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LSU Baseball Approaching Post Season Play

The LSU Baseball team is getting closer and closer to the SEC tournament and post season play. The Tigers are 35-8 on the season and are still firmly sitting in first place in the country in all polls.

This has not happened without the Tigers facing some adversity. For starters, the pitching staff has been hampered from the word go. In February Jay Johnson learned that stand out pitcher Grant Taylor would miss the 2023 season with a torn UCL. Taylor was projected weekend starter and the No. 15 prospect in the 2023 MLB draft class by D1 Baseball. That is on top of other preseason losses to the staff , Jaden Noot a Top 100 prospect who turned down pro ball with the Brewers and Kaleb Applebey.

Recent losses are highlighted by Garrett Edwards (1.93 ERA) in 10 appearances and standout Freshman Chase Shores who boasts a (1.96 ERA) in 7 appearances respectively. Sophomore Javen Coleman who missed most of last season also missed the 1st half of this season before making a return ahead of schedule to give the bullpen a boost. Also returning to the fold is Nate Ackenhausen.

Injuries have not been limited to the pitching staff as the Tigers have dealt with injuries to both Gavin Dugas and Paxton Kling and both have played integral parts in the Tigers impressive season. Both have since returned to the lineup.

The Tigers have been on somewhat of a roll recently. While they have not lost a single series the entire year, the sweep was something that seemed to elude them. LSU has now swept their last two SEC foes, Ole Miss and Alabama in dramatic fashion each time. I say they have only somewhat been on a roll as they dropped back to back mid week games against ULL and Nicholls State. I know, mid week games don't count, sort of .

LSU can religiously count on one dominant start every Friday night when All world pitching sensation takes the mound. Skenes (8-1) on the season has a stellar (1.93 ERA) in 11 appearances with a nation leading 124k in 65.1 innings pitched and a mere 12 walks. Ty Floyd has been the steady Saturday guy for the year and while he has a 6-0 record he has struggled to find consistency and has a (4.68 ERA) in 11 appearances.

With SEC and post season play the Bayou Bengals are heavily reliant on their buzzsaw of a lineup, which i might add is one of, if not the most dominant top to bottom lineup this historic program has been graced by. Headlined by two absolute Major League guys in Dylan Crews and Tommy "Tanks" White. Crews is batting .486 on the season with 12 HR and 49 RBI's. Where Dylan sets himself apart is his major league approach and ability to draw walks and they are not intentional. Teams do not have the option to walk Crews with the nations leader in RBI's in Tommy White. White is hitting an impressive .374 with 15 HR and 71 RBI's.

The problem for opposing teams is this team has a 2019 LSU football type feel to them. No matter what you put up on them they always find a way to comeback and outscore you. They also boast one of the best Freshman in Jared " Bear " Jones who has added 14 HR and 42 RBI. It does not stop there as they have two of the most clutch hitters in their lineup with Gavin Dugas and Jordan Thompson who have provided huge sparks in larger than life moments this season. They also have the highest rated prospect that did not sign with a major league team in Freshman Paxton Kling who has provided another strong bat this season, he went through some ups and downs but has been a player every SEC team would love to have in the starting lineup.

With 3 weekend SEC series to go LSU is poised to be the number 1 seed in the tournament and a sure fire bet to host a regional. That being said with this team Head Coach Jay Johnson has assembled it is Omaha or bust. Actually anything short of walking out of Omaha with another championship trophy in hand would be below the standard set by this team.

My biggest concern in the struggles from the pitching staff as a whole once you get in a super regional and then to Omaha. Hopefully they are able to get more arms healthy and improve in that area. Still, as much as the pitching worries me this team has proven all year long, and against their hardest part of the schedule that no team has been able to overcome the buzzsaw i alluded to earlier.

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