Alex Bregman - LSU’s new leadoff man - turns skid into streak _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU shortstop Alex Bregman makes a catch near second base during practice Wednesday at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.

OMAHA, Neb. —Alex Bregman has turned a hitting skid into a hitting streak.

Why? The draft is off his mind.

“I wasn’t really thinking about the draft this year,” the LSU shortstop said.

“Maybe subconsciously a little bit,” he admitted.

It’s one of the few explanations for his slump-busting ways. The other: He batted leadoff in Tuesday’s 5-3 win over Cal State Fullerton.

Bregman will likely remain at leadoff when LSU (54-11) meets TCU (50-14) at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Tigers’ second straight College World Series elimination game. The junior shortstop had four hits in his first four at-bats while in the leadoff role Tuesday — his first start at the No. 1 spot this season and just the third of his career.

His hitting streak began two days before in the 10-3 CWS-opening loss to TCU. Bregman is 6-for-9 in two games at the CWS. He entered the event one for his past 19.

What happened in between? The Houston Astros selected Bregman with the No. 2 overall pick in the MLB draft.

His father walked into LSU’s practice Wednesday at Creighton University wearing an Astros cap.

“I’m just having fun,” a smiling Bregman said.

Sweet revenge

Vanderbilt beat TCU 1-0 Tuesday night to send the Horned Frogs into Thursday’s rematch with the Tigers.

LSU players aren’t upset about that.

Coach Paul Mainieri’s team committed four errors Sunday and had just five hits off TCU starter Preston Morrison in the 10-3 loss to the Horned Frogs — the biggest of the season.

“I think they are going to expect to see the same team they saw in Game 1, and we’re not the same team,” outfielder Chris Sciambra said. “That’s not us. We’re a lot better than that.”

“Can’t wait,” Bregman said. “They were one of the teams that beat us this year. Not many teams have. You want another shot of them.”

Golds again

LSU plans to wear gold jerseys again.

The Tigers will don the golds Thursday for a second straight game, Mainieri said Wednesday. LSU wore the gold jerseys in the 5-3 win over Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday.

“I think we’re sticking with the gold,” the coach said. “There’s power in the gold. In 2008, we wore them every day down the stretch.”

Mainieri, for the first time in several years, wore a jersey during Tuesday’s game. He’ll do the same Thursday, he said.

Birthday time

Karen Mainieri’s birthday was Wednesday. Paul Mainieri and Karen planned to have dinner Wednesday night. LSU’s coach is glad his team won Tuesday for more than one reason.

“I can’t tell you how happy we are that we didn’t have to get on an airplane and travel during her birthday,” Mainieri said. “She’s the happiest person right now.”

Lagniappe

LSU will be the visiting team Thursday. … Alex Lange’s 10 strikeouts in the 5-3 win Tuesday over Cal State Fullerton gave him a first in the LSU record books. It made him the first Tigers pitcher to have three or more postseason games with 10 strikeouts. … With Tuesday’s win over Cal State Fullerton, Mainieri is 8-8 in the College World Series. … LSU is 6-2 against TCU all-time. Before Sunday, the two teams hadn’t met since 1994, and never in the NCAA tournament.

-- Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.