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Kristian Garic

Talk sports and more with Kristian and Seth Dunlap on "Double Coverage!" 

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Twitter: @kristiangaric
Email: kristian@wwl.com

Kristian: LSU bounced from CWS - What happened?

LSU fans proudly donned shirts that read “Geauxmaha" at the College World Series.  Perhaps they should trade them in for shirts that read “Geaux-home-aha."  That’s exactly what LSU is doing after just two games in Omaha, and until they change a championship is not in their future.  What happened?  Where do I start?

How about the fact that LSU’s three, five, and six hole hitters went “0 for Omaha” in the two losses.  LSU scored just three runs in two games.  The Tigers stranded over a dozen runners on base in the loss to North Carolina.  I think LSU lost this game back on Sunday night.  LSU never got over the stunning loss to UCLA and it carried over to game two.

I can’t understand the team’s reluctance to bunt and play small ball.  Why?  LSU is built to play in small parks, and play for the big inning.  The Tigers are not built to play and win in Omaha.  They rely way too much on the big inning instead of stringing together a couple of runs here and a couple of runs there and sacrificing runners around the bases.  The Big Bat era is gone. Today’s collegiate game is built around teams that can advance runners, get solid pitching, and play good defense.  The Tigers didn’t have one, not one sacrifice bunt in the CWS.

In the 8th inning against UNC the Tar Heels were in “No doubles” defense.  In other words the 1st and 3rd basemen were guarding the lines to prevent a double.  North Carolina was begging LSU to bunt with runners at 1st and 2nd base.  Instead LSU chooses to swing away and promptly ends the inning with zero runs to speak of.

The game of collegiate baseball has changed with the change in the bat rules.  It’s no longer a game of long balls and 11 to 9 wins.  It’s now about stringing together a few runs and winning it with pitching.  LSU has a bunch of players who can smash it, and no players who can place it (as in a well-timed bunt).  The Tigers spend time in practice working on bunts, but don’t call it in the game.  Why practice something you don’t use in the game?  It’s a waste of time to work on it and never call for it in a game.

If LSU doesn’t adapt to the style of baseball that is staring them in the face, there are likely more “two and out” trips to Omaha in their future.  Warren Morris, Blake Dean, Todd Walker and other power hitters are not putting on an LSU uniform again. The days of digging into the box and seeing how far you can hit it are over.  It’s a small ball game, and either you adapt to that or you will have a small collection of national championship trophies to speak of.

All is not lost for LSU.  The experience that freshman short stop Alex Bregman, and sophomore right hander Aaron Nola gained in Omaha this year will be invaluable next year.  The big question is not if LSU will return to the CWS, but if they’ll change their approach a bit to get to the CWS and WIN.

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Topics : Sports
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Locations : North CarolinaOmaha
People : Aaron NolaAlex BregmanBlake DeanTodd WalkerWarren Morris

06/18/2013 10:04PM
Kristian: LSU bounced from CWS - What happened?
Please Enter Your Comments Below
06/19/2013 7:41AM
Your dead on Kristian. The days of the 90's gorilla ball are over. Not to convinced paul mainieri knows what the hell he's doing.
06/19/2013 8:13AM
This is nothing new for LSU baseball. It seems when we have the 3-, 4-, or 5-hole hitters up with a man on, Maineri will not sacrifice-bunt the man over to second. He'd rather take his chances with the "big" hitters. This has happened not only this year, but for the last few years. In today's game, you won't win much like that.
06/19/2013 9:02AM
paul knows
tough luck in omaha for the tigers. you don't win 57 games by mistake. not the coaches fault. you simply must hit the ball when you get to the world series or you will not stay very long. speaking of successful seasons. how did tulane do this year?i would say this is an example of an unsuccessful season.br bob
06/19/2013 9:11AM
the bats have been changed years ago. it was the seams of the ball that were changed this year. get your glove and get in the game or please do not speak of that which you know nothing of. thanks.
06/19/2013 9:12AM
Good analysis. Also, not sure about Maineri being the man.
06/19/2013 9:26AM
Looks familiar?
Stubborn, just like Les Miles. Tisk tisk.
06/19/2013 9:27AM
Typical Javi ball cost us in the CWS! I blame coaching! They thought we were in the box and we'd have luck on long ball. Kristian's right! LSU ain't built for Omaha!
06/19/2013 9:31AM
Almost certain the outcome would have been better with a different batting coach!!!
06/19/2013 9:32AM
we set a school record for wins, yet vandie and msu have better seasons than us? really?
06/19/2013 9:33AM
I'd like to thank all the players and coaches for a very memorable season. Y'all were FANtastic. Had one heck of a run , just came up a little short. Only one team can win and it wasn't us this year. Y'all are still the best in my opinion , things just didn't bounce our way To the seniors and underclass men that won't be here next year , I wish y'all the best and if you choose to keep on playing ball ,I'll be following y'all just like I've followed all the Tigers before y'all As for the ones staying and the ones coming into the program , I will be in the BOX watching y'all play on Bertmans Field. Cant wait to watch that winding road leading y'all all the way back to Omaha Once again-----THANKS----- this has been a very memorable season and the sun will shine on all tomorrow We love our Tigers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'
06/19/2013 9:35AM
Kristian well said
Gorilla Ball is dead. reach the gaps and scrap it out to win in this new era of non-aluminum bats
06/19/2013 9:37AM
Les Miles
If I didn't know any better, I'd think Les coached this game!!!
06/19/2013 9:38AM
All you Javi Haters
New batting coach? LSU hit just as good an UNC. They had 1 more hit than we did. Also, 9/10 hits were right to someone. That hitting coach that "needs to be replaced" did one hell of job getting his team to the CWS. Geaux Tigers! Katz was amazing this season as well as this game. Season MVP in my mind.. One hell of a ball player
06/19/2013 9:40AM
Paul Maineri is staying right where he is geauxing nowhere.Look what he has done for all the fine young men on this LSU Tigers 2013 Baseball team. that been drafted.Now ready up for some LSU Tigers football in 2013 in DEATH VALLEY!!!!!!
06/19/2013 9:42AM
timely hitting was crucial 12 lob too many opportunities lost!!
06/19/2013 9:43AM
Coaching sucked, Hitting sucked, Fielding sucked, but hey we got to the CWS with the the Best Record in College Baseball...WoW !!! Need a new hitting coach, need to understand LSU does not mean we are " entitled " to a win and not show up to play the games !!! The effort was beyond pathetic !!! We lacked the basic fundamentals of even a high school team. I LOVE my TIGERS, but these performances were one for the record books in every possible negative way !!! "Where there is a Will, there is a Way"...LSU showed everyone they had no WILL, it was just a "glad to be here" attitude displayed by the BEST team (record wise) this year !!!
06/19/2013 9:45AM
The bats we're dead and LSU looked mentally out of it. Sad, Sad, Sad, way to lose on such a big stage!!!
06/19/2013 9:47AM
Raph and Mason
I feel so bad for players like Raph and Mason. It was a tough seeing them go out like that. All you younger Tigers, remember this feeling! Don't EVER feel this way again!
06/19/2013 9:48AM
Small Ball beat us
The thing that sucks the most is that we got beat by small ball and didn't make adjustments. UCLA did a good job of getting on base and sacrificing to get RBIs, and we didn't adjust. This has happened to is before, where the Tigers just try to clobber the ball instead of getting guys on base and then batting in runs. We went in high on a great year, then failed to remain focused and disciplined. This should be a good learning lesson. I still love the mighty Tigers of Louisiana State University!!!
06/19/2013 9:51AM
small ball
Small ball doesn't necessarily win games. If we don't commit errors ucla gets shut out. Trading an out just to push a runner up a base is wussy ball and teams that do it don't win titles. Although there is situations where it's the right call and in the 9th against ucla it would have been a wise decision.
06/19/2013 9:52AM
Simple put
The best players didn't play their best ball!!
06/19/2013 9:54AM
fell apart in Omaha
It is disappointing for the best NCAA #1 team to play this way in CWS after sweeping the Super Regional.
06/19/2013 9:55AM
20 LOB in CWS.
20 LOB in CWS.... Bregman, Ryhmes, Iberra 0 for 24... easy to figure out why they choked...
06/19/2013 9:56AM
Best Team
Thanks for all the great moments guys. Even though this season didn't end as we wished, we still think you are the best team we've watched in our 24 yrs. of having season tickets. Your are still the best TEAM in our eyes . . .though we know that doesn't help now.
06/19/2013 9:58AM
Cream rises to the top
Cream rises to the top! Ours quit rising after super regionals! Great season tho
06/19/2013 9:58AM
I agree hitting is what wins the games but until u get that runner from 1st to at least 2nd base u will never win
06/19/2013 10:00AM
Blame coaching top to bottom
Paul Mainieri blew it this year, OK? He blew it Sunday night when he gave Raph Rhymes the green light on a 2-0 pitch with a runner at first after showing bunt on the first pitch. Conventional wisdom says to bunt and a 10-yr old will tell you the same; especially when you need only one run. We all know now why Skip Bertman hired Mainieri and that’s because Mainieri has the same swing-for-the-fences philosophy that won Skip five titles. Well, HRs don’t do it anymore. Small ball does and I’m tired of losing to it when LSU can just as easily win with it. Also, I said it last year after losing to Stony Brook and I’ll say it again. LSU needs a new hitting coach. The current coach is teaching the wrong technique; a technique that encourages the kids to try to hit the ball 405 ft every at bat. No one on the team can simply ‘stroke’ at hit. It was a great season, Tigers. I’m proud of the kids but hurt for them as much. However, the coach leaves a lot to be desired in regard to his philosophy. I’ve watch too much post-season ball this season, as well as past seasons, to see other teams respect a runner on first w/no one out as a precious and premium run and seeing those teams score those runs. Thank you for letting me vent. How many day ‘til kick-off??
06/19/2013 10:03AM
Yea our hitting coach is swing with everything u have every chance u get and sometimes it works and others u have games like this where we could've won and didn't
06/19/2013 10:05AM
Weren't hungry enough for it
They just didn't want it as Bad as their opponents, they looked terrible and not as focused !! Consistently bad offense and Defense both games!! But they still got to the Show.Great Season!
06/19/2013 11:04AM
Quit swing at high fast pitches!
I lost count of how many high fast pitches were popped up. Seem both UCLA and NC had the tigers number when it came to how to pitch them. Throw a high fast pitch and watch them pop up seem to be the name of the game...
06/19/2013 11:08AM
Agree, "Blame Coaching"
I could not agree more. Can't bunt because of aluminum bat mentality. bunting at LSU is a lsot "art" (fundamental). Also, appareently so is fundamental coaching. Runners on frist and thrid, down by two in the 8th with one out and we don't even consider bunting the run home - really. Also, the fastest player on the team, Laird, is on first and we don't consider running him with a man on third. Really! Rhymes left 7 men on base by the 9th and Mainieri does not pinch hit. Really! Three, 5 and 6 hole-hitters are ) for Omaha and we don't pinch hit for at least Rhymes. Really!
06/19/2013 11:19AM
Agree, "Blame Coaching"
Apologize for the typos. The last line should read, "0 FOR OMAHA." I am still steaming from the multiple coaching debacles in Omaha. I really feel bad for three guys - Katz, Cotton and Skip Bertman, who msut be scratching his bald head rawtoday. Truly sad and horrible coaching. For crying out loud, when Rhymes already left 7 men on base by the 9th pinch hit for him - PLEASE.
06/19/2013 11:25AM
Kristian's Right On
Kristian got this one dead on. What happened to "FUNDAMENTAL" baseball? What happened to play-ground experiences and the learning curve coaches must go through. Did those experiences suddely result in brain flatus. I was appalled on Sunday night in the psot-game when Mainieri admitted he "GAMBLED." Gambling is NOT a luxury a coach in the CWS can afford. Pitiful, pitiful, pitiful. AGREE from above, you hit the nail on the head.
06/19/2013 11:28AM
Kristian's and Agree are dead on
I concur. Mainieri must have acquired brain flatus during the flight to Omaha. Then, on Sunday in the post-game he admits he gambled and lsot. Gambling is not a luxury a coach can afford at the CWS, expecially in a park that is not built for humans toplay in. Sad situation - abacence of fundamental baseball that one should ahve learned at the latest in high school. Expected more out of Mainieri and never got it.
06/19/2013 2:03PM
saw it coming!
We rely too much on power and always seem to have too many RH pitchers and hitters. Any team that has several lefty's in the order give our pitchers hell and lefty pitchers do the same to our "gorilla ball" hitters! We can continue making it to Omaha with our talent, but what would be wrong with a slightly different approach once we're there? Paul and Les must be related, both can recruit like Dale Brown...the problem is that they also coach like him!!!
06/19/2013 7:51PM
For what?
LSU pays its baseball coaching staff (combined) over a million a year in salaries and benefits, and has an 11,000- seat baseball stadium. The fan base is the best in the nation, 16 years running. For what? Regular season wins and a "two-and-BBQ?"
06/19/2013 9:15PM
Calm down
We have a great manager. I'm of the mind set that thinks we should go Louisville slugger all the way around. College and pro ball should be played with the same bat. Wood! I'm aware of how many companies this would jeopardize, but I remain infavor of it. Kids get drafted on their abilities, and continually struggle in the pros because of not hitting with MLB bats. I say make it universal. You don't play monopoly with loaded dice until you're 23. A game is a game is a game!
06/25/2013 2:25AM
hit the ball
They just didn't hit the ball. I didn't see almost any batter swing at the first pitch...which was almost always a strike......horrible
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