Top College Baseball Moments Of 2009 #2

December 30, 2009

LSU Wins The College World Series

Everthing came full-circle for LSU baseball when Paul Mainieri’s Tigers won the program’s sixth national championship on June 24th.  The program that started the decade with a title in 2000 ended the decade with a championship as well.

Louis Coleman

Louis Coleman was LSU’s opening day starter at the new Alex Box Stadium back on Feb. 20, and he appropriately got the last six outs of the season in the Tiger’s 11-4 win over Texas on June 24 in the last game of the 2009 college baseball season.  It was one of nine relief outings for Coleman (14-2, 2.93 ERA), who returned to Baton Rouge for his senior season for the chance to bring home a title.

Coleman and staff mate Anthony Ranaudo combined to go 3-0 with 30 strikeouts in 29 2/3 IP in seven combined appearances at the CWS.

In 2007 Mainieri inherited a team that had gone 35-24 a season prior to his arrival.  The Tigers were just 29-26-1 and missed the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year in his first season back in Baton Rouge (he played there for a year an met his wife before transferring).

Blake Dean and Sean Ochinko led LSU with 7 home runs apiece in ’07, but Dean’s 17

Anthony Ranaudo

HRs made him one of four Tigers to hit at least 11 long balls in 2009.   Ryan Schimpf led LSU with 22.

LSU’s run to the national championship actually started with a 4-1 loss to Vanderbilt on May 20 to open the SEC Tournament.  However, the Tigers rattled-off 14 straight wins before finally losing 5-1 to Texas in game two of the CWS Championship Series.   The Bayou Bengals outscored their opponents 117-47 in that month-long stretch.

Four of those wins came against 2008 College World Series teams (Georgia and Rice twice each).   LSU’s first game at the ’09 CWS was against Virginia, coached by Mainieri protege Brian O’Connor.  The two had taken Notre Dame to Omaha in 2002 when Mainieri was ND’s head coach and O’Connor was his pitching coach.

CWS MOP Jared Mitchell

LSU was simply across the board dominant in Omaha.  The Tigers posted a .313 team batting average, averaged 8.4 runs in 6 games, hit 13 home runs (2nd to Texas’ 14), had a 4.18 team ERA (Texas #1 at 4.02), an had a .991 fielding percentage with just two errors at the CWS.

Jared Mitchell was named College World Series Most Outstanding Player after hitting .348 with 2 HR, a triple, two doubles, 7 RBIs, and a .783 slg%.  Ochinko, who had hit 7 home runs prior to the CWS, had two home runs to cap his senior campaign.

When LSU Athletic Director Skip Bertman (himself a winner of five national titles as LSU baseball coach) hired Mainieri on June 28, 2006 he said “It would take someone special to lead this program … someone who would thrive in the high expectations of a championship program. I believe LSU has found that man.”

On June 24, 2009 the circle was completed.

CLICK HERE to listen to the exclusive podcast interview Editor Sean Stires recorded with Paul Mainieri after LSU’s national championship win.

Other Top Moments Of 2009

3.  Longhorn Longball In Omaha

4.  Southern Mississippi Sweeps Florida To Go To Omaha

5.  The Texas vs. Boston College 25-inning Game

6.  Andrew Darr Comes Off The Bench & Comes Up Big For Arkansas

7.  Virginia Beats Stephen Strasburg In Irvine Regional Opener

8.  Washington State And Gonzaga End Long NCAA Tournament Droughts

9.  Cal Poly Gets Its First NCAA Tournament Bid

10.  Kansas’ Field of Dreams: Kansas, Kansas State & Wichita State All Get NCAA Bids

11.  Stephen Strasburg Strikes out 17 in a no hitter

12.  Ohio State’s Alex Wimmers No-hits Michigan

13.  Kansas Sweeps #1 Texas

14.  Bryce Brentz Has An April To Remember

15.  Clemson’s Kyle Parker Does Double Duty

16.  #1 Arkansas Beats #1 Arizona State

17.  Rhode Island Beats Miami And Oklahoma State

18.  Kansas State’s A.J. Morris beats Arizona State’s Mike Leake

19.  North Carolina’s Mike Fox Wins His 1,000th Game

20.  Illinois Shocks #1 LSU In Baton Rouge

21.  Alabama’s Kent Matthes Launches Longballs

22.  Freshman Levi Michael Starts In North Carolina’s Season Opener

23.  LSU Opens The New Alex Box Stadium

24.  Oregon Brings Back Baseball

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