Those numbers are pretty significant in their differences. LSU’s opponents are averaging 5.8 runs a game on Sunday versus 1.9 runs a game on Friday and Saturday. If the issue was just runs surrendered, it would be easy to shrug off this difference because one could point to the quality of starting pitchers LSU on those days. But, the runs LSU is scoring on Sunday also go in the opposite direction. LSU is averaging 7.6 runs per game on Friday and Saturday, but only 2.4 on Sunday.
Many Tiger fans feel like LSU’s offense is their Achilles heel right now. And while they do need to improve, a comparison between LSU and the #1 Florida Gators shows how similar the two teams are offensively. Both teams have played 20 games.
Florida - .308
LSU - .304
On Base %:
Florida - .392
LSU - .391
Florida - 153
LSU - 153
The fact is that college baseball is a totally different game than it was five years ago. You have to grind out games. You need to limit big innings, and match the other team when they score. Most games are going to be close in the late innings. What LSU hasn’t shown is that they can sustain the mental toughness of a three game weekend.
The Tigers have to find the confidence, energy, and attitude to match the other team in the third game of a series. If they can develop this intangible, they can have a special season.
The other big news of the week is Trent Johnson announcing that LSU has turned the corner in the program.
Despite winning many more games this year than the last two years, LSU finished 8th out of 12 in the SEC and got rolled in the first NIT game. If Missouri had been in the SEC this year, that would have dropped LSU another spot.
I certainly hope the basketball program is back to where they will qualify for the NCAA Tournament at least 3 out of every 4 years. But, I hope Coach Johnson realizes that his job gets much harder next year.
Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt, Alabama and Mississippi State are pretty established as programs that will either be in the NCAA Tournament or on the bubble. Arkansas is on its way back for sure and Tennessee appears to be on the right track. The SEC adds Missouri and Texas A&M next year. Missouri is, if anything, a basketball school that will be good every year (even though they lose a lot this year).
Texas A&M has also established themselves as a school that plays good basketball. Their coach, Billy Kennedy, is an excellent coach and recruiter.
Furthermore, he has shown to be a more effective recruiter in the state of Louisiana than the current LSU staff.
LSU returns most of its team from this year, but be wary of expecting LSU to improve dramatically simply because the team is older. If for no other reason, the league is getting better.
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