BATON ROUGE — Paul Mainieri received a prestigious award this weekend.
LSU’s longtime skipper was given the 2018 Rod Dedeaux Award Saturday night inside Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles prior to the Dodgers’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Mainieiri received the award for his exemplary performance last summer as the head coach of the USA Collegiate National Team.
Mainieiri was presented the honor by Dodgers legendary Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda and USA Baseball General Manager Eric Campbell.
The award is named for the legendary University of Southern California and U.S. Olympic head coach Rod Dedeaux, who led the Trojans to 11 national championships and was instrumental in the creation of the annual USA versus Japan international friendship series in 1972.
Dedeaux also coached Team USA to the silver medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, and was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Mainieri is the second coach in LSU history to receive the honor – the other being Skip Bertman who won the Rod Dedeaux Award after coaching the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team.
“When I received the news that I was to receive the Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year Award, it literally brought tears to my eyes,” Mainieri said in January when USA Baseball made the award announcement. “To receive something with the name ‘Rod Dedeaux’ on it moved me to tears because of the immense respect that I have for Rod. He is the ‘godfather of college baseball coaching’, a pioneer in the development of international baseball, and he was Tommy Lasorda’s best friend. The interactions that I had with him are times that I will always cherish.
“That along with this being an award from USA Baseball, our nation’s baseball organization, and seeing the list of previous winners, including two of my mentors, Skip Bertman and Tommy Lasorda, makes this one of the most special recognitions that I’ve received in my career.”
Mainieri led the Collegiate National Team in the summer of 2018 to series wins over Chinese Taipei, Japan and Cuba. Under his guidance, Team USA started its summer undefeated against international competition with a five-game sweep of Chinese Taipei and finished with a 11-3 record.
Left-handed pitcher added to staff
Mainieri announced Friday that the Tigers have added left-handed pitcher Brandon Kaminer to the 2020 roster.
Kaminer is a 6-2, 185-pound southpaw from Wallace Community College in Dothan, Ala. He will enroll at LSU this month and have two years of eligibility remaining.
LSU now has three left-handed pitchers on its roster for the upcoming 2020 season – Kaminer, true freshman Jacob Hasty and redshirt freshman Easton McMurray.
“Brandon is a nice addition to our pitching staff,” Mainieri said. “Obviously, we have been in great need of left-handed pitching, and he will add to our staff in this critical way. He is a strike thrower with an advanced feel for his change-up and slider. Combined with a mid to upper 80s fastball that is capable of getting into the low 90s, we are of the belief that Brandon can contribute quickly to our pitching staff.
“He has been verbally committed to LSU for some time but we had to wait for him to complete his summer classes to graduate from the junior college before we could announce his signing.”
Kaminer, a product of Coral Springs, Fla., recorded an 8-2 mark last season at Wallace CC with 64 strikeouts in 60 innings. He was a two-time All-Broward County selection at Stoneman Douglas High School, where he posted a 22-0 career mark.