Three strikes

1 BROKEN CLUTCH: LSU came into this year’s College World Series with the best batting average in the field (.308). But in Omaha, the Tigers couldn’t come up with the crucial hits when they needed them. LSU left seven men on base against UCLA and stranded 13 more against North Carolina.

2 TRENT THORNTON: Desperate for a quality start, the Tar Heels turned to freshman closer to stay alive in Omaha. Thornton delivered seven strong innings, limiting LSU to two runs while throwing the most pitches of his young career (114) to run his record to 12-1.

3 WHAT WE LEARNED: In time, fans and observers will come to appreciate what an excellent season LSU had in going 57-11, reaching the CWS for the 16th time and winning the SEC tournament. But there is no escaping the sense of underachievement for a team that possessed every tool needed to win a national championship.

Scott Rabalais