In the year after their National Championship, the LSU Baseball team surely had their work cut out to defend their crown. High expectations flooded the program after its sixth national championship and the Tigers didn’t disappoint, beginning the season with a 32-6 record and a top five ranking. Twenty-eight days later, following a 2-1 loss to Mississippi State to end the regular season, the Tigers wrapped up the worst month in its baseball history.
Riding high with future first round picks and pre-season All-Americans, the LSU Baseball team found out how tough it is to defend a championship and play up to expectations. Key injuries plagued LSU from the beginning and the holes left from the 2009 team were not adequately filled to reproduce last season’s success.
Regardless of the adversity and late season swoon that LSU endured, a new season is upon them.
A post season appearance is something always expected in Baton Rouge, and because of their early season success, LSU qualified for the SEC Tournament as the eighth seed. The Tigers will take on the top seeded Florida Gators Wednesday at 4:30 pm CST in Hoover, Alabama.
Teams looking to knock off the defending champions got their shot in the regular season and nearly took the Tigers out. An appearance in the SEC Tournament gives those same teams one more shot at making this the final blow to LSU’s season. But counting out the Tigers may be premature because somewhere inside this team could be the faint beating of the heart of a champion.
Instead of the number one seed Florida Gators getting a cream puff to start the tournament, they are faced with a team no stranger to post season play. Throw seeding aside in this one because this won’t be your typical 1 vs. 8 baseball game. Most critics will take what happened to end the season and count the Tigers two and out. This year may not be their year, but maybe there’s some magic left to right the ship.
After all, it is a new season, one that the LSU Tigers are accustomed to.