For LSU junior outfielder Sean McMullen, the journey to Baton Rouge had a pit stop. The former Brother Martin High School standout elected to go the junior college route for his first two years of college in order to hone his skills in hopes of an offer from LSU. After two seasons at Delgado Community College, McMullen is now where has always wanted to be.
The 5-8 179 pound McMullen was named to the 2012 JUCO All-American team after hitting .452 with 21 doubles, five homeruns, and 37 RBI in his second season with the program. A long history of following LSU Baseball made the decision very easy for McMullen when he was offered scholarship to play for the Tigers.
"I've followed the LSU program since I was little," said McMullen. "I watched their run in 2009 to Omaha and I have always wanted to be a part of that."
LSU coach Paul Mainieri saw McMullen when he was still in high school. After speaking with McMullen, the two decided it would be best for him to go and improve his skills for a couple of years before taking a chance at LSU.
"When Sean first got here, he wanted to be at LSU in the worst way," said Mainieri. "Coming out of high school, he came to camp and I didn't think he was ready for LSU. I told him to go to the junior college in order to mature and hone his skills. He did, and last year he had an All-American season."
When Mainieri finally did sign McMullen, he had very high expectations for the leadoff hitter who is sporting a .302 batting average heading into the Alabama series. However, there was a bit of an adjustment period for McMullen once he arrived at LSU.
"I honestly expected him to come in and start for us," said Mainieri. "I virtually handed him the job, but he didn't perform with the kind of confidence that a starting right fielder should. He had a lot on his plate when he had to play for another coach. It just took some time for him to make the adjustment."
While there was an adjustment period for McMullen, Mainieri explained that he never lost hope in the talented lefty. Right before McMullen was reinserted into the LSU lineup, Mainieri met with him to discuss what he needed to improve on, something that was fixed quickly.
"I never gave up on him," said Mainieri. "Even a week before I put him back in the lineup, I sat him down and told him why he wasn't playing on a regular basis. I told him that I was going to put him back in there if he could do the small things right. I think he has made us a better team."
Over halfway through his first season with the Tigers, Mainieri feels that McMullen is now playing with the confidence he had hoped to see.
"I can't say how he feels about himself, but his external body language would indicate to me that he is playing with a lot of confidence," said Mainieri.
With his winding road to LSU now in the past, McMullen explained that he is looking forward to the rest of the 2013 season. He tries not to think about how he got to LSU, but rather he is focused on playing a game that he has played his entire life and helping his team win a championship.
"I try not to think about it very much," said McMullen. "I'm here now and my goal is to help this team get to Omaha and win a championship in any way that I can."
Hard work paid off for McMullen
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