Q&A with Jon Zeringue

LSU outfielder Jon Zeringue is getting back in the swing after losing his starting job earlier this season.<br><br>He took time to talk candidly with Tiger Rag just before the Alabama series about his performance to this point in his sophomore season.

Q: You seem to be turning a corner. At Georgia, you had a big Saturday, went 0-for Sunday but bounced back with some big hits against UNO. What's been the difference lately?

A: Saturday I had a good game. I was seeing the ball real well. I told myself it was time to concentrate.

I had the starting role at the beginning of the season, but I just kind of coasted with it a little bit and lost it. That hit me hard.

Last year I sat the bench and it wasn't a good feeling. This year, I was like, "I got this job wrapped up." I got a little bit to cocky, and (Smoke Laval) pulled me out of the lineup.

I just told myself, "I've really got to start busting my ass."

I don't know. I just started seeing the ball real well, started getting some good hacks, some good hits.

Sunday, I didn't get any hits but I felt I had some good at-bats. I didn't let myself get down at all. (Against UNO), I was just seeing the ball big and driving it.

Q: Do you feel the right fielder's job is yours?

A: I haven't been told anything. It doesn't really bother me. Whenever I get my shot, I've got to make the best of it. The last few times I feel I have.

Smoke even tells me he needs me in the lineup for us to get to Omaha. I guess I took that to heart, put a chip on my shoulder to try and get us there.

Q:What do you think about the performances of Bruce Sprowl and Ryan Patterson, who've replaced you at different times this season?

A: That doesn't help. It helps the team; it doesn't help me (laughs).

That's my competition. Both are hitting the hell out of the ball. I'm not saying I want them to do bad at all.

Q: But does their presence help you.

A: It pushes me a lot. Exactly. I just want them to keep doing good, you know. I just want to win.

The ultimate goal is to get to Omaha. I can bat .100 as long as we go to Omaha, I'm happy.

Q: How's your knee? Is it coming along after off-season surgery like you want?

A: Yeah, the knee's a lot better. I haven't really felt it yet. I haven't squatted down to catch, and I'm not planning to catch. As long as I'm an outfielder, it feels good. There's not nearly as much pressure on it as when I was catching.

Q: You've made a few nice plays lately in the outfielder after having some rough spots. You're starting not to look like someone who's played the last four years at catcher.

A: I don't know. I feel at home in the outfield. Sometimes I get a little mixed up.

I'm out there (shagging) at batting practice everyday. I'm trying to take everything live. It helps me get a good read at the ball.

Q: Do you think you'll ever play catcher again?

A: Nah. I'm happy (in the outfield). I'm not going to take a chance going back to catcher. My knee might feel good for a week or two, and then it just goes to crap again (at catcher). It's feeling good right now, and I'd just rather leave it like that.

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