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Paul Mainieri named NCBWA coach of the year

 

 (Eliot Kamenitz)

(Eliot Kamenitz)

OMAHA, Neb. – A day before LSU is set to open the College World Series, coach Paul Mainieri has been named the National College Baseball Writers Association Coach of the Year.

Mainieri, in his ninth year at LSU, was honored at a press conference at TD Ameritrade Park on Saturday morning before the Tigers were set to practice at a local high school park.

LSU, 53-10 and the No. 2 national seed in the NCAA tournament, meets TCU (49-13) at 2 p.m. Sunday in the CWS opener. The winner meets the Cal State Fullerton-Vanderbilt winner Tuesday night in a pivotal game.

LSU All-American Tracker: Alex Lange lands on another first team

Alex Lange is 11-0. (HILARY SCHEINUK)

Alex Lange is 11-0. (HILARY SCHEINUK)

The All-American Tracker gives you an easy way to track LSU players’ All-American honors for the 2015 season.

Updated through June 12

*  and bolded signifies the most recent awards

RHP Alex Lange

  • 1st team, Collegiate Baseball
  • 2nd team, D1Baseball
  • 1st team, NCBWA*
  • 1st team, Baseball America
  • All-freshman team, Collegiate Baseball
  • Freshman pitcher of the year, Collegiate Baseball
  • All-freshman team, NCBWA
  • Freshman pitcher of year, NCBWA

SS Alex Bregman

  • 1st team, Collegiate Baseball
  • 1st team, D1Baseball
  • 1st team, Baseball America
  • 2nd team, NCBWA*

C Kade Scivicque

  • 2nd team, Collegiate Baseball
  • 1st team, D1Baseball
  • 2nd team, Baseball America
  • 3rd team, NCBWA*

1B Chris Chinea

  • 3rd team, Collegiate Baseball
  • 3rd team, NCBWA*

RHP Jesse Stallings

  • All-freshman team, Collegiate Baseball
  • All-freshman team, NCBWA

OF Andrew Stevenson

  • 3rd team, D1Baseball
  • 3rd team, Baseball America

In The Clutch Countdown: No. 1 – Andrew Stevenson’s run-saving dive and DP against UNCW

brightcove

This is the fifth in a five-part blog series leading up to the start of the College World Series on Saturday. These are the top five most clutch defensive plays by LSU this season, according to us anyway. While the Tigers offense and pitching led the SEC this year and got much of the praise, its defense has shined in the clutch.

When: June 1, NCAA Baton Rouge regional championship (G1)

Setting The Scene: Jared Poché walked UNC-Wilmington’s Gavin Stupienski to lead off the fourth inning. LSU led 2-0 with No. 4 hole hitter Luke Dunlap stepping to the plate to represent the tying run.

The Play: Dunlap hit a missile toward the right-center gap – a sure-fire RBI double or triple. Center fielder Andrew Stevenson, in one of the most improbable catches of his career, used the jets to track down the ball, fully diving for it. Stevenson quickly jumped off the ground and fired into Jared Foster who then threw to Chris Chinea to double off Stupienski.

Result: LSU beat UNC-Wilmington 2-0 to win the regional title

The Quote: “I can honestly say whatever ball is hit in the gaps, I think he’s going to catch every single ball that’s hit to him. It doesn’t surprise me he made a catch like that.” – OF Jake Fraley

In The Clutch Countdown

LSU to start Jared Poche in CWS opener against TCU

OMAHA, Neb. – LSU coach Paul Mainieri announced Friday he will start sophomore left-hander Jared Poche in the Tigers’ College World Series opener against TCU.

Poche is 9-1 with a 2.91 earned run average. In two starts in the NCAA Tournament, the Lutcher native is 2-0 with a 0.55 ERA after a string of rocky starts late in the season.

Mainieri likely chose Poche to start over freshman righty Alex Lange (11-0, 1.89) because of TCU’s lefty-dominated batting order. Five of the Horned Frogs regular starters bat from the left side.

Lange would be expected to start LSU’s second CWS game Tuesday.

TCU will start senior right-hander Preston Morrison (11-3, 2.55), the Horned Frogs top pitcher in victories this season.

The LSU-TCU game will be at 2 p.m. Sunday on ESPN.

All-American Tracker: LSU’s Kade Scivicque, Alex Bregman, Alex Lange land on first teams

Alex Bregman. (AP)

Alex Bregman. (AP)

The All-American Tracker gives you an easy way to track LSU players’ All-American honors for the 2015 season.

Updated through June 11

*  and bolded signifies the most recent awards

RHP Alex Lange

  • 1st team, Collegiate Baseball
  • 2nd team, D1Baseball*
  • 1st team, Baseball America*
  • All-freshman team, Collegiate Baseball
  • Freshman pitcher of the year, Collegiate Baseball
  • All-freshman team, NCBWA
  • Freshman pitcher of year, NCBWA

SS Alex Bregman

  • 1st team, Collegiate Baseball
  • 1st team, D1Baseball*
  • 1st team, Baseball America*

C Kade Scivicque

  • 2nd team, Collegiate Baseball
  • 1st team, D1Baseball*
  • 2nd team, Baseball America*

1B Chris Chinea

  • 3rd team, Collegiate Baseball

RHP Jesse Stallings

  • All-freshman team, Collegiate Baseball
  • All-freshman team, NCBWA

OF Andrew Stevenson

  • 3rd team, D1Baseball*
  • 3rd team, Baseball America*

In the Clutch Countdown: No. 2 – Jake Fraley’s game-saving throw to the plate at MSU

brightcove

This is the third in a five-part blog series leading up to the start of the College World Series on Saturday. These are the top five most clutch defensive plays by LSU this season, according to us anyway. While the Tigers offense and pitching led the SEC this year and got much of the praise, its defense has shined in the clutch.

When: April 30, Game 1 at Mississippi State

Setting The Scene: It’s the bottom of the 11th inning with the game tied at 3. Zac Person walked back-to-back batters – Jacob Robson and Brent Rooker – with one out.

The Play: Ryan Gridley took Person’s 0-1 pitch into left field, a line drive single that looked as if it would score Robson from second. LF Jake Fraley hummed the ball from short left field back to the plate – a one-hopper that came directly to an awaiting Kade Scivicque. He tagged Robson for the easy out.

Result: LSU beat Mississippi State 5-3 in 14 innings.

The Quote: “I got a good hop into the glove, and, thank the Lord, it ended up being a great bounce to Scivicque. It’s a blessing.” – Jake Fraley

In The Clutch Countdown

In The Clutch Countdown: No. 3 – Beau Jordan’s catch and double play at Bama

brightcove

This is the third in a five-part blog series leading up to the start of the College World Series on Saturday. These are the top five most clutch defensive plays by LSU this season, according to us anyway. While the Tigers offense and pitching led the SEC this year and got much of the praise, its defense has shined in the clutch.

When: April 2, Game 1 at Alabama

Setting The Scene: It’s the bottom of the 14th inning, and the game is tied at 5. Alabama LF Chandler Avant singles to center field off LSU reliever Doug Norman with one out. Georgie Salem then appears to slam a game-winning double over left fielder Beau Jordan’s head.

The Play: Beau Jordan, making his first career SEC start, made a diving catch – his back to the infield and in a full sprint – of Salem’s shot. He bounced off the turf and fired the ball into SS Alex Bregman, who then whistled it to first base for one of the most spectacular double plays you’ll ever see. It ended the inning and the threat by the Crimson Tide.

Result: LSU beat Alabama 8-5 in 16 innings to win Game 1

The Quote: “Thought we were going to have to go out for a double cut and then next thing I know he slide catches and makes an unbelievable play.” – SS Alex Bregman

In The Clutch Countdown

Chris Chinea selected in 17th round by St. Louis

Chris Chinea was selected by St. Louis in the 17th round of the MLB draft on Wednesday. (HILARY SCHEINUK)

Chris Chinea was selected by St. Louis in the 17th round of the MLB draft on Wednesday. (HILARY SCHEINUK)

After not hearing his name called on Tuesday, LSU junior first baseman Chris Chinea finally got the news he was hoping for as he was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 17th round of the 2015 MLB draft (No. 521 overall).

Chinea, who was second on the Tigers in batting average (.355) and led the squad in home runs (11), provided a power bat late in LSU coach Paul Mainieri’s lineup, playing in all of the squad’s 63 contests. He also led the team in slugging percentage (.559) while playing sound defense at first base (.988 fielding percentage).

The Cardinals selected Chinea as a catcher.

He is the eighth Tiger to be selected in the 2015 MLB draft, with Alex Bregman, Andrew Stevenson, Kade Scivicque, Jared Foster, Mark Laird and Conner Hale all being taken in the first nine rounds.

Conner Hale selected No. 275 overall by Seattle

Conner Hale was selected in the ninth round (No. 275 overall) by the Seattle Mariners. (Angela Major)

Conner Hale was selected in the ninth round (No. 275 overall) by the Seattle Mariners. (Angela Major)

The ninth round has been the landing spot for two LSU players already. Senior third baseman Conner Hale would be the third, going No. 275 overall to the Seattle Mariners in the ninth round of the 2015 MLB draft.

Hale, who played two seasons at the State College of Florida before arriving at LSU, batted .343 in 2015 with four home runs and 56 RBIs (second-most on the team).

He also played solid defense after taking over at third base early in the season, posting a .971 fielding percentage and making only six errors.

The slot value for the No. 275 pick is $158,300.

Mark Laird selected No. 264 overall by Philadelphia

Mark Laird was selected at No. 264 overall by Philadelphia in the 2015 MLB draft. (HILARY SCHEINUK | The Advocate)

Mark Laird was selected at No. 264 overall by Philadelphia in the 2015 MLB draft. (HILARY SCHEINUK | The Advocate)

The fourth LSU player to be taken on day two of the 2015 MLB draft, junior right fielder Mark Laird was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies with the No. 264 pick in the ninth round.

Laird, who batted .323 with one home run – of the inside-the-park variety – and 23 RBIs, batted in the No. 2 slot in LSU coach Paul Mainieri’s lineup for the majority of the 2015 season, though he has been moved into the leadoff role for the NCAA Tournament.

The Monroe, Louisiana, native has always had a solid eye at the plate, drawing 25 walks this season, which was the second-most on the squad behind Alex Bregman.

What he has always been known for, though, is his stellar glove in right field. In three seasons at LSU, he has never made an error.

The signing bonus for pick No. is $162,400.