I’ll leave with life- long friends, Yocom said. “I’ll still talk to these coaches, too, when I leave because they’ve taught me a lot and mean so much to me.”