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LSU Embarks Upon The Oregon Trail

Some opening thoughts on LSU’s regional placement.

The home of a back-to-back National Champion of this millennium. Yeah, I was expecting more too.
  1. Yeah, Corvallis is a helluva long way away. It’s actually the longest away it’s ever been. And while I’m all for flaming up hate for the spiteful cabal that is the NCAA selection committee, I think LSU’s placement is just a victim of circumstance. We know by virtue of them sneaking in over the last week, LSU is probably one of the lowest rated 2 seeds in the field. NCAA rules for the tournament prohibit intra-conference matchups in the regional round, which barred LSU from going to the 4 or 5 seed (Ole Miss and Arkansas) regionals, so we got moved up to the #3 Oregon State regional. And just like the 2010 UCLA trip, we really only have ourselves to blame for the poor placement. You wish we were in Tallahassee? I bet we would have gotten it if they had completed the miracle turnaround in Hoover. C’est la vie.
  2. Weird P12 site means weird P12 TV times. 3pm and 9:30pm for the first two days. LSU will open in the afternoon against San Diego St. on Friday on ESPNU.
  3. I’d assume Northwestern St fans aren’t really happy with this trip either, but with them being a very low rated 4 seed auto-bid, this is possibly just where they ended up at the near-end of the list. If you’re a worry wort, remember that earlier this month the Demons almost caused the back end of the LSU bullpen to blow an 8-0 lead in the final midweek game of the year. The Demons will be pumped if that matchup should come to pass.
  4. If a few balls go a different way on Sunday, it could have been Blake Dean’s UNO making the trip northwest with us. Wouldn’t that have been something?
  5. San Diego St. is a 3 seed auto-bid, so maybe not great? And they have some kickass black pinstripe unis. That’s all I know.

5. Remember how the ump crew in Omaha last year for LSU’s game agains the Beavers kinda sucked? Yeah, they didn’t forget, THEY DID NOT FORGET AT ALL.

6. Oregon St is the #3 overall seed because the destroyed the Pac 12 with a 20-9-1 record, winning all but 2 weekend series, including a series win over P12 champ and #2 overall seed Stanford. Their OOC was pretty good, with series wins over CS Fullerton and at Missouri St.

7. I don’t really know how to talk about the elephant in the room of this regional and indeed all of college baseball that is Oregon St SR LHP weekend starter and convicted child molester Luke Heimlich. When the revelations came to light during last year’s post season, Oregon St’s coach flat refused to answer questions about it and the national and local reporters didn’t press the issue in Omaha. The staff and the administration at Oregon St University still don’t respond to questions about it. Even more disturbing, Heimlich has been on a weird media tour the last month with stories in the New York Times and Sports Illustrated, now denying the incident he pled guilty to as a 16 year old ever took place. It’s clearly some kind of character rehab attempt ahead of his 2nd entry into the MLB draft this year, after he went undrafted last summer as a Junior.

Heimlich’s got a team-leading 2.49 ERA this season with a 14-1 record and a 21/139 K/BB ratio. It’s highly likely that LSU will face him if both teams win their first round games. I...don’t really know what else to say about this. It seems unconscionable that OSU would have allowed him to stay on the team last year after his history was revealed, let alone have him still on the team the next season. OSU head coach Pat Casey is one of the more respected men in this business. How he justifies this decision is beyond my knowledge of the issue.