Sunday, April 18, 2010

Baseball Sweeps Bama; Nike Holds Camp at LSU


LSU earned a sweep against Alabama by capping off the weekend with a thrilling 14 inning victory on Sunday.  LSU battled back from a 5-3 deficit in the eighth inning to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth with a Grant Dozar single.  

Dozar was just getting started with his heroics at the plate.  But before that, Matty Ott (pictured) pitched his best game as an LSU Tiger, in my opinion.  Coach Maineri brought in Ott in the eighth inning where he gave up two runs.  But Ott pitched six more innings and was fantastic, giving up no more runs and no more hits.  When LSU needed him most in extra innings, he delivered in a big way. 

Then in the bottom of the 14th inning, Dozar lined a pitch over the right field wall for the game winner. 

Dozar has earned his place in the starting lineup in my opinion.  His average is up to .352 and has 15 RBIs in just 54 at bats.  That RBI to at-bat ratio is third among the team among starters, trailing only Blake Dean and Matt Gaudet. 

This weekend saw LSU's bats come alive on Friday and Saturday, and Blake Dean seems to be finding his swing after a recent slump.  Dean hit three home runs over the weekend.  Despite Dean's power numbers being a bit down thus far this year, he is still leading the team in RBIs and has a ridiculous .701 slugging percentage.  If he adds the home runs to his repertoire, then watch out. 

Micah Gibbs continued his hot hitting this week, raising his average all the way to .409.  Gibbs has the inside track on being a first team All-American.  Also making a bid for All-America honors is Mikie Mahtook, who is a legitimate five tool player.  Mahtook is up to .360 with 8 HRs, 31 RBIs, and 20 stolen bases.  And we all know he plays fantastic defense.   Leon Landry is in the conversation too.  His transformation from a year ago, when he struck out so much he ultimately found the bench, is remarkable.  Landry has the fewest strikeouts of the starters and is second on the team in hitting at .364. 

LSU is now 30-6 overall and 11-4 in the SEC.  They continue to trail Arkansas by one game in the SEC West and for the overall SEC lead.  The Tigers now enter the most critical stretch of the regular season.  They travel to Ole Miss and then Florida on back to back weekends.   The next game is against Northwestern State on Wednesday. 


Nike hosted a camp at LSU on Saturday, and a number of LSU commitments and prospects attended and showed their stuff. 

Catholic high school quarterback Zach Oliver earned MVP honors among the quarterbacks, a group that included Louisiana products Stevie Douglas from Clinton and Salmen HS's Daniel Sams.  I expect Oliver to eventually earn an LSU offer, probably at LSU's camp this summer if he attends. 

At running back, LSU commitments Jeremy Hill and Terrance Magee both attended and showed their stuff.  Hill drew rave reviews and continues to look the part of a college ready "big back".  Magee also impressed those in attendance.  I've got Magee and Hill ranked #s 8 and 9 respectively on my recently updated state rankings.  Lutcher high school sophomore Daniel Taylor made a name for himself.  Taylor is a smaller, scatback type that will receive plenty of attention in the Class of 2012. 

The star of the day, not surprisingly, was Lutcher high receiver Jarvis Landry (pictured), an LSU commitment.  Landry again showed off his precise route running, explosion out of his breaks, and sure hands.  Landry excelled at camps last summer, and he did so again on Saturday.  He earned MVP honors at receiver. 

A pair of Louisiana athletes worked at receiver and both did well.  Newman High's Odell Beckham apparently made some of the more impressive individual plays of the day.  St. Helena Central's Ryan Byrd also had a good day. Both Beckham and Byrd may end up playing defense at the next level, but they showed their versatility at this camp.  Ocean Springs, MS receiver Joe Morrow also impressed.  Beckham and Morrow hold LSU offers while Byrd has an offer from Ole Miss. 

On the offensive line, LSU commit Corey White attended and performed very well.  But the MVP honors for the offensive line went to Destrehan's Ethan Hutson.  Right now, Hutson only holds an offer from Tulane but after his performance on Saturday, he may get some more attention.   Also making his mark was giant sophomore Derek Edinburgh from Karr HS in New Orleans.  Edinburgh measured in at 6'7" 305 pounds. 

On the defensive line, St. Paul's defensive tackle Mickey Johnson stood out and earned MVP honors.  He earned remarks such as "unblockable", "explosive", and "technically sound".  This comes a couple weeks after Johnson performed well at the Miami Nike camp where he earned the title "best college prospect" among defensive linemen.  Johnson continues to pile up offers, and LSU is recruiting him very hard. 

Pensacola, FL defensive end D.J. Pettway attended and stood out.  Pettway has offers from Alabama, Florida State, LSU, and many others. 

At defensive back, Vandebilt Catholic's Daren Kitchen earned positive reviews for his work in coverage.  Kitchen currently has offers from Nebraska and Stanford, but I expect that we will see some more activity regarding him and LSU in the near future, especially if he attends one of LSU's camps this summer.  Houston's Nick Shepard, younger brother of Russell Shepard, also stood out with the defensive backs. 

ESPN has a pretty good recap of the camp on their site. 

Aside from the camp over the weekend, here are a couple of other recruiting notes to pass along:

Woodville, MS offensive lineman James Maiden continues to mention LSU among his leaders.  Maiden recently picked up an offer from USC, and he routinely mentions the short distance from Woodville to Baton Rouge (about 45 minutes) as being very important to him and his family.   He is also being recruited by Stanford and Vanderbilt and has offers from Ole Miss and Mississippi State. 

ESPN's Chris Mortenson mentioned on his Twitter account that West Monroe's Chuck Hunter could be a future first round draft pick.  Mortenson was promoting a recruiting site that he is involved in called  The good news is that this site has some free film of Hunter's if you're interested.  Mortenson apparently likes what he sees of Hunter. 

Lastly, Tennessee defensive back Jabriel Washington has committed to Alabama.   LSU was his other finalist. 


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