Tigers Earn No. 3 Seed, Face Southern in NCAA Regional
LSU Sports Interactive
BATON ROUGE -- LSU will open the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional at 1 p.m. Friday when the Tigers face Southern University in Alex Box Stadium.
For complete details on the Baton Rouge Regional, view NCAA Regional Central on LSUsports.net.
LSU, the SEC regular-season and tournament champion, is the No. 1 seed in the Baton Rouge Regional while Southern, champions of the SWAC Tournament, is the No. 4 seed.
The second game of the regional will feature No. 2 seed Minnesota versus No. 3 seed Baylor at 6 p.m. Friday in Alex Box Stadium. The regional continues with games on Saturday and Sunday, with an “if necessary” game on Monday.
The Baton Rouge Regional champion will face the Houston Regional champion in an NCAA Super Regional series. Rice is the No. 1 seed in the Houston Regional, which also features No. 2 Kansas State, No. 3 Xavier (Ohio) and No. 4 Sam Houston State.
LSU, which is the No. 3 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, would play host to the Super Regional if the Tigers win the Baton Rouge Regional.
LSU is playing host to a regional for the 19h time and for the second consecutive season.
Tickets for the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional are on sale now to LSU baseball season ticket holders and to LSU students.
Regional tickets will remain on sale to season ticket holders and students until 5 p.m. on Tuesday .
Season ticket holders may place their orders at www.LSUsports.net, or by phone at 225-578-2184 or 800-960-8587. Orders may also be placed in person at the LSU ticket office. The ticket office is located on the first floor of the LSU athletic administration building.
LSU students may reserve ticket booklets by logging into their online accounts at www.LSUsports.net. The deadline for students to request tickets is 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Regional tickets not purchased by season ticket holders or LSU students by 5 p.m. Tuesday will go on sale to the general public at 8 a.m. Thursday.
QUOTES FROM LSU BASEBALL HEAD COACH PAUL MAINIERI
On starting a new season in the NCAA Tournament...
“...The 56-game schedule of the regular season and then the SEC Tournament is a grind. You work hard all year to get into this position. You can have an enjoyable day like today where you know you’re in the NCAA Tournament and now it’s just a matter of seeing who you’re going to play. I was really happy to see us as a national seed because, if we’re lucky enough to win this first-round regional, then we know we’re going to be home again.
“I’m sure some of you are going to ask me if we’re disappointed that we’re not number one or two and I’m certainly not disappointed. It makes no difference to me, whatsoever. As long as you’re in the top eight, that’s all that matters to me. I think third is probably very fair for us and if we’re fortunate enough to win this regional, we know we’re going to be home for the super regional. We know we’re going to play the winner of the Rice regional and I think it’s going to be great baseball. I’m very happy for Southern University that they won their tournament. It should be an exciting day on Friday with the two Baton Rouge schools playing each other. We’re not going to be looking beyond them, I can assure you of that. I don’t know much about Minnesota and Baylor at this point. When we go back to the office after this, I’ll go back to the office and we’ll do as much research as we can on the other two potential opponents. We’re excited. This is the fun time of the year. The first 56 games were a grind, but then you get to this point and enjoy yourself. This is the fun part. You know going in that you’re five consecutive wins away from going to Omaha. That’s exciting.”
On the team’s performance in the SEC tournament...
“I’m really proud of our team. In 27 years, I’ve had a lot of great experiences as a coach, but I can tell you that this weekend at the SEC tournament was one of my favorite experiences that I’ve had in coaching. To lose the first game in the tournament and then have to win five games to win then tournament and actually do it. I guarantee that none of you thought we had the pitching to do it. I’m not sure I believe that we had enough pitching to do it, but we did. Sometimes when kids are tested and really pushed to the maximum you find out something them that can really help you in the postseason.”
On if pitching is the difference between teams that can put together consecutive tournament wins...
“Without question, you have to have the pitching to do it, but it’s not the only factor. You would think that as the tournament wears on that everybody’s pitching is going to be a little thin and then the ability to score runs plays a big role, but I’d say in the SEC tournament, the pitching ended up being a critical factor. It was just amazing to see Daniel Bradshaw, Nolan Cain and then Ryan Byrd; three in a row. If somebody would have bet you that those three guys would step up and start games and pitch like they did, you would have had a tough time to find somebody to take that one with you. Buzzy Haydel came in and did a great job. Chad Jones came in and did a great job for us. I know Mikie Mahtook got the most valuable player, but I think the most valuable player was David Grewe, our pitching coach, and our entire pitching staff for their performance.”
On the confidence gained from the performance at the SEC tournament...
“What we’re proud of is that everybody on the team contributes. We’ve got some superstars like (P Anthony) Ranaudo, (P Louis) Coleman, (P Matty) Ott, (DH Blake) Dean and (OF Jared) Mitchell. There are some superstar-caliber players there, but what I love about this team is the balance. There are a lot of ways we can beat you. If we need to beat you by pitching well in a low-scoring game, we can. We can hit home runs with anybody. And I think we can steal bases and manufacture ones with anybody.
“If you’ll remember back to when I was first hired and somebody asked me what kind of team we would want to have and I said a very balanced team so that we could win any kind of game that is thrown at us. To do that you have to have a team of 25 players, you can’t just have three or four guys and then everyone else. In our situation, anybody can be a hero on any given day and that’s a very comforting feeling.”
On if he feels they’ll recover in time for the NCAA regional after playing so many games in the SEC tournament...
“I told the guys after we lost the first game that we could lose the second game and just go back and practice all weekend if they wanted to. Or we could stay in Hoover and play against some good competition and get better as a team. I don’t look at it as if it was tiring or exhausting because if we hadn’t kept winning we would have been practicing anyway.
“My biggest concern is we had gone two-and-out was not playing a game from Thursday of one week until Friday of the next week. That’s a long layoff. We played all the way through Sunday so I feel like we’re the lucky team. And the championship wasn’t too bad, by the way. It was great to be able to play through the weekend because now our layoff isn’t going to be that long.”
On the advantage of possibly playing at home for the next two weekends...
“It’s just a great thing to be home and then to know we’re going to be home if we’re lucky enough to win this weekend. I told the guys after our game yesterday that the next time we’re going to be packing our bags and playing a game away from the Box is going to be in Rosenblatt and we won’t mind doing that. We’ve got a lot of work to do and I’m very comfortable and confident because we’re going to be at the Box.”
On if any pitching performances in the SEC tournament changed his ideas about pitching in the NCAA tournament...
“I’ve thought about it a little bit, but haven’t really discussed it with the coaches. I wouldn’t imagine that it will change a whole lot. The big question is what we’re going to do with game one. I’m going to sleep on that one for a day or two and re-look at Southern and see what our best matchup is there and that will set the tone for the rest of the weekend.”
LSU PLAYER QUOTES
On team’s preparation from SEC Tournament...
“It just shows how strong this team is, the pitching staff is, and that we have guys that maybe haven’t had all the chances in the world. We have great character, and when they get their chance they’re ready to go. After losing the first game, it shows that we can play with anybody even with our backs against the wall.”
On playing Southern for second time this season...
“I think it helps a little bit, but at the same time they are doing well and on a roll. It’s post-season, so they have some adrenaline going. They have a completely different ball club. We played them pretty early in the season, so they have capitalized on their errors and figured everything out. So have we. I think it will be fun. It’s going to be a good game and things will be close.”
DH Blake Dean
On playing five games in the tournament...
“I think our team would much rather play games than play practice. Practices get boring quickly. I think that competing helps us out.”
On comparing this season to last season’s streak...
“I feel good. I need to get some pitches hit. I haven’t been seeing too many. I’ve been walking quite often lately.”
On satisfaction with the No. 3 national seed...
“It’s fine. Honestly, I thought we would be a little higher. I didn’t expect Texas and Fullerton to be up there. As long as we have a national seed, that’s all that really matters.”
LF/1B Ryan Schimpf
On winning tournament this season...
“We weren’t on the streak like last year coming into the tournament. It was good to come back after losing the first game and fight through all kinds of adversity and obstacles. It was good for the team to come out and not lose focus.”
On playing games leading into the tournament rather than practicing...
“I think it’s good. The best practice for baseball is to play games. I think that was a plus to keep playing the game and to keep our edge. Hopefully it will play off.”
On not having a set lineup this season...
“It’s not a distraction. Everybody shows up to the field and does what asks of them. I don’t think the batting order or position changes affects anybody. We’re in this together with this whole team thing. We want to do what we have to do to win a national championship.”
On playing two different positions...
“It’s not bad. It’s not a big deal to me as long as I’m in there helping the team win that’s all that matters to me.”
2009: 63rd-Annual Division I Baseball College World Series
2. Cal St. Fullerton
4. North Carolina
5. Arizona St.
6. UC Irvine
NCAA Regional Pairings
at Austin, Texas
4 Army vs. (1) 1 Texas
3 Boston College vs. 2 Texas St.
at Fort Worth, Texas
4 Wright St. vs. 1 TCU
3 Oregon St. vs. 2 Texas A&M
at Atlanta, Ga.
4 Georgia St. vs. 1 Georgia Tech
3 Southern Miss vs. 2 Elon
at Gainesville, Fla.
4 Bethune-Cookman vs. (8) 1 Florida
3 Jacksonville vs. 2 Miami (Fla.)
at Tempe, Ariz.
4 Kent St. vs. (5) 1 Arizona St.
3 Cal Poly vs. 2 Oral Roberts
at Clemson, S.C.
4 Tennessee Tech vs. 1 Clemson
3 Oklahoma St. vs. 2 Alabama
at Greenville, N.C.
4 Binghamton vs. 1 East Carolina
3 George Mason vs. 2 South Carolina
at Chapel Hill, N.C.
4 Dartmouth vs. (4) 1 North Carolina
3 Kansas vs. 2 Coastal Carolina
at Fullerton, Calif.
4 Utah vs. (2) 1 Cal St. Fullerton
3 Gonzaga vs. 2 Georgia Southern
at Louisville, Ky.
4 Indiana vs. 1 Louisville
3 Vanderbilt vs. 2 Middle Tennessee
at Tallahassee, Fla.
4 Marist vs. 1 Florida St.
3 Ohio St. vs. 2 Georgia
at Norman, Okla.
4 Wichita St. vs. (7) 1 Oklahoma
3 Washington St vs. 2 Arkansas
at Irvine, Calif.
Fresno St. vs. (6) 1 UC Irvine
San Diego St. vs. 2 Virginia
at Oxford, Miss.
4 Monmouth vs. 1 Ole Miss
3 Western Kentucky vs. 2 Missouri
at Houston, Texas
4 Sam Houston St. vs. 1 Rice
3 Xavier vs. 2 Kansas St.
at Baton Rouge, La.
4 Southern vs. (3) 1 LSU
3 Baylor vs. 2 Minnesota