LSU baseball doesn’t normally practice on Mondays.
This Monday, though, after the Tigers were no-hit byOklahoma on Sunday, coach Paul Mainieri thought practice would be best to flush the weekend away ahead of Tuesday’s matchup with Southeastern.
Practice seemed to work for the Tigers, who notched nine hits in a 6-3 victory over Southeastern Tuesday.
“We needed to get back to work,” Mainieri said. “We’re disappointed we lost those last two games in Houston, but we could’ve won all three games. We were right there. They were great ball games and could’ve gone either way.
“When you lose close games, you just don’t want your kids to get down in the dumps, so we got back to work yesterday and got ourselves focused on tonight. I thought we came out with a lot of fire.”
Junior outfielder Daniel Cabrera and freshman infielder Cade Doughty both had two hits on the night, including a two-run bomb by Doughty in the third inning. Outfielder Drew Bianco also added a hit and walk with two runs on the night.
Doughty said he’s just trying to barrel up every single pitch.
Cabrera said the Monday practice was a positive experience for the Tigers and allowed the team to prepare for good Southeastern squad. He said the Monday practice, which he believed is the first of his LSU career, was a good idea to get ready for Tuesday’s game.
“We completely put that (Oklahoma game) behind us,” Doughty added. “We just came out today with our approaches just set in stone and focused on what we could control, and it ended up working out for us.”
Mainieri said a big key coming out of LSU’s weekend in Houston was limiting strikeouts and hitting opposite field at the plate.
The Tigers improved in both areas. The team had only five strikeouts — which Mainieri said still was not ideal — and a significant amount of opposite field hits.
“It was a good approach,” Doughty said. “We stayed true to ourselves, but I think it’s really good to get back down to the grind and figure out what we have to do.”
Doughty said another key to LSU offensive performance against Southeastern was getting back to the basic fundamentals of hitting and the things that new hitting coach Eddie Smith teaches. Cabrera said the Tigers focused on all those things in that Monday practice.
“Today we came out ready to play against a good Southeastern team,” Cabrera said. “We did a pretty good job; we probably could’ve finished a little better at the end, scratched a few more hits or runs, but it’s baseball, and we’ll learn and get better from it for tomorrow.”