2013 Baton Rouge Regional

(capsules compiled by Sean Ryan, Phil Stanton, Zachary Kerr)


1. LSU Tigers

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Automatic bid – won SEC Championship

2013 record: 23-7, 52-9 (first place in SEC West)

Head coach: Paul Mainieri (Florida International, 1980)

Record at school: 310-131-2, 7 years

Overall record: 1,174-623-7, 31 years

Assistant coaches: Alan Dunn, Javi Sanchez, Will Davis, Blake Dean, Ross Brezovsky

Last NCAA Appearance: 2012 (3-0 at Baton Rouge Regional, 1-2 at Baton Rouge Super Regional)

Notes: LSU is making its 26th NCAA Tournament appearance and is hosting a regional for the 21st time. The Tigers last reached the College World Series in 2009, when they won their sixth national title. LSU won its 10th SEC Tournament title with a thrilling 5-4 victory in 11 innings. The Tigers are 6-1 in extra-inning games this season. Closer Chris Cotton was named tourney MVP, earning a win in the championship game and three saves earlier in the tournament. Head coach Paul Mainieri will be inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame in January. LSU set program records with 48 regular-season victories and 23 SEC wins. The Tigers are second in the nation in fielding percentage (.981). LSU is third in ERA (2.48) and WHIP (1.06). Alex Bregman is third in the country with 96 hits. Aaron Nola is fifth in the nation in WHIP (0.82) and ninth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.50).


2. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

Notes: Louisiana-Lafayette is powered by its powerful offense, which is: leading the nation in home runs with 72 and slugging percentage at .513, third in average at .322 and hits with 666, fourth in doubles with 137 and runs with 453, and sixth in runs per game at 7.7. Sophomore designated hitter Caleb Adams leads the team in homers with 14 and slugging percentage at .642, which are 18th and 26th in Division I. Junior outfielder Dex Kjerstad provides contact in addition to power, as he is hitting .398, the 11th-best average in the country. He is also 10th in total bases with 149. Sophomore ace Austin Robichaux and fellow junior outfielder Seth Harrison joined Kjerstad on the All-Sun Belt First Team. Along with Adams, three other Ragin' Cajuns made the second team: junior utility man Ryan Leonards, sophomore third baseman Tyler Girouard, and freshman shortstop Blake Trahan, who was also declared the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year. The Ragin' Cajuns finished third in the Sun Belt standings and had won seven straight, including three thrashes of top-seed South Alabama, before losing to fourth-seed Florida Atlantic in the championship game, 16-8.


3. Sam Houston State Bearkats

Notes: Sam Houston State won the regular season title in the Southland Conference. The Bearkats are making their eighth NCAA Division I regional appearance and earned their second consecutive at-large bid. SHSU eliminated top seed and host Rice from the Houston Regional a year ago. This season’s pitching staff is 13th in the nation in hits allowed per nine innings at 7.4. Cody Dickson is 13th in hits per nine innings at 5.84, while Caleb Smith is 30th at 6.25. Opponents are hitting .226 against the Bearkats. SHSU owns a pair of wins over Rice. After winning its opening game in the Southland Tournament, the Bearkats had been victorious in 15 of 16 contests. SHSU lost its next two tourney games. Kevin Miller and Colt Atwood both have 24 multi-hit games, while Carter Burgess has 22. Anthony Azar leads the team with 12 multi-RBI games.


4. Jackson State Tigers

Notes: The Tigers followed up a 34-win season by winning 34 again, including the SWAC title. JSU allowed 11 runs in winning four straight games to capture the league’s automatic bid. Coach Omar Johnson has guided the Tigers to 30 or more wins in six of his seven seasons – he played at North Alabama and played in the NBC World Series in 1995 and 1996. The Tigers have stolen 125 bases, led by Nick Marigny (26) and Charles Tilery (25). Tilery leads the team in hitting and on-base average (.468), thanks in part to 35 walks and 10 HBPs. Bruce Taylor has been hit by pitch 25 times. Andre Rodriguez has been spectacular out of the bullpen, allowing opposing hitters a .184 average. Fellow reliever Desmond Russell has been just as good, striking out 43 and walking 14 with a .193 BAA.