OMAHA, NE (WVUE) - Despite having six national championships, second most all time, LSU baseball has been average in College World Series opening games.
In 17 such outings, the Tigers are now just 8-9 after falling to TCU Sunday by a score of 10-3. What's more important is that no LSU team has ever dropped its opener and fought through the losers' bracket to win it all, but LSU coach Paul Mainieri is preaching patience.
"Their faith in themselves does not waiver, their faith in their coaches, in their team," he said. "We've been through a lot. Nothing is a smooth sail. When you get knocked down and bloody the canvas, there's two things you can do; lay there and feel sorry for yourself, or come back fighting. And our guys always come back fighting. They are a resilient group. I love them to death, and they'll go out there tomorrow with all the confidence in the world and do everything they can do to win that game."
Junior shortstop Alex Bregman points to the Tigers' track record this season as proof that they are capable of putting the bad loss behind them as they take the field against Cal State Fullerton Tuesday. "We won 53 games of 64 this year," Bregman said. "It's been a good year so far, and we have a lot of confidence. We haven't lost two games in a row, so we're going to try to make it where we don't lose two games in a row. And it's tomorrow, we gotta find a way to win."
A big reason for the Tigers' confidence is that freshman ace Alex Lange will be on the hill and LSU is 14-2 when the national freshman pitcher of the year starts this season. He hopes to be the catalyst in a stretch of four straight wins his squad will have to run off in order to advance to the championship series.
"It could be impossible if you look at it that way. But if you look at it, we have to win one game, every inning, every pitch. That gives you a good mindset and chance to win if you just focus on one game," Lange said.
Senior designated hitter Chris Sciambra echoes the simplistic approach at the plate. "Just get a big hit and another and just step by step momentum. Get back to the way we have played as an offense this season," Sciambra said.
LSU will face CS-Fullerton freshman Connor Seabold who sports a 5-3 record with a 2.84 ERA. First pitch from Omaha is set for 2 PM.