BATON ROUGE SUPER REGIONAL
Hosted by LSU (No. 8 national seed) • Alex Box Stadium • Baton Rouge, La.
Follow the action on Twitter: @LSUbaseball | @CoastalBaseball
Coastal Carolina (47-16) at No. 8 Louisiana State (45-19)
9 p.m. (ESPNU)
9 p.m. (ESPN2 or ESPNU)
**1 p.m./4 p.m./7 p.m. (ESPN2) or 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Coach: Gary Gilmore
Postseason History: Third super regional appearance (first since 2010). Seeking first trip to Omaha.
Postseason Route: No. 2 seed in Raleigh Regional. Won in four games, defeating North Carolina State in the final.
(anonymous coach breaks down the Chanticleers)
“I think they have an air about them, they have extreme confidence. They always believe they're going to win. That's kind of the attitude they have about them. I think they feed off their tradition, they feed off their success and they're unintimidated by everybody they play.
“They remind me of their 2010 team in that they don't have an identifiable weakness. They hit, they hit with power, they run, they play good defense, they've got good starting pitching, they've got a great bullpen, they defend it pretty well. Some teams just run a lot but can't hit with power and some teams hit with power and never run, but they just seem to do everything pretty well. Makes them tough to defend. They led league in home runs, but they'll put down drag bunts and push bunts for hits. They're tough to defend and they're tough to score runs against.
“Beckwith, the Big South pitcher of the year, he can start for them, he relieves for them, he throws overhand some pitches, he throws sidearm, down under some pitches. He's one, but they all seem to have command. They just don't have guys that go out there and don't command. They throw the ball in the zone and hit their spots. I think that's why their pitchers pretty successful. You just have to earn everything you get against them.
“I don't know that teams fear bullpen that much because their starters are so good. You get to a point where they're just kind of interchangeable. If you get rid of a starter, you're not relieved because you know the next guy coming in is just as good. But obviously you don't want Morrison in there at the end because he's one of the best in the nation. You do start thinking in that sixth, seventh inning, you've got to score now if you're going to have a chance. Because if it gets close toward the end, they can matchup with you left right if they want to or they can just have Morrison come in and finish it.
“I thought (the 2010 team) was the best team I had coached against. And this team reminds me a lot of them because of their unidentifiable weaknesses. If they had won that super regional—and they lost to South Carolina in the third game and South Carolina won the national championship—I actually believe in 2010 they could have been national champions. This team to me is very similar because they're very dangerous. If they can play the way they're supposed to, without those weaknesses, they've got as good a chance as anybody. That may be overstating it, but I've seen some pretty good teams this year and in the past and they match up really well with people. Because they don't have the weakness. One through nine they can all hit. You get two outs and nobody on, you don't even relax at all, because the next guy could get a home run or get on and steal second and they could still score three or four runs after having two outs, nobody on. That's not true with some of the other big-name teams. There are some outs in those lineups. But they don't really have any.”
Coach: Paul Mainieri
Postseason History: 12th super regional appearance (second straight). Seeking 18th trip to Omaha.
Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in Baton Rouge Regional. Won in four games, defeating Rice in the final.
(anonymous coach breaks down the Tigers)
“I think they've got good mojo going. You've got to get hot and clearly they've gotten hot and won a lot of tight games. On the surface, you look at that lineup and it’s not an LSU lineup. They lost a ton of stuff off last year's lineup, but let's face it, when was the last time LSU had a three-hole hitter with two home runs? And you've got Kramer Robertson hitting there. But it seems like every time there's a big situation late, that kid comes through with a base hit. It starts with pitching and playing defense and getting timely hitting. That's kind of the formula for postseason play, and that's what they've got going on.
“Lange's been better. We didn't see him early, but he's been a lot better down the stretch here than he was early on in the season. Poche' has thrown better at the end of the year. I think he's had some ups and downs. Beyond those two guys, I don't know if there's that surefire guy that they feel confident about. Obviously, Newman has been good on the back end. But that's probably the chink in their armor is if you can chase the starter early before you get to Newman. I think that's probably their weakness and the (lack of) long ball in that lineup.
“You've got a lot of scrappy guys that can run. The biggest strength, I think, for them offensively is they don't strike out, so they're going to force you to play defense 21 plus outs. You're going to have to play defense because they're not going to strike out. They're going to run pitch counts up because they're scrappy at the plate. I really like Freeman. I think he's a really good player. He flies and he's kind of tucked down in the bottom of the order. You've got Duplantis and Fraley, they do a really good job setting the table. And they can run. What they lack in power, they can run. They're a pretty fundamentally sound team as a whole. But they're not like Florida, there's not really that wow factor, they're just a really good college baseball team. And getting to play at the Box makes them that much better.
“They're that team that can hang around. I would compare it to a basketball team—they hang around and they know how to play in fourth quarter. That's kind of what they are. They hang around and they hang around and they believe and they've got the mojo rolling. So when it gets to innings seven, eight, nine, again, they're going to put the ball in play. It comes to execution, where they're going to bunt. They've got guys that can really run and handle the bat. They just feel like if they can keep it close, in innings seven, eight, nine, they're going to win.”