Remember When Kentucky Knocked Off #1 LSU in Overtime

The year was 2007. T-Pain wanted to Buy U a Drank, Soulja Boy just taught us how to Crank Dat and Kentucky was about to have their most successful football seasons in a long while. Achieving a 5-1 record and #17 national ranking led the Cats to their biggest test. The #1 LSU Tigers came to Lexington for a battle they did not expect. Kentucky, however, came ready to play.

It was back and forth all game. The Kentucky greats solidified their place in Kentucky history. Names like Andre Woodson, Derrick Locke, Stevie Johnson, Jacob Tamme, Dickie Lyons Jr. and Trevard Lindley all played pivotal roles in knocking off the best team in the country. Relive the whole game here:

The craziest part about this game is that LSU actually had a quarterback that was capable of throwing the ball in Matt Flynn. And even he was no match for the secondary led by Trevard Lindley. Only posting 130 yards to Andre Woodson’s 250.

This team was destined for so much more. Reaching as high as #8 in the rankings, this Kentucky team ended up unranked with a 7-5 record. Eleven year old Wic watching this game though Kentucky was going to at least the SEC Championship, if not a BCS bowl. But Kentucky football is going to Kentucky football, especially before the Mark Stoops era.

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Florida State Head Coach Mike Martin Says Fontenot Pitched Like A “Warrior”

Although LSU was lost in the Super Regionals to a very good Florida State team, there was one story that the LSU faithful could hang their hats on. After Sunday’s loss, in his post game press conference, Florida State’s Hall of Fame head coach Mike Martin had some words of encouragement for the LSU fans.

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Coach Martin, who is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division I college baseball history with 2,028 wins and 17 College World Series appearances had this to say about LSU reliever, Devin Fontenot,

“I know you probably won’t use it, but Fontenot, what a warrior. . . this Fontenot kid is a sophomore, I had the pleasure of talking to him and he’s gonna work hard this summer, come out and try to be better next year. He’s got a great attitude about life, and I just want to pass that along.” Coach Martin added that he’d, “take two of them every single year.”

That’s just great to hear from a legendary head coach that a young player, like Fontenot, is someone that he wanted people know played his heart out, and is someone he’d take two of them every single year. I think that is just a lot of class from a coach that just won his 17th Super Regional. He didn’t even have to mention it or say a thing, but Fontenot’s performance was so strong that he needed to say it, even if no one was listening. Coach Martin even met with Fontenot after the game to tell him in person how impressed he was with his performance that night.

That is hopefully something that Devin Fontenot will take with him for the rest of his baseball career. Fontenot entered into the game in the sixth inning, and only allowed one run and two hits in 6.1 innings. He struck out a career-high 11 batters out of 22 faced, and threw a career-high 97 pitches, which was previously 46 pitches.

What I think Fontenot told us with his performance on Sunday was that he can be a starter. He certainly proved himself to not just me, but also Coach Martin.

 

-Parmesan Don

@soft7parm

Dialing up FSU and LSU’s Chances in the Super Regional

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LSU looked dominant in the Baton Rouge Regionals; they went 3-0 and won pretty handedly against Stony Brook and Southern Miss. It does seem like the offense is clicking on all cylinders, and so is the pitching. Their first game against Stony Brook really set the tone of the Regional by absolutely destroying them 17-3. Then LSU, in my opinion, handled USM easily in their second and third games, winning 8-4 and 6-4. It just never felt like the games were in doubt. Everything was just rolling the Tiger’s way. Playing at home really helped with that, and thanks to Georgia getting knocked out of the postseason, LSU gets to host the Super Regional against an old baseball powerhouse, FSU.

Although FSU wasn’t the team they usually are this season, they still played well enough to finish 6th in the ACC, and their win over NC State in the ACC Tournament was a big help in their seeding, 3 seed, in the Athens Regional. In that Athens Regional, FSU did not play like a 3 seed, however. They tore that Regional up. FSU was able to win all 3 of their games and beat the 1 seed, and number 4 national seed, Georgia twice! They didn’t just win these games though, they were able to win handedly (12-3 and 10-1). It was an absolute rout.

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In the entire Athens Regional, Florida State scored 35 runs and only allowed 11. In these games, the Seminoles hit 9 home runs and batted .375. Needless to say, Florida State is hot, but I think they going to have a rude awakening once they get to Baton Rouge and play in Alex Box Stadium. In road games this year, FSU has a record of 9-10, and history has proven that they struggle in Super Regionals away from home. Although the Seminoles have reached the Super Regionals 17 of the last 21 years, they have gone 0-5 in Super Regionals away from Tallahassee. That advantage for LSU is just too great.

No matter how hot you might think Florida State is right now, LSU is just as hot, and has just so much more talent on their team. If this were in Tallahassee then this might have a different expectation and might be a closer series, but LSU at home is just too scary for any team. We are forgetting that LSU was the preseason number 1 team this year, and they are just now starting to play like it. FSU might get one, but LSU has a great chance to win this Super Regional.

LSU in 3. Book it.

Baton Rouge Super Regional Schedule:

June 8 – 3:00 PM ET – ESPN

June 9 – 6:00 PM ET – ESPN2

June 10 – 8:30 PM ET – ESPN (If Necessary)

 

-Parmesan Don

@soft7parm

What Are LSU’s Chances of Getting Out of the Baton Rouge Regional?

For the 26th time the Road to Omaha must go through Baton Rouge, LA, as LSU will once again be hosting a Regional Round of the NCAA baseball tournament. To be honest, and I think I speak for a lot of people when I say this, I was surprised with just how safely LSU was as a Regional host. I think that had LSU not performed the way they did at in the SEC Tournament, we would be looking at them sitting at a 2 seed. Thank God they were able to beat Mississippi State, because that was absolutely needed. I just don’t feel that this team would be able to be successful had they been a 2 seed and not been lucky enough to play at home and be the best team in the region.

This just isn’t like every other LSU team we’ve had in the past few years. Unfortunately, they aren’t super deep, and don’t have the stellar pitching I think most LSU fans are used to seeing; however, they have proven to be scrappy. For how young they are, they have been able to prove themselves late in games and get some unbelievable wins. I also won’t dog on the pitching too much because it’s not terrible, they just don’t have the talent and depth at the position. This isn’t like we have Ben McDonald, Aaron Nola, or even Alex Lange on the mound as their ace, but when Cole Henry, Matthew Beck, and Eric Walker are on their game then I think LSU’s pitching staff is a force to be reckoned with. I also love it when Zach “Wild Thing” Hess is able to strike batters out to get us out of an inning and then he walks back to the dugout screaming and beating his chest. I think LSU’s bats can keep them in a game and win it if the bullpen is on. LSU is just so young.

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With that being said, let’s jump into the teams in the Baton Rouge Regional.

2 Arizona State (37-17, 16-13 Pac-12, 33 RPI, 87 SOS)

ASU made it into this regional as an at-large bid out of the Pac-12. The Sun Devils are a very strong offensive team. They lead the country in home runs (92); led by Hunter Bishop with 22. They also have two players, Hunter Bishop and Spencer Torkelson, who are nominated for the Golden Spikes award. However, after starting the season 21-0, the Sun Devils have taken a turn. It was a bumpy road along the way, and in their last lost 7 games they lost 5. In addition, they finished 5th in the Pac-12, and their record against the teams that finished ahead of them (UCLA, Stanford, Oregon St, and Cal) was an unimpressive 4-7. The biggest thing LSU needs to do is control ASU’s bats and I think they should be able to figure this team out. Arizona State just lacks the momentum needed to succeed going into the regionals.

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3 Southern Miss (38-19, 20-10 CUSA, 45 RPI, SOS 96)

Southern Miss was the big winner at the Conference USA tournament by securing their auto-bid. Had they not won, they might be in the same position as Louisiana Tech who did not make the tournament. Southern Miss was a pre-season top-25, but entered into the CUSA tournament as a fringe regional selection. The only other team to make it into a regional out of CUSA is FAU, who was the CUSA regular season champion, and was able to make it in as an at-large bid. The Golden Eagles’ biggest problems come from their play in the field. They have committed 81 errors on the season, and only 287 of the 512 runs they allowed were earned. I’m not so sure about that being something that can easily be fixed for this regional, and these mental mistakes should pose to be a major issue for Southern Miss going forward. I don’t expect a lot from this team as a result.

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4 Stony Brook (31-21, 15-9 America East, 138 RPI, 255 SOS)

LSU is very familiar with Stony Brook. Back in 2012 they beat LSU to win the Baton Rouge Regional, which shocked everyone. However, this team is not nearly as talented as Stony Brook’s 2012 team. This is Stony Brook’s first time back in the NCAA tournament since 2015. They were able to win the American East’s regular season and their conference tournament, but 6 of the 7 conference teams were within 4 games of each other at the end of the regular season. They were nearly as dominant as they were back in 2012; however, they were able to sweep the American East Conference Tournament to get that auto-bid. Stony Brook really hasn’t been boosted by an out of conference resumé at all, and as a result, they don’t have a lot of quality wins. However, they are one of the only teams in history to defeat LSU in a Baton Rouge Regional, so obviously they have history. I just don’t think history repeats itself this year.

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Before LSU was awarded a 1 seed, I was not confident in their ability to make it out of a regional. However, now that I know they will be playing in Alex Box Stadium in front of all the LSU fan, I’m a lot less worried. Also, after looking at all the teams, the only team that, I believe, really poses a threat to the Tigers is ASU, but they just aren’t the same team they were earlier in the season and are really dependent on their ability to hit home runs. So, we shall see what LSU is able to do with this regional, but I’m confident in their chances to advance.

The Baton Rouge Regional Schedule:

Friday, May 31

Game 1 – 1 p.m. ET – 2 Arizona State vs. 3 Southern Miss (ESPN3)

Game 2 – 7 p.m. ET – 1 LSU vs. 4 Stony Brook (ESPNU/ESPN3)

Saturday, June 1

Game 3 – 1 p.m. ET – Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser (TV TBA)

Game 4 – 7 p.m. ET – Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner (TV TBA)

Sunday, June 2

Game 5 – 3 p.m. ET – Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Loser (TV TBA)

Game 6 – 9 p.m. ET – Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner (TV TBA)

Monday, June 3

Game 7 – Time TBA – Game 6 Winner vs. Game 6 Loser (if necessary) – TV TBA

 

– Parmesan Don

@soft7parm

NCAA Finally Addresses the Most Pressing Issue in Their Organization: Overtime

Instead of trying to fix any of the real issues going on in the NCAA, they have chosen to ignore them and are now fixing things that aren’t broken. Do they address how players are being paid? What about how some coaches are getting away with it while other are forfeiting seasons worth of wins? Nope. The ever so calculated and rational NCAA has decided that it is time for a change in the college football overtime system.

Brett McMurphy explains in this tweet:

This is the most unnecessary rule change to college football. Just so irrelevant. This only would have affected two games last year (LSU vs Texas A&M and San Jose St vs Hawaii) and only four games in the last three years. So, definitely the most pressing issue in the NCAA that desperately needed some revamping.

The only question is “why the fifth overtime?” Why was that the magical cutoff? If the reason was player safety, it would be something like the second or third over time. But let’s be real, the NCAA doesn’t care about them. Plus, the longer the game is on TV, the more money they make. It has to be about the fans. But still, why the fifth overtime? If the game gets to the fifth overtime, everyone who was going to leave has left already and everyone who is going to stay until the bitter end has already cancelled their plans for the next day.

We all just need to accept that we will never be able to please everyone when it comes to football overtime.