Sunday, March 18, 2007

Weekend wrap

The first weekend of Southeastern Conference, Southland Conference and Big 12 Conference play is behind us now. What did we learn from the weekend?

We learned LSU has a very very talented arm in T.J. Forrest and Forrest has enough moxie to hold a hot-hitting South Carolina team to one run and two hits in five innings on only 58 pitches. That's good news for Paul Mainieri. What isn't good news for Paul Mainieri is he still doesn't have enough pitching depth to save Forrest, who his less than 12 months removed from Tommy John surgery, the wear and tear on his arm.

We learned Northwestern State is a scrappy team. This doesn't surprise anyone who has followed Mitch Gaspard's Demons in years past. But to do it with almost a completely new roster? That's pretty impressive. Look out for the Demons in SLC play.

We also learned the best Louisiana baseball players don't always stay in state. Josh Prince, a true freshman from Barbe in Lake Charles, followed his older brother Dooley to Texas. Less than 30 games into his freshman season, Prince is the starting shortstop for a top-10 team and he's hitting .564 in 39 at-bats and recently had a 5-for-5, two-RBI game. Nothing against Michael Hollander, a Jesuit High (New Orleans) product, who has been solid for the Tigers, but Prince is exactly the type of player who cost Smoke Laval his job. Laval's inability to keep top state talent at home contributed to the Tigers' precipitous drop in the last 16 months.


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