Baton Rouge Regional – Inexperience And Heat Could Be Major Factors
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few."
Chances are there aren't many articles on college baseball that start out with a quote from the book Zen Mind.
In this case I think it applies especially to the first round game in the NCAA Baseball Tournament Baton Rouge Regional. The games will get underway this Friday at Alex Box Stadium. The first contest will feature the LSU Tigers taking on the Utah Valley State Wolverines. The second contest on Friday will feature the Southeastern Louisiana Lions taking on the Rice Owls.
For LSU inexperience, at least NCAA Regional experience could lead to some early game jitters for several of the Tiger players.
They’re gonna have butterflies that they haven’t had probably since opening day, but I think playing about 60 games this year will relax them and they’ll find their groove. It’ll only take them probably a player at bat, and everything’ll be fine after that.
The words of LSU Junior shortstop Kramer Robertson telling the Louisiana Radio Network how some of his teammates like Chris Reid, Cole Freeman, Antoine Duplantis, the Jordan Twins, and Greg Deichman might be feeling before that first pitch. None of those players have experienced the feeling of the NCAA Tournament atmosphere.
While the pressures of playing in a Regional are great let's not discount having to play a full SEC schedule in hostile places such as Oxford and Starkville MS, Nashville TN, and Gainesville FL might temper the nerves of some of these LSU stars.
Meanwhile NCAA Tournament action is a brand new experience for the entire Utah Valley State program. Head Coach Eric Madsen says that playing LSU is going to be tough mountain to climb plus his players will have other factors working against them.
Among those factors are the South Louisiana heat and humidity. The Wolverines from Orem Utah have experienced playing in temperatures of 90 degrees this season. Where they come from it's heat without the high humidity. On Friday afternoon in Baton Rouge they will get a big dose of heat index.
The other factor the Wolverines will have to overcome is the tremendous LSU crowd.
We haven’t played in that type of venue. We’ve played in some big stadiums but now with that many fans, so it’ll be exciting for them.
Let's face it Alex Box Stadium is one of the toughest places for any opponent to play.
Let's hope it all comes down to pitching and hitting and the umpires will only be a side note in how this game turns out. LSU and Utah State are expected to get underway at 2 PM on Friday weather permitting. There is currently a 50% chance of rain and thunderstorms in the forecast for game time.