Baseball Holds First Practice, Scrimmage

by Bill Franques
Baseball Holds First Practice, Scrimmage

BATON ROUGE — LSU began its five-week fall baseball practice session Sunday evening in Alex Box Stadium with a brisk workout that included a six-inning scrimmage.

The Tigers worked on defensive fundamentals and engaged in a energetic round of batting practice prior to the scrimmage.

“It was a good first day, and I was pleased with the enthusiasm and effort displayed by our players ” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We have a lot work to do, but I feel like we’re off to a strong start.”

Fall practice continues at 2:30 p.m. Monday in Alex Box Stadium. All scrimmages and workouts during the fall period, which concludes on November 5, are open to the public.

Mainieri said that four newcomers to the LSU pitching staff – right-handers Kevin Gausman, Tyler Jones, Kurt McCune and Joe Broussard – all recorded effective innings during Sunday’s scrimmage.

Freshman infielder/pitcher Ryan Eades had a team-best three hits in the scrimmage while freshman infielder Kevin Koziol produced two RBI and sophomore infielder Raph Rhymes collected two hits, including a double.

Junior shortstop Austin Nola was flawless on defense with several sparking plays while freshman outfielder Marcus Davis made a spectacular diving catch in center field. Freshman catcher Tyler Ross displayed excellent arm strength when throwing out a base runner.

The 2011 Tigers feature 19 lettermen from last season’s club, including eight position players with starting experience and nine pitchers that recorded innings last season.

The LSU veterans are complemented by a talented class of 19 newcomers, including eight players that were selected in the 2010 Major League Draft. LSU’s incoming class was voted No. 1 in the nation in the annual Collegiate Baseball magazine recruiting survey.

LSU opens the 2011 season on February 18 versus Wake Forest in Alex Box Stadium.