OMAHA, NE (WVUE) - A day after LSU's worst loss of the season, a seven-run defeat at the hands of TCU, coach Paul Mainieri joked with reporters that he was hoping Monday morning would bring plenty of sunshine and a fresh start for his team.
What they found was a lot of rain in Omaha but nonetheless, the Tigers got back to work in preparation for a win-or-go-home game against Cal State Fullerton.
"Our team is mature, we've been through a lot," Mainieri said. "Our team has played 64 games this year, and we've won 53 of them. Obviously, we have talent. We have wonderful kids, that are tough mentally. They know how to bounce back. We have not lost two games in a row all season, this would not be a good time to start that. We've got our best pitcher pitching tomorrow, so we're going to fill our heads with very positive thoughts. We're gonna go out there and find a way to play our best game and stay relaxed, confident and yet hustle and compete with a good competitive zeal. And just try to win a game."
Junior shortstop Alex Bregman was a freshman in 2013 when the Tigers went 0-2 and is preaching focus to his team. "That's going to be our entire team's mindset," Bregman said. "We can't look in the future, we just have to worry about winning one game. That's tomorrow, and we have the best pitcher in the country throwing for us we think. We're excited to go out there behind him and just battle and try to win a game."
Since 1998, only three College World Series teams that lost their opening game came back to win the National Championship. The odds are slim, but it has happened before, as recently as 2010 with South Carolina.
First pitch Tuesday is set for 2 PM.