LSU senior Mason Katz, No. 8, leads the Tigers with 13 home runs and 60 RBIs. He is second on the team with a .397 batting average. (Associated Press)
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 9:37 AM
Despite one of its more ragged weekends of the season LSU remained No. 2 in the four national polls Monday and, in fact, it’s now unanimous.
The Tigers (37-4, 15-3 SEC) flip-flopped with Vanderbilt to move up to the second spot in the Baseball America poll, the only one of the four that previously had the Commodores (35-6, 16-2) ahead of LSU.
While Vanderbilt still leads LSU by a game in the overall standings, both are running away with their divisions.
North Carolina (39-2) remains No. 1 in all of the polls.
Meanwhile, LSU’s Aaron Nola was named the SEC’s co-pitcher of the week for his complete-game, three-hit shutout of Alabama in Friday night’s first game. He shared the honor with Ole Miss’ Bobby Wahl, who matched him with a shutout of Tennessee.
It was Nola’s second straight complete game, but his first career shutout after striking out 10 Alabama hitters.
But LSU, which leads the SEC in fielding and hadn’t made more than one error in an entire SEC weekend series, made five in the final two games at Alabama. They were major factor in forcing the Tigers to 16 innings before prevailing 11-8 in Saturday’s game and then losing to the Tide on Sunday 4-3 in 10 innings.
“We basically gave them all the runs they got,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said after Sunday’s game. “Very uncharacteristic of us.”
The bright spot was Sunday starter Cody Glenn, who had struggled in his previous road starts and, after taking a line drive off the thigh at Arkansas last Sunday, wasn’t originally scheduled to pitch the final game against Alabama. Mainieri had planned to rest him until Wednesday’s home game against Tulane.
But when LSU had to use six pitchers for extended periods in Saturday’s marathon game, that changed.
Glenn responded with his longest outing of the year, holding the Tide to just four hits and one earned run over eight innings. But two unearned runs allowed the Tide to force extra innings and eventually win.
“He pitched his heart out and deserved a better fate than that,” Mainieri said of the three costly errors. “We didn’t do the things we’ve been doing all year.”
Mainieri promised to get back to fundamentals as the Tigers, who have played the last two weekends on the road, return home for the next two weeks against South Carolina and Florida.
All four games this week will be televised, beginning with Wednesday’s 6:30 p.m. game against Tulane on Cox Sports.
Cox will also televise the the first two games of the South Carolina series, at 7 p.m. on Friday and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday’s 2 p.m. game will be on ESPN.
Also Monday, freshman Alex Bregman was named a quarterfinalist for the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year award.
Bregman leads the SEC with a .414 average, as well as in hits (72), runs (45) and triples (7).