Nine LSU baseball freshmen start summer school; Jacob Taylor, Mitch Piatnik considered risks to sign pro deals _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU volunteer assistant coach Will Davis jogs to third base as the Tigers come to bat in the bottom of the third inning against Kentucky, Friday, Mar. 27, 2015, at LSU's Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge, La.

Will Davis is interested in the open head coaching job at UNO, and LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri is stumping for his longtime assistant.

Davis, 30, would be a “tremendous selection” to take over at UNO for the retiring Ron Maestri, Mainieri said Monday. Mainieri is pushing for Davis as well as current UNO assistant and former LSU player Blake Dean to get the Southland Conference gig.

Davis and Dean said Monday that they’re interested in the position.

“Obviously I’m very exited about the 2015 LSU Tigers and our postseason chances,” said Davis who, along with LSU, traveled to Hoover for the Southeastern Conference tournament Monday. “But I think UNO is a great job, and I think anyone, including myself, would be very lucky to be head coach there. I’d be lying to you if I didn’t tell you that I wasn’t interested or hadn’t had my eye on that job from afar for years.”

“I think he’s ready for a head coaching job,” Mainieri said. “I think he would be a tremendous selection. Another candidate is Blake Dean, who’s on the (UNO) staff. I think there’s two phenomenal candidates right there.”

Davis, a former LSU catcher under Mainieri and former coach Smoke Laval, has been LSU’s volunteer assistant coach for the past eight seasons after a one-year stint as the team’s director of baseball operations.

“I think he’s an outstanding candidate,” Mainieri said. “I hope they give him the strongest consideration.”

Davis has tutored outfielders and catchers and taught base running for the Tigers. He has coached third base, too. Davis has been instrumental this season in developing Kade Scivicque, a former junior-college player who’s now LSU’s starting catcher.

“As far as learning how to run a program,” Davis said, “I think that I have learned from the best for the last eight years.”

Dean expressed interest in the position when reached Monday. The former All-SEC first baseman for the Tigers just completed his first season as a full-time assistant coach at UNO. He was a volunteer coach the previous season and was an undergraduate assistant at LSU in 2013.

Whom to root for?

Mainieri tries to avoid rooting for opponents when it comes to the SEC tournament, but he admits he wouldn’t mind seeing Kentucky again.

The Wildcats, the only SEC team to win a series against LSU this year, meet Auburn in the No. 8-9 game at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the SEC tournament, the single-elimination day of the event. The winner meets LSU at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“It will be nice to play them again quite frankly,” Mainieri said. “It’s a dangerous thing to start rooting for somebody to beat somebody else because then it usually doesn’t happen and now you’ve got to prepare for a team that you don’t anticipate playing. We’re trying not to think that way, but let’s put it this way: We would really enjoy playing Kentucky.”

Atop the polls

LSU finished the regular season atop college baseball.

The Tigers (46-9) enter the SEC tournament as the league’s No. 1 seed and the top-ranked team in the land in all six of the major college baseball polls. LSU has been the consensus No. 1 team for the past five weeks.

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.