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LSU hitting coach Sean Ochinko speaks with first baseman Chris Reid (17) before Reid bats against Auburn, Thursday, May 16, 2019, at LSU's Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Former LSU baseball player Sean Ochinko is now the Tigers’ former volunteer hitting coach as well.

LSU coach Paul Mainieri on Monday confirmed via text message previous reports that Ochinko is leaving the LSU staff.

Mainieri declined to comment on reports that Tulane assistant coach Eddie Smith, a former player under Mainieri at Notre Dame, will be taking Ochinko’s place.

Reached Monday afternoon for comment, Ochinko said, “I have to wait until something is official.”

Smith also did not return calls to his work number at Tulane and members of Tulane’s sports information staff could not be reached for comment. Smith’s name is not listed on the Tulane athletic department’s overall online staff directory, though his name and bio remain on the baseball team’s webpage.

A source familiar with the situation told The Advocate on Sunday that Smith would be leaving Tulane to join LSU’s staff. Smith just completed his third season at Tulane, where he served as the Green Wave’s hitting coach, recruiting coordinator and third-base coach.

DIBaseball.com tweeted later on Sunday that Smith would be taking over for Ochinko at LSU as volunteer coach and hitting coach.

A native of Olympia, Washington, Smith played under Mainieri the final two seasons he coached at Notre Dame (2005-06). He has also been a head coach at Lower Columbia College in Longview, Washington, and previously an assistant at Virginia, Notre Dame and Santa Clara.

Ochinko played catcher and first base for Mainieri’s first three teams at LSU from 2007-09, helping the Tigers win the 2009 national title by hitting a team-best .368 during the College World Series. He served as LSU’s volunteer and hitting coach the past two seasons and was an undergraduate assistant coach in 2017 after spending six years in the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system.

LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette said Sunday no official word would come on any staff changes until the end of this week.


Email Scott Rabalais at srabalais@theadvocate.com