NCAA Baseball Baton Rouge Regional Breakdown

Baton Rouge Regional Breakdown


One of several Southeastern Conference schools to host an NCAA baseball regional, LSU is back in the tournament with a vengeance. The Tigers hope to win the College World Series for the first time since 2009 or at least get to the CWS like it did in 2003 and 2008. It has a little bit of company in another Louisiana school’s presence, plus a Pac-12 team and an Atlantic Sun Conference contender. As for LSU, junior Mason Katz is the team’s power presence, although junior Raph Rhymes, senior Austin Nola and sophomore Ty Ross. All four have close to or over 40 runs batted in, so the offense has spread out potential to do some damage. Its strongest stat is fielding percentage, where LSU ranks seventh (and second in its own conference). If sophomore Kevin Gausman can maintain his record (9-1, 118 strikeouts through May 20) and Nick Goody (10 saves) can close games effectively, the Tigers should do a great job in the tournament. LSU is trying to get back to the tournament following a one-year absence; prior to that LSU qualified for the NCAA every year between 2008 and 2010.

Oregon State (38-18) finished very strong in Pac-12 play, tied for fourth in its conference, and it rides a hot bat in Michael Conforto (.343, 13 home runs, 71 runs batted in), and Conforto is joined by Ryan Dunn (.299-7-34) and Ryan Barnes and Tyler Smith have 19 stolen bases combined. Oregon State made the super-regional round last year, where it lost to Vanderbilt. Belmont (39-22), the Atlantic Sun champion, doesn’t have a strong offensive presence. The Bruins’ top home run hitter, Matt Beaty, has seven homers and only 46 RBIs to his credit.  Zac Mitchell totals 20 stolen bases and Drew Turner has 16 steals. Louisiana-Monroe is tied for fourth in the Sun Belt at 31-28 overall, and junior Randy Zeigler has strong statistics with 108 strikeouts, but the Warhawks are going to have some problems in this regional. ULM has not qualified for the NCAA tournament since 2000, and that year it was eliminated by LSU. History should repeat itself 12 years later.


See all 2012 Baseball World Series Regional Breakdowns