Tigers’ backs covered with tire tracks

LSU in need of road success

{{tncms-inline alignment=”left” content=”<p class="p1" style="text-align: left;"><span class="s1"><strong>LSU at S. Carolina, </strong></span><strong>6 p.m</strong></p>” id=”44352a2d-31a2-4c2a-a0d7-aba5071113b3″ style-type=”fact” title=”TONIGHT” type=”relcontent”}}

It’s never too early in college baseball to start tidying up that résumé with an eye on postseason positioning.

And right now LSU has some improving to do with one key element.

Call it road work.

The next two weekends could be key.

The Tigers head to South Carolina tonight for the first of a three-game series in the thick of the Southeastern Conference West race, alone in second place, one game behind Arkansas.

It’s the first of two consecutive SEC road trips as next weekend finds LSU in Oxford for a series against Ole Miss.

The Tigers will need to halt a troubling trend.

LSU dresses the part. Head coach Paul Mainieri dictates that it’s coats and ties on the charter flights to SEC games. The players have almost turned the trip itself into a fashion show. Bow ties are not uncommon.

But looking the part, dressing for success, hasn’t translated into many wins.

LSU (24-14, 9-6 SEC) is 2-7 in true road games and 2-8 away from Alex Box with a loss in its lone neutral-site game.

The latest road woe came Wednesday night in New Orleans when the Tigers, after rallying for three runs in the top of ninth to take a 9-7 lead over Tulane, promptly gave up three runs in the bottom of the inning to lose 10-9. The Green Wave’s winning run scored on a based-loaded walk.

But for the most part, pitching hasn’t been the problem.

The Tigers have lost both of their conference road series, at Vanderbilt and at Texas A&M, winning one game at each stop.

On both SEC road trips, lack of run support wasted good pitching performances, particularly in the deciding games when they were shut out 1-0 by Vanderbilt and beaten 3-1 by Texas A&M.

LSU scored three total runs in the final two games against the Aggies after winning the opener.

In their six conference road games, the Tigers have given up more than four runs once (a 9-2 loss to A&M). But a 6-2 win in the middle game at Vanderbilt was the only time they’ve scored more than four on the road.

The Tigers are 7-2 in home conference games, including a sweep of Tennessee last weekend. Once in nine home SEC games have they scored fewer than four.

LSU still won’t be at full strength for the weekend.

Second baseman Brandt Broussard, an offensive catalyst, returned the lineup Wednesday — wearing a special glove to protect the thumb he broke — but shortstop Josh Smith is still recovering from a back ailment.

First baseman/designated hitter Bryce Jordan is making the trip after missing the last four games with a knee bruise.

Mainieri said Jordan is available to pinch hit, but still isn’t running well enough to start.

The status of another former Barbe player, catcher Hunter Feduccia, is also day to day as he battles a sore hand.

LSU will go with Zach Hess and Ma’Khail Hilliard on the mound for the first two games, but Mainieri said he will not decide on the Game 3 starter until Sunday.

Team Comparisons

LSU (24-14⁄ 9-6 SEC): .296 BA; 3.92 ERA; .981 FA.

South Carolina (20-17⁄ 9-6 SEC): .263 BA; 4.13 ERA; .979 FA.

Pitching Matchups

6 p.m. Today

LSU, RH Zack Hess (6-3, 3.71 ERA, 53.1 IP, 25 BB, 68 SO) vs. SC, RH Adam Hill (3-4, 4.65, 40.2 IP, 26 BB, 60 SO).

3 p.m. Saturday

LSU, RH Ma’Khail Hilliard (7-2, 1.75 ERA, 46.1 IP, 15 BB, 47 SO) vs. SC, RH Cody Morris (6-3, 3.61 ERA, 47.1 IP, 18 BB, 50 SO).

12:30 p.m. Sunday

LSU, TBA vs. SC, RH Logan Chapman (2-0, 3.93 , 34.1 IP, 18 BB, 34 SO).

LSU at S. Carolina, 6 p.m

      ef792a16-038c-11e8-a983-cb6c5e6bdb5b2018-01-27T19:00:00Znews/local,newsCalcasieu, Vernon schools to receive literacy funds to improve reading and writingThree years in a row for La.FEDERAL GRANTCrystal StevensonEditor https://www.americanpress.com/content/tncms/avatars/0/dd/b31/0ddb31ac-3692-11e7-8302-23d6754288b8.24a867829562604675a5114235876466.png

      The Calcasieu and Vernon parish school systems have been awarded money from a $12 million federal grant received by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to improve the reading and writing skills of struggling students.

      Calcasieu received $703,000, and Vernon was awarded $351,500.

      The federal grant aims to advance the preliteracy, reading and writing skills of disadvantaged youths — including English learners and students with disabilities. 

      {{tncms-inline content=”<p>’As we continue to promote critical thinking in our students as they progress through our system, building literacy skills is obviously at the forefront of our efforts.’</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><strong>Calcasieu superintendent</strong></p>” id=”8e113ebd-80a0-4662-861b-68285545d180″ style-type=”quote” title=”Pull Quote” type=”relcontent”}}

      Louisiana was one of 11 states selected to benefit from the grant, and the only state to receive the award three consecutive times, said State Superintendent John White.

      “Louisiana’s fourth-graders saw more growth in reading than others in the nation on the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress,” White said in a news release. “We’ve made great progress, but there is still much left to do.”

      White said more than half of Louisiana students are prepared when they enter kindergarten, but by fourth grade only 36 percent read and write on grade level.

      “This grant will accelerate our efforts by providing students and families with a strong foundation based in research and by supporting a cadre of reading and writing educator experts across the state,” White said.

      Calcasieu Superintendent Karl Bruchhaus said literacy is “the cornerstone of everything we do in education.”

      “As we continue to promote critical thinking in our students as they progress through our system, building literacy skills is obviously at the forefront of our efforts,” he said. 

      Bruchhaus said the grant money for Calcasieu will be used to provide additional resources to bolster reading instruction and provide additional professional development on “best practices for helping students to grow.”

      Anne Smith, director of elementary curriculum for Vernon Parish, said the parish will use the grant to focus on advancing the reading and writing skills of disadvantaged youth on five of their campuses.

      “We are excited to receive this grant as we strive to improve instruction,” she said. “This grant will give us teacher training as well as provide us with high-quality, Tier I curriculum that will help our teachers to improve instruction for all of these students.”

      ‘As we continue to promote critical thinking in our students as they progress through our system, building literacy skills is obviously at the forefront of our efforts.’

      Calcasieu superintendent

        ef79eb28-02b9-11e8-a267-5b137db0d5d12018-01-26T16:57:00Znews/national,newsCharges for Kentucky shooting suspect, vigil for victimsAssociatedPresshttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/847f947e4dcdd64d23ee1a5459357331?s=100&d=mm&r=gBENTON, Ky. — The 15-year-old boy accused of gunning down classmates at a western Kentucky high school was ordered held on murder and assault charges as the shaken community where it happened strained to cope with the devastation.

        On Thursday, a juvenile court judge found probable cause to keep detaining the teenager as authorities gather evidence to support trying him as an adult for the attack at Marshall County High School, Assistant Marshall County Attorney Jason Darnall said. Authorities, meanwhile, are seeking to gather evidence for a grand jury, hoping to discover why a handgun was turned on a crowd of classmates, all 14 to 18, as they waited for the morning bell Tuesday.

        Although the legal process has begun for the suspect, others in the small rural community sought to overcome the shock of Tuesday’s shooting that left two people dead and 21 injured with a show of solidarity. Hundreds gathered amid flickering candles after nightfall Thursday to honor the victims as many wept.

        Nearly 300 people, many with faces visibly etched with pain, thronged a park as firefighters raised a large American flag in the crisp night air. Many teens, cupping candles in their palms, hugged and looked on somberly. One girl’s candle shook in her hands as she sobbed, and others cried when another girl sang “Amazing Grace.”

        “It always happens somewhere else, you know, but this week it was our community,” said Misti Drew, an organizer of the vigil. With faces aglow from the candles, participants lofted banners and some wore T-shirts embossed with the words, “Marshall Strong.”

        Earlier, Vicki Jo Reed painted a “Marshall Strong” sign on a storefront, and reflected on her grandson’s close call.

        “This is one of the hardest things for me to ever have to paint,” she said. “Had a grandson that was in the commons area through the whole thing, and he, like all the other kids, is not handling it very good.”

        Reed said her grandson is also 15, like the shooting suspect and their two slain classmates, and is haunted by the horror he saw.

        “He wakes up to the gunshots every morning,” Reed said.

        The mother of Bailey Nicole Holt, who died at the scene, said she got a call from her daughter’s phone but couldn’t hear her.

        “She called me, and all I could hear was voices and chaos in the background and she couldn’t say anything,” Secret Holt told WKRN-TV in Nashville. “I called her name over and over and she never responded, so we rushed to the high school and they wouldn’t let us get through.”

        Thursday’s closed-door hearing for the suspect began a journey through the criminal justice system that is slightly more complicated than it would be if the suspect were an adult charged with the same crimes. After an initial series of hearings in juvenile court, which is closed to the public and the records sealed under Kentucky law, the case will be presented to a grand jury that next meets on Feb. 13.

        If the grand jury returns an indictment, the case will move to circuit court, at which point the prosecution would proceed like an ordinary criminal trial. But the boy will have some protections: The law requires that he remain at a juvenile jail, not in the general population of a county facility. And if he’s found guilty at trial, he will not face the state’s most severe sentences.

        Kentucky juries can typically recommend a range of sentences, up to death, for adults convicted of murder.

        But the U.S. Supreme Court has barred states from sentencing juveniles to death or to life without parole, finding that children should be treated differently because their still-developing brains leave young people prone to poor judgment.

        And Kentucky has been through this before, when a teenager convicted in a school shooting that drew national attention more than two decades ago was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.

        Michael Carneal was 14 in 1997 when he killed three students and injured five at Heath High School in Paducah, not far from Marshall County. Convicted and sentenced in 2001, he’s now 34 and eligible for parole in four years, according to state records.””

        People attend a vigil for the victims of a fatal shooting at Marshall County High School on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, at Mike Miller County Park in Benton, Ky. The 15-year-old accused of the fatal shooting on Tuesday, which left over a dozen injured, was ordered held Thursday on preliminary charges of murder and assault.

        Robert Ray


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