LSU Opens The New Alex Box Stadium
(With the end of the year fast approaching, we’re counting down some of the top moments from the 2009 college baseball season (in no particular order). We’ll have one a day through New Year’s Eve.)
LSU opened the 2009 season on the heels of a trip to the 2008 College World Series and ranked number one in two national polls. Paul Mainieri’s Tigers also opened in the brand new Alex Box Stadium on Feb. 20, 2009 with a 12-3
win over Villanova in front of 9,054 rabid LSU fans-the largest attendance in LSU baseball history.
Mainieri and Wildcat head coach Joe Godri had known one another for several years going back to Mainieri’s days in the Big East Conference with Notre Dame. Mainieri’s Irish got the best of Godri’s Wildcats in those days, and his Tigers had the upper hand all weekend, outscoring VU 29-7 in the 3-game series sweep. (Thank goodness for guarantee checks.)
There were fireworks overhead and firworks on the field as well as LSU leftfielder Blake Dean connected on a 3-run home run, the first long ball in the new stadium.
LSU pitcher Louis Coleman heated things up early by striking out the side in the first half inning ever played in the new digs. He also has the distinction of earning the first win in the history of the stadium. Who could have known at the time that he would end the 2009 season by pitching his team’s final two innings in the National Championship clinching 11-4 win over Texas at the College World Series?
In all, nearly 24,000 fans saw the future national champions sweep the 3-game series vs. Villanova in the first games in the new Alex Box Stadium.
Other Alex Box Stadium firsts:
Hit: Micah Gibbs in the bottom of the 1st inning
Stolen Base: Ryan Schimpf after reaching base on error
Run Scored: Ryan Schimpf
RBI: Jared Mitchell with two on a single to centerfield
Other Top Moments Of 2009