COLUMBIA, S.C. — David Toms had been to just one LSU baseball game this season before arriving at Carolina Stadium on Saturday.
No. 2 was awfully special.
Toms, the former LSU golfer, Shreveport native and PGA Tour professional, was in LSU’s dugout before the game against South Carolina as the Tigers learned they had won the regular season Southeastern Conference championship.
Toms planned to remain in the LSU dugout during the game against the Gamecocks after making the 90-minute commute from Charlotte, N.C., where he’s playing in the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship.
“I’ve loved LSU baseball since I was a kid, so it seems like every year we’re in the mix for some kind of title,” Toms said while leaning over the dugout rail. “It’s a lot of fun. I watch all of the games and follow everything.”
College baseball season and the PGA Tour schedule overlap, preventing Toms from making the trip to Baton Rouge for many games. That doesn’t stop him from watching online.
“I think I’ve only missed two games as far as watching them,” he said. “I watch it on my computer. It’s been a fun season.”
Toms finished the third round of the Wells Fargo Championship at about 1 p.m. (CT). He jumped in the car shortly after that to make the 75-mile commute for the 7 p.m. first pitch.
Coach Paul Mainieri and Toms spent the hour before first pitch talking as LSU took batting practice and infield and outfield drills.
“I’ve been trying to make it here all week,” Toms said.
Toms sat in a tie for 55th after the third round of the Wells Fargo following rounds of 72-70-73 at the par-72 Quail Hollow Club course.
Poché, Bain, Lange in tournament
LSU’s starting rotation will remain the same for the SEC tournament next week, Mainieri said Saturday.
Jared Poché will start Game 1 at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium against the winner of No. 8 seed Kentucky and No. 9 seed Auburn. Those two teams play at 4:30 p.m. on SEC Network.
Freshman Austin Bain will get the Game 2 nod. Alex Lange will pitch in LSU’s third game of the double-elimination event that the Tigers have won five out of the past seven years. Mainieri is 22-4 in the tournament.
Lange was on a pitch count in the game against South Carolina. If LSU wins the first two games in Hoover, Lange would pitch Saturday with a chance to send LSU to the championship game on Sunday.
South Carolina honored 32-year LSU play-by-play man Jim Hawthorne during the second inning of Saturday’s game — Hawthorne’s last regular-season game calling the Tigers.
Hawthorne will finish this postseason and then call one more football and men’s basketball season before hanging it up.
The USC public-address person announced that to the Carolina Stadium crowd while Hawthorne’s face graced the video board. He received a round of applause.
Pitcher Hunter Devall will join LSU on the trip to Hoover, replacing freshman Greg Deichmann, Mainieri said.
Deichmann made the trip to South Carolina while Hunter was left in Baton Rouge. Deichmann, Kramer Robertson (elbow injury), Kyle Bouman, Brady Domangue, Ryan May and Jake Latz will stay behind.