After what can only be considered a disappointing season for the LSU Tigers baseball team, it still seemed as though the team was in position to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
Apparently the NCAA baseball tournament selection committee did not see it that way.
For only the second time during the tenure of head coach Paul Mainieri, the Tigers will not be playing in the NCAA tournament.
While the Tigers certainly did not live up to the expectations many had for them this year, the team still had what most would consider a respectable season deserving of a tournament berth.
The Tigers started off the season 12-0. During the course of their season, they swept Cal State Fullerton, who will be hosting one of the regionals.
The selection of Mississippi State (34-23) as an at-large bid is only pouring salt in the wound for the LSU team, which had a better overall record (36-20) and took two of three from the Bulldogs to end the season.
It is possible to make the case that the Tigers were not deserving of a tournament berth due to the fact that they did not make the SEC tournament, but that has not prevented teams from making the NCAA tournament in the past.
I find it hard to believe that the selection committee did not find LSU to be one of the top teams at-large, considering their high RPI ranking and their overall record, but in a tournament system such as this, teams are going to be snubbed.
It is true that the LSU Tigers baseball team may have been deserving of a tournament berth, but they can only blame themselves for not making it.
The Tigers lost several close games, including two one-run losses to Florida, one of the top teams in the nation. The team will also have to look back to their second to last game in which they blew a lead in the 9th inning against Mississippi State—a game in which a win for the Tigers may have propelled them into the SEC Tournament.
In my opinion, this will have a positive impact on the LSU baseball team going forward. This experience will certainly be humbling for the program, and the young players on the team may have an added drive and work ethic next season and in the future.