The next time Austin Bain walks to the plate with runners on late in a close game, listen for the “Scooby-Doo" theme song.
Or maybe the latest cut from Selena Gomez.
It’s no secret the LSU baseball team has struggled to produce runs the past few weeks, but a more troubling trend is starting to emerge.
The Tigers dropped six of their last 12 games heading into Friday's series opener against Tennessee. In all six of those losses, LSU scored two or fewer runs. Even in three of the wins, the Tigers couldn’t manage more than four runs.
Bain, and several others, believe it’s not so much the Tigers’ inability to hit as it is letting themselves get psyched out in clutch moments.
The songs are meant to calm the nerves and relieve some of the pressure in the moment.
They’re part of a list of ideas LSU hitting coach Sean Ochinko picked up through his career, trying to get players into the right mindset. The “Scooby-Doo" theme was something he learned from UNO coach and former teammate Blake Dean.
Beau Jordan, apparently not much of a singer, recites positive self-mantras and personal words of encouragement.
It may seem small and silly. But given the way the Tigers have been hitting, they’re ready to try anything.
“We have to be able to drive in runs when we have runners on base,” Bain said. “When the leadoff hitter gets on, we have to find a way to get him around the bases and score. We’ve been practicing and working on hitting in the clutch and staying relaxed.
“I feel like that’ll be our turning point, when we’re able to click in those situations and execute.”
If something doesn’t change soon, LSU could be in trouble.
It isn’t even that the Tigers can’t hit. Going into Friday's game, they were fifth in the Southeastern Conference with a .289 team batting average. With runners on base, LSU is hitting .326, the third-best mark in the conference, and they successfully advance those runners 52 percent of the time.
But when the bats cool off, they do so in a big way.
In their six most recent losses, the Tigers hit just .194 and left 34 runners on base. The result forced LSU’s overall scoring average to 5.8 runs per game, third-worst in the SEC.
When coach Paul Mainieri held his usual team meeting earlier this week, there was no question about its main focus.
“(He) was talking about just getting it done,” said Antoine Duplantis. “He’d had enough talking about approaches and what we can change with people. We have to just go out and do it.
"We can’t continue to keep getting better. We’ve got to do it now. We’re getting to the point where, if we keep not taking care of business, we could be out of the running later.”
It isn’t difficult to pinpoint the moment LSU began struggling to score.
The Tigers lost three starting position players early in the season, all three of whom were some of their best hitters.
But no injury hurt worse, Mainieri said, than Brandt Broussard’s broken thumb.
Before his injury, Broussard was LSU’s leading hitter and perhaps the biggest surprise of the season, someone who sparked the offense with his consistent swing and speed on the bases.
But since he went down against Vanderbilt late last month, nothing has been the same.
Bain took over at second, but he was already in the lineup as the designated hitter.
Mainieri said there’s no definite timeline for Broussard return.
So far, no one else has stepped into his role.
“Brandt was just doing so many things for our team,” Mainieri said. “He was leading our team with hitting with runners in scoring position, leading our team in hitting overall, allowed us to play Bain at first or DH him, which helps us use him out of the bullpen.
“His speed and hitting ability is a big part of our offense.”