Paul Mainieri's Fab Four of Kramer Robertson, Jared Poché, Cole Freeman and Greg Deichmann after NCAA Super Regional. (Photo: Terrill Weil)

JP's Weekly Walk-Off: CWS LSU Preview

Oregon State takes on LSU this afternoon at the College World Series. JP takes a look at the Tigers to get you ready for the action.

LSU

Coaching Notes:

Paul Mainieri 35th season as a coach, 11th season at LSU

  • 1,300+ coaching wins – 5th on the wins list for active coaches
  • 2009 CWS championship
  • 2017 is his 5th CWS appearance (2008, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2017)
  • Left Notre Dame for LSU following the 2006 season, leading to ND heavily courting Pat Casey

Season in a Nutshell: 

A consensus top-5 pick in the pre-season polls, the Tigers’ success this year is not surprise.  LSU won the SEC West, and then swept through the SEC Tournament to gain the league’s automatic bid.  They hit a rough stretch in late March/early April where they dropped 6 of 9, but from there they lost back-to-back games just once the rest of the season.  Heading into their second game of the CWS the Tigers are riding a 17 game win streak. 

Offensive Notes/Analysis:

  • Greg Deichmann garnered first-team All-American accolades from numerous publications and organizations.  His 19 HR puts him in a tie for 16th nationally and his 73 RBI ranks 7th.  He was taken 43rd over-all in the MLB draft.
  • For a team that hits for a good bit of power (41st in HR and 53rd nationally in slugging %) their 5.85 strikeouts per game is very impressive (an area OSU has been quite strong as well at 5.91/game, but the Beavs’ power numbers are much lower).
  • While somewhat a “power” team, LSU is not shy about stealing bases and will play some small ball – Freeman is tied for 9th nationally in sacrifice bunts.
  • Papierski has the Tigers’ hottest bat of the tournament – through 6 tourney games he is 6 for 13 with 2 HR and 9 RBI. On the flip side, of the starters Deichmann has been cold – just 5 for 24 (.208) with 6 K’s… a trend that we will hope continues.
  • Zach Watson hit 4 of his 8 HR during the first two rounds of the NCAA tourney.

LSU Offense - Season Stats

Name

Position

Bats

Ave.

HR

RBI

SLG%

OB%

SB

Papierski (8)

C

Both

.268

9

35

.478

.418

4 – 4

Coomes (6)

1B

Right

.305

2

24

.406

.405

1 – 2

Freeman (2)

2B

Right

.325

2

41

.418

.428

19 – 25

Robertson (1)

SS

Right

.314

8

43

.496

.415

8 – 11

Smith (7)

3B

Left

.285

4

43

.407

.415

5 – 7

Duplantis (3)

LF

Left

.326

1

58

.406

.370

19 – 23

Watson (5)

CF

Both

.307

8

35

.497

.364

10 – 13

Deichmann (4)

RF

Left

.318

19

73

.600

.427

6 – 9

Beau Jordan (9)

DH

Right

.278

3

25

.377

.356

0 – 1

Slaughter

1B

Right

.254

2

23

.336

.352

2 – 4


Pitching Notes/Analysis:

  • Walker had been in the 3rd spot in the rotation and did not pitch in the Super Regional. Following a simulated game last Tuesday he experienced tightness in his arm, but the issue must have resolved itself to the point Mainieri felt comfortable slotting him for game 2 (Mainieri said “he’s 100%” but this time of year pitcher and coaches tend to fib a bit about such things so we shall see).  Poche’, the regular #2 starter worked 2.2 innings in relief Saturday, but threw only 30 pitches so he would presumably be available for a fairly heavy work load out of the pen if Walker falters.
  • Walker started the year very hot, then hit a rough patch in late April/early May where he had a stretch of 3 starts where he gave up 21 hits and 15 ER in just 11.2 IP.  He rebounded for 8IP of 1 hit, 1 run ball in his next start, and then had another rough one giving up 6 hits, 3 BB, and 4 ER in 4 IP. His two most recent starts in the finale’ of the SEC tourney and against Rice in their Regional were very strong – a combined 1 run, 12 H, 1 BB, 16 K, in 15.2 IP.  We shall see which version of Walker takes the hill against the Beavs.
  • Last notes on Walker… he’s a freshman out of the Dallas area, 6’0”, 170lbs – not a power guy - fastball will sit 89-91 typically.  Don’t know that he has any one pitch that wows you, but the kid knows how to pitch - typically commands the ball well and mixes his pitches.  I admit I’ve seen very little of Walker, but the comparison to Fehmel in terms of approach and “stuff” would seem pretty close.    
  • The Tigers’ staff as a whole (55 in 66 games) and Walker in particular (12 in 93 innings) have been prone to giving up the long ball.
  • The bullpen is solid – not much of a lefty presence, but several arms that they seem very comfortable using, and typically with good results.
  • The Tigers rank 12th nationally in hits allowed per 9 innings, but are only 109th in terms of walks allowed, so they are somewhat generous with the free passes.
  • Defensively the Tigers are very good, ranking 8th nationally in fielding percentage.

LSU Pitching - Season Stats

Name

Throws

W-L

SV

ERA

IP

K's

WHIP

Lange (Game 1 starter)

Right

9 – 5

0

3.08

117.0

142

1.26

Walker (Game 2 starter)

Right

8 – 1

0

3.46

93.2

78

1.10

Poche’ (Starter #3)

Left

11 – 3

0

3.33

100.0

69

1.21

Newman

Right

1 – 1

10

1.07

25.1

25

1.22

Gilbert

Right

6 – 1

3

2.42

48.1

56

0.89

Hess

Right

7 – 1

2

2.83

54.0

73

1.11

Beck

Right

1 – 0

0

3.04

23.2

20

0.99

Peterson

Right

3 – 1

0

3.74

33.2

21

1.39


Huskie Pride Top Stories