Having dispatched of Oklahoma so efficiently in the Baton Rouge Super Regional last weekend, the Tigers had no real games for left-handed starter Cody Glenn to throw against.
So he threw a simulated game Monday, his second since his last live outing in the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Glenn was suspended for the NCAA regional for violating unspecified team rules, but was reinstated for the Super Regional.
Coach Paul Mainieri has tabbed sophomore right Aaron Nola (12-0, 1.68 earned run average) to start Sunday in the Tigers’ College World Series opener against UCLA (7 p.m., ESPN2).
He did not name Glenn (7-2, 2.41 ERA) the starter for Game 2 Tuesday against North Carolina or North Carolina State, but was enthusiastic about his prospects.
“Great. He looked really outstanding,” Mainieri said. “Much, much better than last week. I’m really happy with what I saw.
“His ball had a lot of life and velocity. He threw some really good breaking balls. He looked like the Cody Glenn from the last few weeks of the season before the suspension.”
If Glenn pitches Tuesday, it will have been 27 days since his last start May 22 in LSU’s SEC tournament opener against Alabama.
Mainieri said Monday only super regional starters Nola and Ryan Eades wouldn’t throw simulated games but indicated he may have Nola pitch one Wednesday. That would be to simulate four days rest between his start Sunday against UCLA and a potential third CWS game June 21 should the Tigers win their first two.
Freshman shortstop Alex Bregman on Tuesday picked up his second national freshman player of the year award, this one coming from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Bregman received a similar honor recently from Collegiate Baseball.
“We had to go through a lot of adversity, and it’s tougher than people thought it was,” Bregman said. “But I’m happy we’re there.”
The Albuquerque, N.M., native leads the Tigers with a .380 batting average, along with six home runs and 52 RBIs.
The SEC Freshman of the Year, Bregman leads the SEC in hits (an LSU freshman record 104) and total bases, is second in batting average, third in runs scored and fourth in RBIs and slugging percentage.
The NCBWA named Cal State Fullerton’s Thomas Eshelman freshman pitcher of the year.
Much has been made of the fact no LSU players are on the roster from the Tigers’ last CWS appearance in 2009 while UCLA is making its third trip in four years.
That said, two Tigers are going back to Omaha for the second straight year.
Senior first baseman Mason Katz participated in the third annual TD Ameritrade Home Run Derby last July 3 in Omaha, reaching the final before losing to Aaron Judge of Fresno State.
“Coach Mainieri called me and asked if I wanted to go, and I said, ‘Yeah, that would be great,’ Katz recalled. “He goes, ‘Good. I want you to have experience for when you take the team next year.’
“We had all the confidence in the world it would happen. And here we are.”
Nate Fury served as Katz’s pitcher.
“It was awesome,” Fury said of the home run derby. “A fun experience. It’ll just be fun (this time) to be there with all the guys. We’ve had a great year and hopefully we can go out there and get it done.”
The home run derby was once held as part of College World Series opening ceremonies, but is now held after the CWS ends.
LSU and Oklahoma fans donated $14,130 during the super regional to support tornado disaster relief efforts in Oklahoma, according to the Red Cross.
The collection doubled the 2012 Hurricane Isaac fundraising effort at Tiger Stadium and is $5,000 more than a 2011 drive at The Box for tornado relief across the South, according to the organization.
Donations from the super regional will help provide shelter, food, relief supplies and emotional support as residents continue to recover since a devastating rash of tornadoes tore through Oklahoma last month.
“Though the Tigers won on the field, we’re sending the Sooners home with some Louisiana love,” said Bobbi Zaunbrecher, executive director of the American Red Cross in South Louisiana.
Donations may still be made by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Checks may be made out to American Red Cross and sent to 4655 Sherwood Common Blvd., Baton Rouge, La., 70816.
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