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The Long Way Back - LSU Baseball and the Road to Omaha

Jun 01, 2023 09:07AM ● By Ryan Wall

Road to Omaha not easy for LSU

For most of the regular season LSU sat atop the college baseball world.

Behind an overpowering offense the Tigers looked unbeatable most nights. An easy early season schedule made it seem like LSU was heads and shoulders above the rest of the field.

As the Tigers get ready to host another NCAA Regional, they are no long the clear favorite to win the national title.

In fact, their road to the College World Series seems littered with possible potholes. The defense is shaky at times, like when just two weeks ago it committed four errors at home against McNeese.

The starting pitching, especially after ace Paul Skenes, is thin and has been inconsistent.

And the bullpen has been unimpressive all season long.

“We got a lot of things that we can do better and that is really exciting,” LSU head coach Jay Johnson said recently. “We have an opportunity to move forward.”

When it comes to the LSU fanbase the expectation is to move forward and deep into the tournament. They will open the regional Friday against Tulane at Alex Box Stadium. Oregon State and Sam Houston will play in the night game.

LSU is 43-15 and will be at home for the regional. It is where they belong but there are still questions.

The LSU offense is one of the best in the nation. With power the Tigers can outhit their way though the regional, but a Super Regional is another thing.

Against Texas A&M in the SEC LSU hitters went just 3-for-20 with runners in scoring position. The Aggies eliminated them 5-4.

Can LSU do the little things, make the tough pitches and play well l enough on defense to be big outs when it matters most.

“It’s not the team with the best players, it’s the team that plays the best,” said Johnson.

In tight games the Tigers are going to be asked to play the best. Can they do it against good teams in big moments over a weekend will decide the fate of this year’s Tigers.

At this point, it could go either way.

Jim Gazzolo is a freelance writer who covers sports for CBS-Lake Charles. He is also the host of Poke Nation.