LSU 2012 Baseball World Series Capsule

LSU Tigers
SEC (42-14, 19-11)

The LSU baseball program, under the tutelage of Paul Maineri, has been on a bounce back mission after struggling through the 2011 season…at least by Tiger Nation standards.  They missed the NCAA Tournament and did not even make the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Buoyed by juco transfer Raph Rhymes and the pitching of youngsters Kevin Gausman and Nick Goody, another juco transfer who has excelled in closing out games, the Tigers propelled themselves into the conversation for a potential top eight national seed. They have knocked off the likes of Arkansas and Kentucky and won a road series at Florida that should have them battle tested for a return run back to TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha in late June.

Big Wins: 3/30 - 4/1 Arkansas (10-6, 2-1, 3-2) 4/5, 4/7 at Florida (7-6, 8-7) 4/20 at Kentucky (5-4), 5/4, 5/6 at Ole Miss (4-3, 12-3)
Bad Losses: 3/11 vs Notre Dame (1-7), 3/23, 3/24 at Auburn (3-4, 2-3), 5/12, 5/13 Vanderbilt (3-6, 4-5)
Coach: Paul Maineri (6 seasons at LSU)

Why They Can Surprise:
The Tigers hope Rhymes, the juco transfer, can continue to hit nearly .500 in both the cleanup and third slot in the batting order and continue to dominate games by driving in runs and being very difficult to strike out. Mason Katz provides the power to complement Rhymes, as he ended the regular season with 11 home runs. Regional play begins. Austin Nola also provides a strong veteran presence to the lineup as well. There is a lot to be said for being back in the tourney after missing out a year ago for LSU.

Why They Can Disappoint:
If their offense goes cold at all for any extended stretch it could be problematic for the Tigers. In postseason play the Tigers will not want to fall behind early. This is a team that scored just one run in two games against Appalachian State. Appalachian State is a very good team, but the Tigers could see some future MLB stars on the mound early in the tournament. If that happens, LSU could find themselves behind the eight ball the rest of the regional working their way through the loser’s bracket. The youth of the pitching could also become an issue if Gausman and Eades struggle at all on the postseason stage.

Key Field Players:
Mason Katz, Junior, IF, .333 BA, 11 HR, 46 RBI
Raph Rhymes, Junior, OF, .469 BA, 49 RBI
Austin Nola, Senior, IF, .300 BA, 36 RBI
Ty Ross, Sophomore, C, .305 BA, 35 RBI

Key Pitchers:
Kevin Gausman, Sophomore, Starting Pitcher, 2.86 ERA, 9-1 W/L, 100.2 IP, 118 SO
Ryan Eades, Sophomore, Starting Pitcher, 3.62 ERA, 5-2 W/L, 79.2 IP, 55 SO
Nick Goody, Junior, Closer, 1.86 ERA, 1-1 W/L, 29.0 IP, 39 SO, 10 SV

By the Numbers:
Batting Average: .295 (40th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Offense: 6.4 (40, 1)
Doubles per Game: 1.73 (105, 6)
Triples per Game: 0.20 (174, 6)
Home Runs per Game: 0.64 (61, 6)
Slugging Percentage: .414 (56, 5)
Stolen Bases per Game: 0.68 (236, 10)
Earned Run Average: 3.28 (45, 5)
Fielding Percentage: .979 (7, 2)
Double Plays per Game: 0.54 (268, 12)

Recent Postseason Appearances:

2010Regionaldefeated UC Irvine, lost to UCLA, eliminated by UC Irvine
2009Regionaldefeated Southern, defeated Baylor, defeated Minnesota
2009Super Regionaldefeated Rice
2009CWSdefeated Virginia, defeated Arkansas, defeated Arkansas
2009Championshipdefeated Texas
2008Regionaldefeated Texas Southern, defeated Southern Mississippi, defeated Southern Mississippi
2008Super Regionaldefeated UC Irvine
2008CWSlost to North Carolina, defeated Rice, eliminated by North Carolina
2005Regionaldefeated Marist, lost to Rice, defeated Northwestern State, eliminated by Rice
2003Regionaldefeated Northeastern, defeated Tulane, defeated North Carolina Wilmington
2003Super Regionaldefeated Baylor  
2003CWSlost to Cal State Fullerton, eliminated by South Carolina

*all team stats through 5/20

See All Baseball Postseason Capsules