2013 LSU baseball: a regular season for the ages?

AP Photo
AP Photo

Baton Rouge, La. - The 2013 season has been historic for the LSU Tiger baseball team, and the potential is there to not only meet but surpass the usual expectations.

With 43 wins and counting, the Tigers can break the program's regular season record for victories, 46 set by the 1986 squad, coached by legendary Skip Bertman, who eventually led the program to the first five of its six national championships. Under the current NCAA 56-game format, the 1997 team set the mark with 45 wins.

"I'm really happy for the guys," coach Paul Mainieri said. "We're in good shape. We've got six remaining in the league, we control our own destiny. It doesn't seem like Arkansas wants to lose, so we will have to take care of business ourselves. If we can do the job over these last seven games, it will be a regular season that we'll always remember, that's for sure."

LSU leads the SEC west by 3.5 games over Arkansas (32-16, 15-8), and the Tigers trail Vanderbilt (41-6, 21-2) by 2.5 games for the overall SEC lead.

The Tigers travel to face Texas A&M this week before hosting UNO and then Ole Miss to close out the regular season. LSU has lost just one SEC series this year, dropping two games to South Carolina last month. However, the Tigers rebounded by sweeping the Florida Gators for the first time in 12 seasons, including an emphatic 18-6 victory on Saturday to wrap up the series.

"In the beginning of the year, we had such a good start that it was going to fall off at some point," senior first baseman Mason Katz said. "But we knew it was going to pick back up, and Coach really put the pressure on us to get the bats going this weekend, and that's exactly what we did."

Star freshman Alex Bregman added, "I think everyone took it personally on our entire team this weekend, and we came out with a new attitude, and that's why we were successful. We came out with a kind of cockiness that we had earlier this year, and that's what we need to continue to do if we want to win the national championship."

The stronger the resume of a regular season campaign, the better the chances are for LSU earning a top eight national seed for the post-season, and hosting both regional and super regional weekends.

The foundation for a trip to Omaha and the College World Series has been set. Now it's up to the Tigers to finish strong to achieve their lofty goals.