Sunday, May 17, 2009

Baseball Caputes SEC Crown; Recruiting Notes


LSU won 2 of 3 games against Mississippi State over the weekend and captured the SEC title. The Tigers finished the regular season with a 41-15 record and a 20-10 SEC record. LSU was a model of consistency during the season. Of 10 SEC series, LSU won 9 of them. 8 of them were won 2 games to 1. The result is an SEC championship and with a decent showing at the SEC Tournament, a very likely Top 8 national seed.

LSU will be sharing their SEC title with Ole Miss, who swept Arkansas this weekend to pull even with LSU. And after ridiculing their athletic ineptitude last week, I suppose they proved me wrong a bit by logging a sweep in the final weekend. On the other hand, had they not sputtered against the worst team in the league last weekend they would own an outright SEC title so the argument is still valid to some degree.

The Tigers welcomed back Leon Landry this weekend, who showed that he's not done as a contributor to this baseball team. Landry got the start on Saturday in place of Sean Ochinko and he responded with one of the best days by an LSU player in a long time by going 5 for 5 with 3 HRs and 7 RBIs. Landry also got the start earlier in the week against Centenary and went 3 for 3. Doing the quick math, he's 8 for 8 in his last two starts with 8 RBIs. His batting average is all the way up to .303 now. Coach Paul Maineri will undoubtedly consider playing Landry more, especially against right handed pitchers. Could we see a platoon with Landry and Ochinko depending on the starting pitcher? It's very possible.

Freshman shortstop Austin Nola also had a big weekend at the plate. Nola hit the ball hard all weekend and went 5 for 12 with 1 HR and 4 RBIs. He also had the game-tying 2 run double on Thursday, which was the turning point in that game. If Nola can get going at the plate, it will make the bottom of LSU's order very formidable, especially with Micah Gibbs hitting well now.

Another guy who has continued to play well is releif pitcher Daniel Bradshaw. Bradshaw pitched 3 perfect innings on Saturday. He also pitched 3 innings against Centenary allowing just 1 hit and no runs. He's starting to really look like the guy that can be counted on from LSU's bullpen.

LSU opens the SEC Tournament against Vanderbilt on Wednesday at 4 PM. Oddly enough, Vanderbilt is the only team that LSU didn't face during the regular season. With a win, LSU would face the winner of Alabama and South Carolina.


Reports circulated Friday afternoon that LSU picked up a commitment from junior college wide receiver Martavious Lee. However, the word soon spread that Lee should not yet be considered an LSU commitment. Apparently, the series of events went something like this: LSU offered Lee. At some point after that, Lee decided he wanted to be an LSU Tiger. His school issued a press release stating that Lee had committed to LSU. Various web sites report that Lee was an LSU commitment. But apparently, Lee's offer was contingent on LSU's staff being satisfied with his academic status after the spring semester. Now, those websites have retracted and are not listing him as a Tiger commitment.

My thoughts on it all? I think LSU is satisfied with Lee's academic situation or else they wouldn't have offered. However, I don't think they want another wide receiver to be on their public commitment list. The reason? It may spook some other players on LSU's board such as Jarrett Fobbs and Trovon Reed. I'm guessing we can lightly pencil Lee on LSU's commitment list, or at least consider him a strong lean.

Lee reminds me a whole lot of Demetrius Byrd. At 6'2" 185 pounds and 4.4 speed, his skill set is very similar to Byrd. He's also originally from Miami and from a junior college. Here are some highlights of Lee:

LSU has offered Mississippi running back Nick Parker. Parker is 6'1" 210 pounds and rated 4-stars by A nice evaluation and some video of Parker by ESPN can be read here.

Looking way ahead to the Class of 2011, Tennessee received a commitment a couple of weeks ago from New Orleans defensive tackle Anthony Johnson. The Class of 2011 looks to be one of the best ever for the state of Louisiana with 4 or 5 possible 5-star candidates. Johnson is certainly one of those players, and he may end up as Louisiana's top rated prospect. So are Ed Orgeron and the Vols going to be raiding the state of Louisiana's top talent? Remember, they stole 5-star Janzen Jackson on signing day this year.

I really don't think there's any reason to panic right now. First of all, we're talking about a kid who is just now finishing his sophomore year in high school. Johnson's case is a unique one. He attends OP Walker high school. It just so happens that former OP Walker head coach Frank Wilson is now the wide receivers coach at Tennessee. Wilson still has a very strong influence at OP Walker and this was going to be a tough pull for LSU due to that. But like I said, there's a long way to go. LSU could win another national title. Tennessee may have an entire new coaching staff. There's no telling what will happen between now and February 2011.

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