Thankfully baseball isn’t played for only one inning. LSU freshman Alex Lange was roughed up in the first inning of play allowing three early runs to the Titans from Cal State Fullerton. After the first inning, Lange settled in and dominated in a complete game that favored the Tigers 5-3.
Lange (12-0) remained perfect on the year as he struck out ten and allowed six hits. Of the Titans’ six hits, four were accomplished in the first inning. Alex Lange showed his true colors and deemed himself worthy of collegiate baseball’s National Freshman of the Year as he allowed no runs in the remaining eight innings.
The Bayou Bengals were held scoreless until the top of the third inning where they strung together six hits (all singles) and scored four runs. The Tigers forced Fullerton to pull their starter and then fired off three consecutive singles to push the lead to 4-3. That score would remain until the seventh where LSU would tack on another run and would ultimately win 5-3.
Second overall pick and All-American shortstop Alex Bregman had four hits to lead the Tigers, Mark Laird had three and Kade Scivicque had two. The Tigers put an end to the perennial powerhouse Cal State Fullerton’s season. LSU will have their rubber match against TCU on Thursday.
For the seventeenth time in school history, the LSU Tiger baseball team will partake in the College World Series. The Bayou Bengals will go toe to toe with TCU. The game will take place at 2pm Sunday at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.
Coach Paul Mainieri has coached his Tigers to a 53-10 record and has yet to drop a game in postseason play. The No. 1 ranked Tigers swept a very good Louisiana-Lafayette team over the weekend. In the Baton Rouge Super Regional, LSU beat ULL 4-3 on Saturday then a 6-3 win over the Ragin’ Cajuns on Sunday.
The TCU Horned Frogs won the Big 12 Conference regular season championship with an impressive 49-13 record. They fended off the Texas A&M Aggies Monday night in a 16-inning contest, finally winning 5-4.
The LSU Tigers are currently 6-1 all time against the Horned Frogs from TCU. TCU is making back-to-back trips to Omaha and this marks the second trip in three years for the Tigers.
Noteworthy: This year’s field is made up of 50% SEC teams. The SEC is once again unquestionably the greatest conference in the NCAA.
Also Noteworthy: Shortstop for the LSU Tigers, Alex Bregman, was selected 2nd overall by the Houston Astros in the MLB Draft Monday Night. Get ready to see him continue his tremendous success in America’s game.
Below is a list of the weekend slate at TD Ameritrade Park:
Game 1 | Arkansas (40-23) vs. Virginia (37-22), 2 p.m.
Game 2 | Florida (46-19) vs. Miami (49-15), 7 p.m.
Game 3 | TCU (49-12) vs. LSU (53-10), 2 p.m.
Game 4 | Cal State Fullerton (39-23) vs. Vanderbilt (47-19), 7 p.m.
LSU, the No. 2 team in the land hosts a formidable foe in fellow statesman Louisiana-Lafayette. They’ll go head to head in a Super Regional matchup 7pm Saturday night in Alex Box Stadium. The series will be a best-of-three contest and will be featured on ESPN2 Saturday night.
LSU defeated Lehigh once and UNC Wilmington twice to advance to this coveted Super Regional. Louisiana-Lafayette defeated Houston once and Rice twice to advance to the Super Regional in Baton Rouge. The Ragin’ Cajuns had a colossal feat to accomplish as they faced off against two top twenty teams. Houston came in at No. 13 in the country and Rice was ranked No. 19.
Following their bout on Saturday night, the two will go head-to-head Sunday at either 5pm on ESPNU or 6pm on ESPN2. If necessary, a third game will be played on Monday.
The winner of this all-Louisiana Super Regional will have a chance at the National Crown awaiting them in Omaha, Nebraska. The College World Series will take place June 13-24.
LSU comes into the Super Regional with an astounding record of 51-10 while Louisiana-Lafayette bolsters a record of 42-21.
The Saints Rookie Mini Camp was held over the weekend in the Saints’ indoor practice facility on Airline Drive. With nine draft picks and 13 additional undrafted free agents, the Saints opened their Rookie Mini Camp to many others trying to lock down a spot on a NFL roster. Below we will look at the notable performances of rookie standouts, things to take away looking forward and is Garrett Grayson, the future of the New Orleans Saints.
The 6’7 300 pounder is quick on his feet and displays tremendous fluidity for his massive size. Peat hails from Stanford University and was the Saints’ first selection in the 2015 NFL Draft. He is a physical presence and will be a pusher in the run game. He is currently a right tackle but don’t be surprised to see the Saints coaching staff rotate him around at either guard positions and even a shot at the coveted left tackle position. Sean Payton and staff have really liked his football IQ and his intelligent demeanor throughout the post draft process.
A New Orleans native, Delvin Breaux is a graduate from McDonaugh 35. In high school, the Ron Eagle defensive back had an offer from LSU to play football. After a critical injury left him with broken vertebrae, he was forced to be sidelined for six years. He went through the rigors of minor league, arena league and finally landed in the Canadian Football League. Breaux is now regarded as one of the premiere corners in the CFL and was a CFL All Star in 2014. He signed with the Saints in January and could get valuable playing time behind other New Orleans native Keenan Lewis and newly acquired Brandon Browner.
Pictured above, the 6’0 wide receiver from New Hampshire could find himself on the Saints roster. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in speed and a knack for finding the end zone. The Saints are incredibly talented when it comes to finding small school diamonds in the rough, i.e. Marques Colston from Hofstra University. After watching a couple of high light reels from Harris’ senior year, it is easy to see that this guy could fit into Sean Payton’s offense quite well. Like Brandin Cooks, Harris runs well with jet sweeps and other short screens. He follows his blockers well and catches passes down the middle of the field in an admirably fearless fashion. Expect RJ Harris to find a role on the Saints roster with the recent departure of Kenny Stills.
This guy might become one of the major steals in the 2015 NFL Draft. Hailing from Clemson, the standout middle linebacker has had both Rob Ryan and Sean Payton gushing over his leadership, high motor and work ethic. Expect this guy to be an opening day starter for the Saints’ resurgent defense. Anthony has the size, speed and toughness to start right away for the Saints. He can play outside or middle linebacker and seems to have an exceptional aptness to make plays on the ground or through the air.
Johnson was signed only a number of hours ago following the Saints Rookie Mini Camp. He is a 6’5 300 pound offensive tackle from North Texas University. The former North Texas star was a four year starter who has shown some significant promise is shoring up the depth on the offensive line.
This is the guy who has had nothing but great things said about him since he was selected in the second round by the New Orleans Saints. Kikaha led the nation in sacks last season playing for Washington University. He has been praised for his high motor and contagious work ethic. The former Husky will add depth to either the defensive end or outside linebacker positions and can be an effective pass rusher. Kikaha has suffered two knee injuries but you can expect him to be packaged in defensive situations under the tutelage of Rob Ryan.
Things to take away from this past weekend is the now budding battle in the corner back ranks. From the starters to the cutting floor, Saints have beefed up the corner back competition tremendously. PJ Williams and Delvin Breaux will be immediately competing for the first corner back off the bench but don’t count out other rookie and Georgia alum Damian Swann nipping at their heels.
Some rookies who can expect immediate playing time are the first round selections Andrus Peat and Stephone Anthony and the New Orleans native Delvin Breaux. Andrus Peat has versatility that will allow him to play at either tackle position and could potentially find his way at either guard position. His football intelligence and superior size will greatly impact his playing time. Stephone Anthony could solidify himself as the main focus towards the future of the defense. He will have enormous shoes to fill after the departure of Curtis Lofton but the coaching staff is taken aback by the Clemson star linebacker. Finally, Delvin Breaux was considered a shutdown corner back in the CFL and will hopefully provide a physical presence lining up against either slot or wide recievers.
Finally, is the third round pick Garrett Grayson the future of the New Orleans Saints? I don’t think this is an Aaron Rogers behind Brett Favre situation that many have alluded to. I do, however, believe that the man from Colorado State will serve as the incumbent to future Hall of Famer Drew Brees. He does have a long throwing motion that needs some re-tooling but executes mature throws and is able to throw receivers open. He told the media that he was “a deer in headlights” when he first met Drew Brees and explained that this is a dream come true to learn and play behind Brees. It’s going to be interesting to see his progression under Sean Payton and Drew Brees and maybe 4-5 years down the line he will step in and become the new face of the franchise.
We let the news of Monty Williams’ exit sink in for a day before writing this post. I wanted to get the feelings and opinions around the league before diving into this topic. I have never been a hater of Monty Williams, but he has sometimes struggled in late-game situations and got swept in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs this season. However, I’m not entirely on board with the latest decision from the Pelicans organization. In this post, we’ll briefly cover the career Monty had in New Orleans, discuss this past season, how the organization’s been plagued with injuries and what the future holds for the birds from the Crescent City.
The move to fire Monty Williams came somewhat of a surprise around the league but it has always been a looming possibility around New Orleans. Monty brought the Pelicans to the playoffs for the first time since they drafted Anthony Davis four years ago. For the first time in its young franchise’s history, the Pelicans had made the postseason. You may be thinking that it was all Anthony Davis, and Monty had nothing to do with it, but you’d be wrong. Kinda.
Obviously, Anthony Davis had an absolute breakout season and is now widely regarded as the world of basketball’s next big thing but Monty had a lot to do with it. Pelicans went 45-37 this season, which is the best in franchise history, and they did it with guys missing games due to injuries (more on that later). The season ultimately ended after a 20 point deficit was quickly erased in Game 3 against the No. 1 seeded Golden State Warriors. It was a flat out embarrassment in front of a spirited New Orleans crowd. That game in particular could’ve been Monty’s undoing, and I think that is completely unfair. You cannot place blame on a coach for allowing 14 offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter alone. That’s on the toughness of the players on the court and just a pure lack of tenacity and postseason experience. I believe Monty’s future is bright wherever he goes because it seems that every ex-Hornet/Pelican sees greener pastures when they leave (cough cough Austin Rivers). Monty has coached with Team USA, San Antonio Spurs and will now be looking towards leading the Orlando Magic or Denver Nuggets this offseason.
Injuries have been the constant thorn in Monty’s tenure as the head coach. In five seasons, he has never truly had a lineup at full strength for the duration of the season. We all know the history of Eric Gordon. Recently we have seen Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday catch the injury bug and sidelined them for most of both last season and this season. This year alone, Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon missed a combined 98 games. Jrue missed 42 games this season. Injuries have been an unfortunate trend for the Pelicans and who knows how good this young squad could’ve been at full strength? I know that they wouldn’t have had to play the Warriors in the first round at least.
There are many coaches on the horizon and the youthful talent is abundant in the Big Easy. Offseason moves should only involve finding a new coaching staff because I truly believe that the Pelicans should build from within and try to form a nucleus of young talent and gain experience together. Staying healthy will ultimately bring success to this up-and-coming franchise and I’m very excited to see the progression of Anthony Davis unfold right before our eyes. First, we need to sign that man and get him the coach he wants.
Here are the possibilities:
This is the choice that makes the most sense to everyone around the league on paper. Thibodeau has coached Anthony Davis in the Team USA circuit and has brought great success to the Chicago Bulls. Thibodeau preaches toughness both offensively and defensively and will play his guys upwards of 40 minutes a game. He is currently down 3-2 against the LeBron James-led Cavs and I believe he sees the light at the end of the tunnel with the Bulls. He would be a good fit with the Pelicans and could bring valuable postseason experience to the young squad.
John Calipari has solidified himself as the greatest recruiter in college basketball history. He had the most talented Kentucky team maybe ever in the realm of college basketball and gathers talent annually. He has also coached Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans during their college careers. Not sure if Cal has the X’s and O’s yet for the NBA but he would sure bring excitement and a completely new identity to New Orleans.
I think Mark Jackson is an exceptional players’ coach. What I mean by that is that he would be completely adored by the players and organization. He is a fun guy to be around on and off the court but is in the same ballpark as Monty when it comes to calling set plays and running a fluid offense.
Brooks did a fine job with the Oklahoma City Thunder. You can always tell that he had his players’ backs on and off the court. He struggled with injuries all year which ultimately cost him his job. The Thunder failed to make the postseason this year and it was simply because Kevin Durant was sidelined for most of the year. He falls into the same category as Mark Jackson. Brooks had exceptional talent but couldn’t exactly wrangle them in to play his style of ball.
Alvin Gentry currently is being courted by the Chicago Bulls but that doesn’t mean anything at this point in time. Gentry is currently assisting under Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors and has seen tremendous success this season. He runs an uptempo style offensively which would go swimmingly for the New Orleans Pelicans. He has had some postseason success and has miles of coaching experience as he is nearing the age of 60. I believe Gentry is the dark-horse candidate for the New Orleans Pelicans and I think he would do wonders for the organization.
Whichever way the Pelicans decide to go, I hope it makes Anthony Davis happy. He is the true future of the franchise and management should make their decision based off his opinions.
But for now, farewell Monty. You are a classy man on and off the court and you will be sorely missed. Watch an interview from WWL below:
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