College World Series: Everything you need to know about LSU
Yet another successful season in Baton Rouge resulted in LSU's ninth NCAA tournament appearance in the last 10 years, including the fifth College World Series trip in that span. A deep lineup and stellar pitching staff has the Tigers well within reach of their second championship under head coach Paul Mainieri.
Here's everything you need to know about the LSU Tigers.
Team nickname: Tigers
School mascot: Mike the Tiger
Conference affiliation: SEC
Home field: Alex Box Stadium (capacity 10,326)
Notable baseball alumni: Todd Walker (1992-94), Aaron Hill (2001-03), Aaron Nola (2012-14), Alex Bregman (2013-15)
Number of NCAA tournament appearances: 30
College World Series appearances: 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2017
CWS championships: 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2009
ICYMI: Road to Omaha - Complete! The Tigers are College World Series Bound! See y'all in Omaha! pic.twitter.com/5kNlhzOqG4— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) June 12, 2017
Season record: 48-17 (21-9 SEC)
Coach: Paul Mainieri (11 seasons)
Coaching record: 508-199-3
Notable pre-NCAA tournament wins: Maryland (Feb. 24-26), Arkansas (April 8-9, May 28), Kentucky (April 21, May 25)
How they got here: 3-0 in regional (beat Texas Southern, Southeastern Louisiana, Rice); 2-0 in super regional (beat Mississippi State)
Next up: Florida State (45-21) in first stage of CWS
How the Tigers rank
"Omaha get ready because here come the Tigers!" pic.twitter.com/CBzktRK6M5— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) June 12, 2017
Final D1baseball.com ranking: No. 3
NCAA tournament national seed: No. 4
RPI: No. 4
Team batting average: .294 (45th)
Team ERA: 3.54 (21st)
Players to watch
Top hitter: LSU has a lineup full exciting players, but none has more of an impact than outfielder Greg Deichmann. The junior's 19 home runs accounted for nearly a third of the dingers the Tigers have hit as a team this season, and his 72 RBIs are seventh in the country. The Tigers boast the nation's runs scored leader at the top of the lineup in Kramer Robertson, but who knows how many times he would have made it home if Deichmann wasn't such a reliable weapon in the cleanup spot. Deichmann has a hit in nine of his last 10 games and has driven in five runs in the Tigers' five tournament games, but with only one extra-base hit in that time, he might be able to find a whole 'nother level.
Top starter: Mainieri has been able to sleep very well at night knowing his top three starting pitchers are as talented and reliable as they come. Jared Poche' and his 32-inning scoreless streak to start the season got a ton of well-deserved early-season recognition, but junior Alex Lange has clearly separated himself as the Tigers' best in the second half. Even with two starts in March in which he allowed a combined 13 earned runs in six innings, Lange's ERA for the year sits at 2.92. He's the clear strikeout artist of the staff, with 134 batters falling victim to his mid-90s fastball and sharp breaking ball. He hasn't quite had his best stuff in his two tournament starts, but the Tigers are still 2-0 when he takes the mound, and he did strike out 10 over 7.2 solid innings against Mississippi State in Game 1 of the Super Regional.
Top reliever: With just three earned runs allowed in 24 appearances this season, closer Hunter Newman is the clear anchor of the bullpen. The senior hasn't had a ton of save opportunities this year, but he's been very reliable when he has gotten a chance, locking down 10 of 11 saves. He missed most of March with a back injury but came back with a vengeance, striking out the side against Texas A&M in his return and not looking back since. For the season, he carries a 1.07 ERA with an average of a strikeout per inning.