LSU’s baseball season ends with 8-4 loss to TCU Thursday night _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU takes on TCU in the fifth inning Thursday during the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.

1. WHAT WE LEARNED

LSU’s season is over, due in equal parts to the Tigers’ lack of a true third starter and their offense’s inability to find away to compensate against some of the nation’s best pitching. A number of Tigers hitters, including Conner Hale, Chris Chinea and Jared Foster (who did have a home run Sunday against TCU) weren’t able to find their swings over the long haul in Omaha, Nebraska. Paul Mainieri’s decision to keep a CWS hitless Hale in the cleanup spot will be questioned.

2. TRENDING NOW

Jack Wholestaff. There was no secret about what LSU wanted to do and had to do in its third CWS game after Jared Poche and Alex Lange already got in their starts. The Tigers had to turn over the game to a string of cameo players, all of whom had their moments and had their problems during the season. It was some of both for the Tigers in this game, as most of the eight pitchers LSU used came to grief at some point against TCU’s timely hitting.

3. FINAL THOUGHTS

Some will say LSU, the top seed that made it to the College World Series, underachieved as it finished short of a seventh national title. But in a way, at least pitching-wise, it’s remarkable that the Tigers won 54 games, the Southeastern Conference title and reached the CWS without a true third starter, or a true closer. Pitching should be deeper next year, but to make it back LSU will have to retool virtually its entire lineup.