Late season push delivers LSU national seed

NCAA Preview

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - When it comes to postseason college baseball, Baton Rouge is always in the conversation. While the Tigers knew they'd host a regional, they had to sweat it out for a little while Monday morning before hearing their name called as the eighth national seed.

With the way LSU finished the season, there's not a lot of argument against the Tigers standing in the eyes of the selection committee. However, it wasn't that long ago when a slumping LSU team lost five of seven games to end April against Mississippi State, Tulane and Ole Miss.

"I'd be lying to you if I told you I always knew we'd be a national seed," says junior shortstop Kramer Robertson. "If you would've told us that the second or third weekend in the SEC, it might be a little bit surprising to a lot of people, but not to us. I always knew this team could be pretty special."

It was probably after that series loss to Mississippi State that head coach Paul Mainieri even questioned his team's ability to take advantage of their home field.

"A month ago or six weeks ago, I would have actually hoped we'd have gone on the road because our players didn't seem to handle the pressure of playing here at the box and the expectations," says Mainieri. "But I feel like this Florida series at the end of the year kind of transformed our team. I think now we're ready for this kind of environment. I think we're ready for the postseason at the Box. All of these young kids have 60 ball games behind them. I think they're going to feed off the crowd, and hopefully, the crowd will intimidate our opponents a little bit."

LSU plays host to Rice, Southeastern La. and Utah Valley. The Tigers' first game is set for Friday at 2 p.m. against the Wolverines.

Copyright 2016 WVUE. All rights reserved.