Alex Bregman had gone 0 for 15 in the postseason before stepping into the batter’s box in the eighth inning of the Tigers 6-3 win against the Ragin’ Cajuns.
But in what might have been his last at-bat in front of the Alex Box crowd in his college career, Bregman delivered a two-RBI single up the middle to extend the Tigers lead.
“It was unbelievable. The Box was rocking after it,” Bregman said.
Bregman is projected to be a Top 5 pick in Monday’s MLB draft, and with that type of money, it is a foregone conclusion the junior will make the leap to the next level.
And for Bregman, it ended just as it began.
Bregman’s first hit of his LSU career was a single up the middle on an 0-2 count two years ago as a freshman.
“As soon as I hit it, I knew it was going up the middle,” Bregman said. “And I ended up just the same way I came in, base hit up the middle, RBI-single, and that’s what I wanted to do, not any other way.”
UL shortstop and Bregman’s team USA teammate Blake Trahan is also expected to be picked in the draft tomorrow, with most projections slotting him in the late-first to early-second round range.
Return of the long ball
LSU hit three home runs in two games against UL after failing to hit one through the entire regional last weekend.
Chris Sciambra, Jake Fraley and Kade Scivicque all hit home runs, changing the momentum of the game with each swing of the bat, and in Sciambra’s case, ending Game 1.
“It always feels good whenever you square up a ball and hit a home run,” Scivicque said. But just hitting that base hit through the middle or hitting a line drive double or something like that means just as much.”
Leger said Scivicque’s home run changed the complexion of Sunday’s game.
“I mean really, man, they force you to be almost perfect because you make one bad pitch and that guy hits it 400 feet, and that changed the complexion of the game right there,” Leger said.
The NCAA made the decision before the season to lower the seams on the regulation baseball in hopes of juicing up home run totals and bring in more viewers.
After watching the slug fest this weekend, UL’s Brenn Conrad hit a pinch-hit, game-tying home run in Game 1, I’d say the mission has been accomplished.
Leger shut down for summer
After the game it was revealed that freshman southpaw Gunner Leger would be shut down for the summer after turning in a spectacular debut season for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Leger finished the season with 114.1 innings pitched and a 2.87 ERA and developed into the Cajuns staff ace through the season, propelling UL to the Super Regional with his sensational performances in the conference tournament and regional rounds of the postseason.
Before Game 1, UL coach Tony Robichaux said Leger was being helped for Sunday’s game because of concerns of his workload.
Robichaux gave credit to Leger, and fellow freshman Wyatt Marks, for their performances this weekend against one of the nation’s best offenses.
“We let one inning get away from us in two days,” Robichaux said. “So that’s pretty good when you talk about coming in here against such a quality opponent.”
‘Shug’ rides off into the sunset
Tyler Girouard could’ve left the Cajuns last season after helping a 58-win team host a Super Regional.
But the junior decided to stay home and try to finish what he started.
While he didn’t get the chance to take the field at TD Ameritrade in Omaha, Girouard doesn’t have a doubt in his mind that he made the right choice.
“I mean, it was a great year. The best five years of my life, and I just can’t be thankful enough to Coach Robe and God for giving me an opportunity to come back and play,” Girouard said. “Coach Robe has taught me so much not just about baseball, but just about being a man.
“I know that’s going to help me in my life, and I’m just so thankful for being able to come back.”
Robichaux said he has the utmost respect for Girouard and delivered some high praise to the senior.
“He took care of a knee injury in the fall and came back in the door, so I can’t say enough about his leadership,” Robichaux said. “If I was in corporate America tomorrow, I’d hire him.
“I don’t think the freshman would be where they’re at this year without our five seniors.”
Girouard was originally unsure on whether he would come back at the conclusion of last season, but said now that he has some perspective he knows he made the right choice.
“Being around the guys, it’s just; I don’t know it’s just awesome,” an emotional Girouard said. “I made the right decision coming back.”