True story: Sunday evening, I had 700 words ready for my editors at the Advocate about how LSU failed to seize opportunities in its series finale against Tennessee that, now, will never see the light of day.
Something tells me the LSU faithful would rather read the words that did make it out of that game. Let's start with the end, which ... wow.
1: What did I just watch?
Sometimes, rallies in baseball are easy to sense, especially when the rallying team is a good team playing at home against a struggling team. Strange things start to happen and it is almost like momentum is a tangible thing that can be plucked out of the air. LSU’s remarkable come-from-behind win Sunday was one of those types of games, but that does not lessen the craziness of it all. Nearly every at bat that inning had a funny anecdote devoted to it after the game, from Antoine Duplantis wearing a 95 mile per hour fastball with excitement to Daniel Cabrera blacking out as he rounded the bases on his game-winning home run. What a finish.
2: A sweep, at the right time
Is it wrong to wonder what one win in a 56-game schedule can mean to a team? This improbable one Sunday evening, in which LSU erased a four-run deficit in the ninth inning, feels in the moment like a win that we will be pointing back to in a couple weeks or months and say, “I told you so!” It delivered LSU’s first sweep of a Southeastern Conference opponent this season (pulling LSU within one game of the western division lead, no less). It also felt important that LSU find a way to win a game in this fashion — late, and with everything on the line. LSU showed Friday and Saturday it can inundate a team with its superior talent. Sunday it showed grit.
3: The potential of Jake Slaughter
Standing a couple arm lengths away from Jake Slaughter as he takes batting practice is the best explanation one can get as to why he keeps getting chances to put it all together. The sounds alone scream his potential to anyone within earshot. You know that old saying about how it just sounds different when certain people hit? It was like that with Greg Deichmann last year, and it is like that with Slaughter now. The ball hisses when it leaves his bat. All this is to say that this is why I believe, if he ever truly figures it out, he will be a monster of a hitter. That version of him was on display the first two games, when he hit three homers and added a two-run triple.