CWS: Day Five In Pictures
College World Series
OMAHA — Have to say, I’m a little melancholic tonight as I post this. Every year Mike Martin makes the College World Series, I want him to win it. I just do. I know, I know, any of you StitchHeads out there who have been reading my garb since the late 90s know that my mantra is that “I hate everybody, especially YOUR team.” But this isn’t true when it comes to “11” as he is called.
I dig the guy. What I thought was disingenuous and fake corn pone style of speaking, well… it’s real. When I interviewed him a few years ago, he called me by my first name, he complimented my choice of questions and he talked for far longer than he needed to.
Always gracious in defeat, Mike Martin gives words of encouragement to Paul Mainieri after losing to his LSU squad.
But tonight, he came up short to LSU, 7-4, and got eliminated from the 2017 CWS. Yes, those things happen. But when Aaron Fitt told me he was basing his write-up for the night on Mike Martin coming up short of a national title and his impact on our sport… I was geeked about it. And yes, Aaron knocked it out of the park. Check it out here if you haven’t already:
It was a great win for LSU and head coach Paul Mainieri. And it was especially great for LSU ace Jared Poche, who became the program’s winningest pitcher, notching his 39th win over four seasons. That’s a legendary mark as well. In case you didn’t know, with the win tonight LSU will move on to face No. 1 Oregon State on Friday and will need to beat the Beavers twice to make it to the CWS best-of-three finals.
Getting back to Mike Martin one last time, the late, great Beano Cook once said, “As you get older you start to cheer for people more than you do teams.” You StitchHeads out there know that is one of my favorite sports quotes. And in the case of “11” it couldn’t be more appropriate. Great season MM. Don’t let anyone tell you different. We can’t wait to see what you’ll do next.
Here is what my lens saw tonight at TD Ameritrade Park…
The senior Tiger lefty went 8.0 innings, giving up seven hits and four runs (only two until the ninth inning) in collecting his 39th win as a collegian. Nobody else can say that.
The big news in the pregame was how Kramer Robertson colored his hair blonde the previous day. In the post-game press conference LSU coach Paul Mainieri said he didn’t know anything about Robertson’s new dew and that he had hidden it in a hoodie all day from him – this despite 100-degree heat in mid-day. Eventually, Mainieri said, “I guess he just wanted to look like his mother.”
… it wasn’t just Robertson going to the blonde locks. The very loud “Go Tigers” guy also sported a new blonde look in the stands while leading cheers.
Greg Deichmann slides around the tag of FSU shortstop Taylor Walls to get a leadoff double which set off a five-run second inning.
LSU’s Zach Watson slides under the flying Seminole that is Tyler Walls, completing a stolen base.
Nine-hole hitter Jake Slaughter, who didn’t find out he was starting the game until an hour beforehand, slams a three-run dinger. Third base umpire Troy Fullwood signals it to be true. And you can trust him, because he’s an umpire.
After FSU starter Cole Sands struggled through the first two innings, Andrew Karp came on to throw a solid 5.1 innings of three-hit, no-run work, giving the Seminoles a chance to stay in the game.
Despite baking in near-100 degree heat at game time, the right field fans were still fired up to tell the left field bleachers that they suck. That’s what the gen ad sections in the outfield do during games. These comely girls here were trying to extoll their fellow bleacher creatures to yell back at the left field denizens.
Freshman first baseman Jake Slaughter not only paced the offense, but also played a pretty stout first base, including laying out here to catch a near-erratic throw to first. Well done.
Drew Mendoza helped put the Seminoles back on track with a solo home run in the second inning.
LSU pitching coach Alan Dunn has quite the rudimentary set-up as he calls pitches from his perch in the LSU dugout. He has a pair of baseball buckets turned upside down and a mile of paperwork in front of him. Evidently, it worked well too, giving that Jared Poche quelled the Seminole bats for most of his 8.0 innings.
Despite a knock-em-in-the-head from Cal Raleigh’s shin guards, Kramer Robertson slides under the tag as the Tigers built up a 7-2 lead.
This heavily-bearded LSU fan seems to take a jovial approach to the umpires reviewing the play at the plate where Robertson appeared to slide under the tag… which was confirmed.
In case you’re wondering, yes, ESPN’s Laura Rutledge will occasionally reapply makeup and lipstick. The former Miss Florida has to keep things fresh.
Seminole second baseman Matt Henderson came up gimpy after covering second base on a steal attempt and had to be helped off the field.
LSU’s Jared Poche gets a post-game bear-hug from reliever Hunter Newman after setting the LSU record with 39 wins.
Matt Henderson, on a pair of newly-christened crutches, shakes hands with Jared Poche after the Tigers eliminated the Seminoles.
The Seminoles season came to an end in an elimination game vs. LSU. Despite winning 40-plus games for the 40th straight season, it was still a tear-filled post-game at TD Ameritrade Park.