LSU’s inexplicable run in Hoover came to a screeching halt on Sunday, when 6 days of baseball finally caught up to LSU’s weakened roster. Ole Miss scored 9 runs on 15 hits for the overwhelming 9-1 victory in a game that actually could have been much worse. LSU’s defense and pitching forced the Rebs to strand an additional 10 runners on base, staving off total annihilation.
The game was what it was, an outmanned team, running on the fumes of hope and luck, scraping the bottom of the barrel. Gilbert starting on short rest after relief work earlier in the week really was the best option, and honestly, it wasn’t a half bad outing. Cam Sanders looked even better, surrendering only 1 hit with 4 strikeouts in his 3 innings of work. They were let down by the LSU offense which went cold as ice. Ole Miss is an Omaha worthy team, to be sure, but you’d expect the Tigers to put up more than 4 hits in a championship game. Daniel Cabrera’s RBI double in the first was the only offensive output of the day. LSU stranded 8, but they never got anything going after the first.
The loss breaks a few assumptions for LSU Baseball in Hoover. It was the first Tournament Final loss for LSU since 2003, and obviously Paul Mainieri’s first SEC Final loss ever in a tournament the Tigers have owned under his watch. Antoine Duplantis and THE LEGEND TODD PETERSON made the All-Tournament team.
On the continuing injury front, Austin Bain is dealing with an oblique issue, but was able to talk his way into the lineup. Despite taking more pitches to his body than his brother this week, Beau Jordan is fine, just not starting as a coach’s decision. And for those crazy people who thought Ma’Khail Hilliard, a freshman and the future of LSU’s staring lineup for the next two years, would start on 3 days after a long start on Wednesday, you should know that not only is that a horrible idea, but Hilliard also reported some stiffness after that outing and was never an option. Also, it sounds like LSU might get AJ Labas back for the regional weekend.
The week in Hoover served it’s purpose, and LSU has a rock solid resume for the postseason. There’s not time for a full bracketology before the pairings are announced this morning (11am CT, ESPNU), but most of the national writers put LSU as a 2 seed. The Tigers will be traveling to one of these 12 fabulous destinations (by rule, LSU cannot be paired with an SEC host in the Regional round)
- Chapel Hill
- Conway, SC
- Deland, Fla.
- Greenville, NC
There are some solid interesting options here (Minneapolis, Deland, Fla., Stanford), a chance at REVENGE IN A BLOOD FEUD (Conway, SC), and some boring options that LSU will almost certainly be getting (Austin, Lubbock, Tallahassee). Let’s hope for the best.