On April 20th, it appeared the Tigers should focus their attention on “next year”. The Tigers watched as their seven run lead evaporated into the hot Louisiana sun. Sure this was the Georgia Bulldogs they were playing, the SEC leaders, but it’s just unacceptable to blow that kind of lead. The Tigers settled for a 10-10 tie thanks to travel restrictions, but the weekend ended without a victory, and with the Tigers looking for answers.
How could the Tigers salvage the season? Win every game the rest of the way? Yeah, right. Sure. We will get right on that. Wait…what? Are you serious? They did?
They sure did! The Tigers bounced back from that tie nearly one month ago, and rattled off 14 straight victories. For those not too close to LSU baseball, you may think the road just got easier at the end. Well that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Tigers swept nationally ranked South Carolina in Baton Rouge before going on the road to sweep another nationally ranked team in Kentucky. A team that had only loss two, count them…1…2, games at home the entire season.
The Tigers returned home to sweep the Mississippi State Bulldogs, and traveled to Metarie, LA on Tuesday night to face the University of New Orleans in the Wally Pontiff Jr. Classic. UNO entered the game with the longest win streak (13 games) in the country. The Tigers prevailed with a 7-6 victory in 15 innings, giving the Tigers the longest win streak in the country. The Tigers headed to the showers, then hopped on a bus and headed for Auburn, AL.
The Tigers arrived in Auburn at 7AM Wednesday morning and headed to the team hotel. A workout scheduled for Wednesday evening was cancelled to allow the Tigers to catch up on much needed rest.
The Tigers entered the Auburn series needing at least two victories, if Alabama sweeps Georgia and Ole Miss sweeps Kentucky, to clinch the SEC Western Division title. The Tigers currently hold a game and a half lead over the Tide and the Rebels.
Game 1 of the Alabama/Georgia series was rained out on Thursday, forcing a double header on Friday. The Tigers battled back and forth with Auburn, but won the game 6-4, keeping the longest current win streak in college baseball alive at 14. More good fortune would come the Tigers way when Kentucky handed Ole Miss a loss in Game 1, eliminating the Rebels from catching the Tigers.
It’s now up to LSU to finish off the rest of the SEC West. The Tigers need one victory in their next two games, or an Alabama loss, to bring the Western Division Championship back home to Baton Rouge.In what appeared to be another rebuilding season for the Tigers, could turn out to be an amazing Championship season. While the eyes of the Tigers are set on the College World Series, the last 14 games have definitely been steps in the right direction. It now appears the Tigers will host a NCAA Regional, sending their current Alex Box Stadium out in style. If these Tigers keep playing like they have over the last month, the College World Series will welcome back the Tigers, with open arms.