Teammates key for Bregman

LSU freshman Alex Bregman has lived up to the expectations that Paul Mainieri had for him following fall practice for the Tigers. At the halfway point in the 2013 season, Bregman is among the most productive hitters in all of college baseball. However, he believes that the credit should be placed elsewhere.

For Alex Bregman, the first half of the 2013 college baseball season has been somewhat unreal in terms of production. The talented freshman, a native of Albuquerque, Nm., has compiled a .442 batting average with three homeruns and 24 RBI through the first 28 games of LSU's season.

The former 29th round pick by the Boston Red Sox has also had eight multi-hit games in a row, dating back to the contest between LSU and Northwestern State. Bregman has done all of this while only striking out eight times in 120 at-bats.

LSU coach Paul Mainieri has long considered Bregman to be a great hitter since he arrived in Baton Rouge in the fall. Because of that, Mainieri is not surprised by what his shortstop has done at the plate so far in 2013.

"He has a very quick bat," said Mainieri. "He's a lot like [Raph] Rhymes, only with a little more strength behind his swing. He also has an amazing competitive zeal about him and unflappable confidence. All special players have those things."

With his production numbers in the upper echelon of all of the NCAA rankings, Bregman explained that his approach at the plate is not as complicated as most may think. Being aggressive is one of the key aspects that he has focused on throughout his baseball career.

"When I go up to the plate, I just go up there looking for a fastball that I can take the other way," said Bregman. "I take an aggressive approach to the plate and it has helped me achieve some success pretty early this season."

While Bregman has had a very memorable season thus far, he gives a lot of credit to his teammates for helping with the adjustment to college baseball from high school. Bregman explained that it is much easier to hit when he has an opportunity to hit in a lineup like that of LSU's.

"It's been awesome," said Bregman, when asked about the college transition. "It's been a blast hitting in front of Raph, Mason [Katz], [Christian] Ibarra, and behind [Mark] Laird."

"Laird has been huge this year. He has been a catalyst for our offense. One through nine is really producing in our lineup right now. It may not show, but they are putting together quality plate appearances. It's a lot of fun to be a part of."

In the mind of Bregman, what he did in the first half of 2013 doesn't matter. He is looking forward to getting back on the field and being around his teammates in a competitive atmosphere for the home half of 2013.

"We are excited to get back on the field," said Bregman. "We just want to keep playing and gelling as a team. The season is really just beginning and I'm excited to continue it."

The main goal of Bregman entering 2013 was to help LSU get to Omaha for the first time since the Tigers won the National Championship in 2009. At the halfway point, that goal remains the same.

"We want to be known as a team that finishes," said Bregman. "The second half of the season is the most important part and I think we are really ready to take it on. This will be a key time for us."

LSU has compiled a record of 26-2 overall and 8-1 in the SEC so far in 2013. Bregman believes that family atmosphere of the 2013 team has had a lot to do with their success to this point, something he doesn't see changing anytime soon.

"We really feed off of everyone on the team, whether that is everyone in our order or our pitching staff," said Bregman. "That is why this team is so great. We are all a very close knit group that relies on each other."

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