1. WHAT WE LEARNED
Much of the attention in 2015 has been on LSU’s aggressive offense and its deep (but at times inconsistent) pitching staff. But the defense, despite one error by SS Alex Bregman, sparkled in the Monday sunshine and was a big reason LSU blanked UNC Wilmington 2-0. Bregman ranged and spun to his left for a tremendous play, Andrew Stevenson laid full out for a double play catch in center field and Conner Hale charged boldly into the UNCW dugout to snare a pop foul.
2. TRENDING NOW
There was serious pressure on sophomore left-hander Jared Poché to deliver a strong outing Monday. He needed to curb UNCW’s momentum and reverse a troubling trend coming off his career-shortest outing (one inning in the SEC tournament against Auburn). Poché was potent, throwing 8.2 innings of six-hit ball before giving way to Parker Bugg. LSU will need at least two quality starters to reach and win in the College World Series. Poché proved he can be that pitcher again.
3. FINAL THOUGHTS
LSU isn’t the hottest-hitting team, or perhaps doesn’t possess the best overall pitching or even the best defense (though that’s debatable). But the Tigers are 51-10 because they can beat you with their bats, their arms or their gloves on any given day. Now focus shifts to a potboiler of a super regional against in-state nemesis UL-Lafayette. The heat will be on LSU as the home favorite, but heat hasn’t spoiled the Tigers yet.