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Q&A for FSU baseball’s opponent: LSU in the Super Regional

Get your scouting report and site seeing tips for your trip to Baton Rouge.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

We’re very fortunate to have the SB Nation network of team sites to work with during game weeks. This week we’re chatting with PodKATT over at And the Valley Shook, SBN’s LSU blog. We talk how the Tiger’s got to where they are and what players to keep an eye on as well as cologne and Baton Rouge hot spots.

LSU started the season ranked either first or second in most preseason polls, what were the main reasons the Tigers did not live up to expectations?

Injuries, particularly to the pitching staff. It’s been one hit after another since the opening weekend. LSU’s been without a left handed pitcher since week 2. Around mid-April, all three opening weekend starters were hurt and LSU was down to 11 available position players. When you’re that hurt, piecing together a roster for the weekend is extremely tough, and finding someway to get through midweek games is even tougher. So LSU had quite a few embarrassing losses to in-state foes, including road losses at Northwestern St and across town at Southern. But, while some of the injuries were long term (we still don’t have a functional lefty), at the very end of the year LSU started getting healthy and guys put into service before we would have liked have caught up to the game. And now, the Tigers are 2 wins away from Omaha, something I didn’t think was possible just a month ago.

What part of the game have the Tigers had to lean late in the season?

LSU still plays great defense with a speedy outfield as always. What’s really come on in the last few weeks is a bit more power hitting and the pitching staff is finally healthy enough to give good performances. Guys like Zach Watson, Cade Beloso, Saul Garza, and newly drafted Yankee Josh Smith are hitting the cover off the ball right now. Adding them to the lineup with the new all-time LSU hit king Antoine Duplantis has made the Tigers very potent at the plat in recent weeks. On the mound, getting outstanding relief performances from guys like Zach Hess, Devin Fontenot, and Matt Beck is what kept LSU alive in the conference tournament, which led to the home regional and a continued post season.

What players should opponents look out for?

I’ve mentioned many of them already, but we’ve seen a few other guys turn it up in the postseason so far. “Professional Hitter” Chris Reid is gonna be that guy who gets that crucial hit at just the right moment to swing momentum. Zach Hess is a fireball closer, but it’s possible to tag him for a home run early in his appearances. And what more can be said about Antoine Duplantis, the greatest hitter in LSU history.

Well, let me tell you about his brother Mondo on the track team....

How much of an advantage is the atmosphere of Alex Box stadium? Are you surprised the NCAA didn’t schedule any night games aside from Monday (if necessary)?

In a word, immense. There’s a lot of guff to give about Alex Box’s regular season crowds and how that “Leading the nation in attendance for 24 straight years” claim is mostly down to some fuzzy math and accounting tricks, but in the big weekends and the post season it’s the real deal. I expect 12,000+ easy and they’ll be as wired as ever. There’s something about The Box that it never feels like LSU is ever truly out of a game. The crowd just wills the momentum to change in our favor, and then drowns the opposition in it. The daytime starts just mean we’ll have to start “hydrating” earlier.

I’m never surprised by the mistakes the NCAA makes anymore, but it seems this one is actually on ESPN. LSU-FSU will be amazing television, but apparently it can’t beat out the undercard for a UFC PPV.

What’s the deal with the spraying of cologne in the dugout?

This got found out because of a conversation between our catcher and a slightly creepy ump at the SEC tournament who was mic’d up. Apparently Victoria’s Secret perfume is a great way to get the stank out of catching gear and now the whole team is doing it. There’s been some great local reporting on it.

Give us some must do’s, must see’s and must eats while visiting Baton Rouge.

I could go on for days on this. My favorite places around campus are The Chimes at the North Gate, Pastime Lounge under the bridge, Mike Anderson’s, and TJ Ribs. There’s even more good bars and great restaurants in the area of Perkins and College just off campus. If you need things to do, go downtown and go see where Huey Long got shot in the capitol, the USS Kidd, and (worryingly) walk to the levee and see the Mississippi at it’s highest flood stage in years. There’s casinos north and south of campus along River Rd. And school’s out so enjoy campus, tour Tiger Stadium, and go say hi to Mike the Tiger.

And get to the game early and tailgate. After you get accosted by a 4 year old, someone will offer you a beer and a bowl of whatever they’re making. If you play along, we wont deep fry you in garlic butter, I promise. Once in the stadium, the LSU Hall of Fame on the ground level behind the 3rd base dugout is a great place to get in some AC and see some cool stuff. Beer tents are at the foul poles. Stadium jambalaya is amazing.

How do you see this super regional playing out?

This weekend is threatening to collapse under the weight of it’s own narrative. Mike Martin’s Last Ride vs The Box. Neither team seems particularly dominant, but they’ve both gotten hot at the exact right moment. I think LSU wins Saturday, FSU wins Sunday, probably in extras, and then a nailbiter on Monday. I’ll pick LSU to win and move on, mainly because it’s at home, but it really feels like a toss up. Oughta be a lot of fun to watch in any case.

Thanks again to for the information and make sure to follow him on Twitter this weekend @valleyshook as well as @AdamdotH for all your LSU baseball need to knows.