Close to signing pro, Marshall hopes to live dream of college baseball

As the major league baseball signing deadline winded down Friday, LSU star pitching signee Mac Marshall and his roommates kept themselves occupied.

They played a soccer video game, watched the AMC hit "Breaking Bad" and went to Raising Cane’s.

“It was a crazy day,” said Doug Norman, Marshall’s roommate and an LSU pitcher signee himself.

Marshall, the headliner to LSU’s star-studded 2014 signing class, didn’t sign with the Houston Astros. An offer never came after the team failed to agree to terms with its No. 1 pick, Brady Aiken.

Many, including Norman and shortstop Grayson Byrd who were with him during the day, thought Marshall would sign in the final hour before 4 p.m. deadline hit Friday.

“I thought he was going to sign,” said Byrd, a Georgia native and the son of former LSU start Paul Byrd. “A lot of people thought he was going to sign. We were hanging out up until 4. He was on the phone with some people, his parents, advisors. At first, you could tell he was a little bummed out about it. But you could tell it clicked – he’s here and ready to go.”

Marshall, a hard-throwing lefty from Georgia, said he’s moved past the early disappointment of not receiving an offer from the Astros.

“Any kid, I guess that’s kind of the goal,” he said of playing professionally. “When you put things into perspective, you can only go to college once. You can sign after high school, college, JUCO. It was something that I want three or four years here and live my dream out here and live my dream out professionally after.”

Marshall was drafted by Houston in the 21st round, but he could have been picked in the second round or higher if he had agreed to a bonus of $1.1 million. That was offered to him, coach Paul Mainieri said.

Marshall, though, entered the draft with an asking price of $1.5 million, Mainieri said. Marshall said he chose LSU over Alabama, Vanderbilt and Georgia.

Byrd said Marshall was anxious Friday – and feeling ill. The pitcher woke up sick that morning. He spent the day with Norman and Byrd playing video games and watching episodes of the show Breaking Bad.

The trio then went to the popular Baton Rouge chicken finger restaurant, Raising Cane's, at 3:45 p.m., just 15 minutes before signing deadline.

Said a smiling Norman: “Got back right before 4.”

Coach Ibarra

Former LSU third baseman Christian Ibarra will be an undergraduate assistant with the team this season.

Ibarra, a First Team All-SEC selection in 2013, was not drafted in June. As a senior last season, he started 58 games and batted .238. As a third baseman, Ibarra had a fielding percentage of .932 in 2014 and was known for his quick charges on short hoppers and has fast hands.

Alex Edward served as LSU’s undergrad assistant last year. He coached first base. Ibarra will probably coach first, Mainieri said.

Stone transfers

Cade Stone, a freshman outfielder last season, has left the baseball team. He’s transferred to LSU-Eunice, Mainieri said.

Stone started two games and batted .250 last season. Stone’s departure, Mainieri said, centered around the return of reserve outfielder Jared Foster.

“When Jared Foster didn’t get drafted and didn’t sign, it really didn’t change Cade Stone’s spot on the depth chart,” the coach said.

Jersey numbers

LSU announced the jersey numbers of its freshmen: Mike Papierski (No. 2), Greg Deichmann (7), Byrd (10), Marshall (14), Austin Bain (18), Norman (21), Beau Jordan (24), Bryce Jordan (25), Jake Godfrey (29), Collin Strall (30), Alex Lange (35) and Jake Latz (67).

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv. For more coverage of LSU baseball, follow our Line Drives blog.