Paul Mainieri’s infield is back in flux.
After an error-filled night in his team’s 7-1 loss against Tulane, Mainieri said he’ll have to re-evaluate the left side of his infield — particularly third base, a position four players have manned through 24 games.
With O’Neal Lochridge sidelined because of a stress fracture in his back, Chris Reid and Greg Deichmann have alternated the position through the team’s first two Southeastern Conference series against Alabama and Texas A&M. Deichmann, who has an eight-game hitting streak, started there in LSU’s past five games.
Deichmann, who was LSU’s opening day first baseman, committed one of the team’s three errors in the sixth inning Tuesday. Another miscue came on Deichmann’s throw to Cole Freeman’s second base on a second-inning sacrifice fly relay.
The throw scooted under Freeman’s glove and went into center field. Freeman was charged with the error.
“Between the pitching and defense on the left side, I haven’t seen anything like that in a long, long time. ... We’re going to have to do something about defense,” Mainieri said after Tuesday’s game. “We can’t continue to play defense the way that we did.”
Asked Monday about his defensive adjustment, Deichmann added: “As you see, it’s a work in progress. I hadn’t played third since the fall, then played four games from ULL to A&M over there. But I’m feeling more comfortable and getting back to how it used to be.”
LSU to honor ’91 champions
For a second straight home series, LSU will welcome a pioneering team from its past to Alex Box Stadium, honoring the 1991 national championship team April 9 before the Tigers’ game against Vanderbilt.
Skip Bertman’s first national championship team, which outscored four opponents 48-15 in Omaha, Nebraska, had a plethora of veterans off two College World Series trips in 1989 and 1990.
LSU honored the 1986 team — the school’s first to reach Omaha — during the Tigers’ SEC-opening series against Alabama.
“For me it felt more like the end of a journey, a journey we had been preparing for from the day Skip started at LSU in 1984,” College World Series most outstanding player Gary Hymel said in a university news release. “Skip never let any of us forget that the guys before us put in the groundwork and preparation that would lead to the ’91 CWS championship — it was our job to keep paving the way.”
Hymel, a senior catcher, was one of six Tigers taken in the 1991 Major League Baseball draft, joining pitchers Paul Byrd, Chad Ogea and Mark Larosa along with position players Lyle Mouton and Chris Moock.
Walker hired by SEC Network
Todd Walker, who still has the highest career batting average in LSU baseball history, will serve as an SEC Network baseball analyst this season, the network announced Wednesday.
A member of the College World Series Legends Team in 2010, Walker — the 1993 College World Series MVP — is a member of the LSU Sports, Louisiana Sports and College Baseball halls of fame. The No. 8 overall pick in the 1994 MLB draft, Walker still holds the LSU career record for triples.
Walker joins former Tigers great and No. 1 overall pick Ben McDonald, who has been with the network since it began broadcasting baseball in 2014.