OMAHA, NE (WVUE) - All eight College World Series teams practiced at TD Ameritrade Park Friday. While some are more familiar with the environment, like defending champion Vanderbilt, others like Miami are making their first trip to the newer ballpark. That's something LSU experienced first hand in 2013.
That year, the Tigers played in TD Ameritrade Park for the first time and did not quite know what to expect. They came out slow against UCLA, scoring just one run in a disappointing loss and then saw their stay end after a second straight defeat.
Two years later, LSU's veteran players are much more confident in their surroundings. Coach Paul Mainieri even said his guys were not quite ready in 2013, and the change from the old Rosenblatt Stadium was a factor.
"This the whole atmosphere is a lot different, and a lot of it caught me by surprise quite frankly," Paul Mainieri said. "I don't think I had the team as prepared as I should have had them. I had built up the experience of Omaha do much that some of the things that had changed were a little bit of a letdown for our kids quite frankly. Now everything is more focused in playing the games and realizing this is what we're here for, to go out there and play as well as we can on the field."
Senior Jared Foster added, "It's almost, like, comforting it's nothing new. You're here, and you've been here before," he said. "We did go 0-2 and maybe that will help us because we know what that feels like, and we can't let that happen again."
"Not like a little kid that comes here for the first time to watch the games, they're all big eyed, we're just enjoying it right now, but ready to move on," senior Chris Sciambra said.
The Tigers took their team picture in front of the Park before practice Friday afternoon and another autograph session. Tonight kicks off the opening ceremonies, and LSU will practice tomorrow at a local high school.