OMAHA, Neb. — A day before LSU was set to open the College World Series, coach Paul Mainieri was named the National College Baseball Writers Association Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career.
Mainieri, in his ninth year at LSU, was honored at a news conference at TD Ameritrade Park on Saturday morning.
“I’m extremely honored to receive this award,” he said. “I see the names of the previous award winners, and I’m thrilled to be included on that list. It’s a tremendous award that I will always cherish.
“I’m supported by such a tremendous coaching staff and support staff, and we have a phenomenal group of players. I accept this honor on behalf of a lot of wonderful people at LSU.”
Manieri was also named NCBWA coach of the year in 2008 and 2009, and in 2000 at Notre Dame.
Mainieri was named Southeastern Conference coach of the year earlier this season. He is also one of eight finalists for the Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year Award.
LSU (53-10) opens the CWS at 2 p.m. Sunday against TCU (49-13).
Home grown Horned Frog
For Preston Guillory, it was good enough to just advance to the College World Series and play his hometown team.
“It’s pretty awesome,” he said.
A junior reliever for TCU from Denham Springs, Guillory grew up attending LSU baseball games. The Live Oak graduate wasn’t recruited by LSU and went to junior college before going to TCU this season.
Now he’s on the grandest stage in the game playing the Tigers.
“I’ve been an (LSU) fan, but not a diehard fan,” said Guillory, whose family moved from Lake Charles to Baton Rouge when he was 12. “I don’t bleed purple.”
He paused and glanced at the purple TCU jersey he was wearing, saying, “I bleed this purple.”
Guillory hasn’t allowed a run in 25 innings pitched this season scattered across 19 appearances.
Lange’s lost glove
Alex Lange lost his glove. His coach found insomnia.
“I didn’t sleep much last night,” Mainieri said Saturday.
Lange’s glove — the one he’s used all season — was lost Friday during LSU’s practice at TD Ameritrade Park. The team found the glove when unpacking gear before Saturday’s practice at a local high school.
It was in pitcher Austin Bain’s bag.
“Lost Glove. If found please give back to LSU baseball,” Lange posted Friday afternoon on Twitter.
Director of baseball operations Nolan Cain bought the identical glove at a local sporting goods store before Saturday’s practice, but the glove wasn’t broken in.
“Let’s just say,” Mainieri said, “we’re glad we found it.”
By the numbers
• This is LSU’s 17th CWS appearance. The Tigers are tied for seventh-most appearances with Cal State Fullerton, which also made it this year.
• LSU is 35-22 in the CWS. That’s eighth-most wins, 10th most total games (57) and its .614 winning percentage ranks seventh.
• The Tigers have won six CWS titles, tied for second-most with Texas. Southern California has won 12 times.
• Overall, LSU is 139-53 in the NCAA tournament including its five regional and super regional wins this year. The Tigers’ .724 overall winning percentage is the highest in NCAA tournament history.
Mainieri plans to leave outfielder Mark Laird at the leadoff position and Jake Fraley in the No. 2 hole. The coach shook up his lineup moving Laird from No. 2 to No. 1 and Fraley from No. 8 to No. 2 for the super regional series against Louisiana-Lafayette. … The weather forecast for Sunday in Omaha is 83 degrees with a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms. … With LSU, Arkansas, Florida and Vanderbilt here, this is the third time the Southeastern Conference has sent four teams to the CWS. In the other years, 1997 and 2004, LSU was also here. … This is the 23rd straight year the SEC has sent at least one team to Omaha and the eighth straight year multiple teams have made it.