What We Know

After a successful 3-0 weekend to jump start the 2011 baseball season, what do we know about Paul Mainieri's LSU Tigers? Hunt Palmer recaps his weekend at Alex Box Stadium.

Head Man on Campus

- Mikie Mahtook is special. Not that the junior hasn’t already proven himself at the collegiate level, but he’s been in a lineup with guys like Blake Dean and Micah Gibbs. This year, he’s the man. Mahtook blasted four homers over the weekend, including what turned out to be the game winner in Saturday’s 4-3 win. This will be Mahtook’s last season in Baton Rouge, and the Lafayette native got things started on the right foot.


New Arms, Serious Potential

- Freshmen Kevin Gausman, Ryan Eades and Kurt McCune and sophomore Jimmy Dykstra showed out this weekend.

Gausman lit up the radar guns Saturday afternoon. The Dodgers’ sixth round pick hit 98 mph in the early going, but he was also hit around a little bit in the first two frames. Once Gausman got his breaking ball going, it was lights out. When Wake Forest knew that the fastball was coming they were able to get around on it. If Gausman can keep opposing hitters honest with some breaking ball strikes, he’ll be almost unhittable.

Eades demonstrated a nice breaking ball in his relief outing Saturday to complement his low to mid-90’s fastball. He’ll get a weekend start against Holy Cross. Mainieri called Eades and Gausman “superstars” on Saturday.

McCune and Dykstra threw on Sunday. McCune threw six shutout innings and allowed just one hit. He’s another guy that will sit in the low 90s. He fanned seven, including the first three batters of the game. Look for McCune to get a fair share of the mid-week starts this year. Dykstra was impressive in relief on Sunday as he struck out four in two innings of relief. Guys like Dykstra are going to have to step up out of the pen if this team wants to make a postseason run.


Save Room for the Long Ball

- Don’t sweat the new bats. I’ll take the blame for this one. Obviously the new bats aren’t going to completely eliminate the long ball. LSU hit six home runs over the weekend (Mahtook 4, Mason Katz, JaCoby Jones). James Madison hit 23 bigflies in their weekend series against Bucknell.

It was refreshing to see Tyler Hanover lay down a couple of nice bunts Saturday. Trey Watkins also got a bunt down this weekend. LSU isn’t going to be able to rely on the homer for all of its runs, so the balance was nice to see.


Matty Being Matty

- After Eades ran into some trouble on Saturday, Ott came in and was the 2009 arm Tiger fans had grown to love. After a dismal 2010 campaign it was encouraging to see the trademark sinker and slider attack look so dominant. On Saturday Matty told reporters that he feels better now than he did as a freshman. In the Cape Cod league this summer Ott posted a 0.44 ERA in 20.1 innings of work, striking out 19 batters and walking just four. Having him at the back end of the bullpen will be a huge confidence boost for the entire team, especially the young pitchers.


Coming Soon

- On Tuesday LSU hosts UNO, who dropped 2-of-3 against Southern this weekend. Tyler Jones, who was suspended for the weekend opener, will get the start. I really liked Jones in fall practice. He’s yet another guy that will be in the 90’s on the LSU staff. Holy Cross comes in for a three game set on Friday.

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