OMAHA, NE (WVUE) - One day before their opening game of the College World Series, the Tigers held a relaxed practice at an Omaha area high school.
"We're not real anxious or real nervous," senior Jared Foster said. "A lot of us have been here before. A lot of the guys are feeding off us because of that. We're just ready to get going a little bit. We're staying relaxed."
Junior Alex Bregman added, "We've been dreaming about it since we started the season, and it's finally here. One more, one quick practice, and it's go time."
With 63 games already in the books this season, the Tigers won't change their approach, even on college baseball's biggest stage.
"They don't have to try any harder," Coach Paul Mainieri said. "They don't have to be more nervous. They don't have to think this is all out of the ordinary because we do it the same way all the time, and it's always with the idea that we're gonna be here in Omaha and play for a National Championship. I want the kids to come here and play loose and aggressive and confident. I don't want them to feel like they have to do anything different than they have all year."
Earlier today, Paul Mainieri received his fourth National Coach of the Year Award, an honor he shares with his entire program.
"None of these things could be possible, these kind of awards could be possible without being surrounded by a bunch of wonderful kids, and I've got 33 tremendous young men that are entrusted to us by their parents, and they've just been such a joy to work with," Mainieri said.
Freshman Alex Lange added, "He deserves it, congrats to him. He's worked hard all year, and he's kept control and composure for us. I wouldn't expect it to go to anybody else. He's had a great year."
Bregman added, "He also does such a great job of developing players. Guys have gotten so much better in his system at LSU, and I'm proud of him, and he deserves it."
One of the lighter moments today came when the Tigers solved Glove Gate. Star freshman pitcher Alex Lange thought his glove was lost or stolen yesterday, and the team had to go out and buy him a new one this morning, the exact same model in this superstitious sport. But the glove was found in fellow freshman Austin Bain's bag, crisis averted.