After a perfect super regional. the LSU Tigers are Omaha bound once again. While making it to college baseball's biggest stage is always special, KTBS' Alex Anderson tells us why this year's trip has a little extra meaning for some of the purple and gold players.
It was one year ago that LSU stepped on this field one win away from clinching a spot in the College World Series. And Saturday night, they made sure history wouldn't repeat itself. With the Tiger's 11-1 win over Oklahoma, they closed another chapter in a record breaking season. There was one streak however, the purple and gold did not want to come to an end.
"But this year is so special. Not just because of what happened at the end of last year, but really because of Mason Katz, Chris Cotton, and Alex Edward. I'm so tired of hearing that they might be the three four-year seniors that haven't made it to Omaha since 1982. We couldn't let that happen, they didn't want that legacy," head coach Paul Mainieri said.
After being on the wrong end of Stoney Brook's Cinderella story last season, the Tigers had to wait 365 days to have another shot at college baseball's biggest stage. It was a wait those seniors were willing to make.
"This is why we came back. This is why you stick around. The goal when you get on campus is to get to Omaha," senior Raph Rhymes added.
"Being surrounded by freshmen who come in here and every day all the say is we want to get the seniors to Omaha. That makes it so much easier," senior Mason Katz described.
With a squad lacking in College World Series experience, the Tigers head to Omaha hoping to put a perfect end to a nearly perfect season. And while some may say experience is key on the big stage, Coach Mainieri has his own theory.
"A good friend of mine once told me that experience was a prerequisite then we would have never put a man on the moon, right? Nobody had ever been there before how did you know you could do it for sure," Mainieri questioned.
The last time the Tigers went to Omaha was 2009. They walked away National Champions. LSU will kick off College World Series play UCLA on June 15th or 16th. Game times will be announced Monday night.