OMAHA, NE (WVUE) - It's the little things that doomed the LSU Tigers against Florida Gators in games one and two of the College World Series.
Some of them were out of their control, such as the wind that went from steadily gusting out of the ballpark to blowing directly in on Tuesday night. It made the park that was "playing fair," as LSU Head Coach Paul Mainieri put it, to playing like the hitter's graveyard it's been in previous years.
However, it's not like Florida was playing in a different stadium.
"We were hitting too many balls in the air," said LSU right fielder Greg Deichmann. "With the wind blowing in, that wasn't going to help anybody. If you go back and look at Florida, they had 10 hits through the infield, whether it was a ground ball or a low line drive. They executed, and we didn't."
But it wasn't just a lack of execution at the plate. One of the sharpest defenses all year had a rare, error-plagued few innings to start the game, and it cost them. Both of the runs charged to starter Jared Poche were unearned because of errors at first base.
"We just put a little too much pressure on ourselves," said freshman third baseman Josh Smith.
The back-breaker is that the Tigers had runners on first and third with no outs in the seventh and eighth innings and weren't able to push the tying run across.
And unfortunately, it now leaves a 52-win LSU team with five championships to their name with a sour feeling.
"Honestly, it has nothing to do with the championships we've won," said Smith. "All the guys, the seniors, the guys leaving this year, they've had an impact on my life this year and the rest of the younger classes' lives forever. We couldn't thank them enough because those guys are what makes this program go."
Making it go now will those alongside Smith in his freshman class. Zack Hess, Zach Watson, Jake Slaughter and Eric Walker broke out in the second half of the season, some of them already etching their names in history. They will, without a doubt, be making an impact wearing purple and gold for years to come.