Mainieri welcomes 15 new players, congratulates Gausman for signing with Orioles

Saturday, July 14, 2012 - 3:29am

LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri said Friday that the 15-man class of newcomers enrolling next month provides exactly what the Tigers need – speed on the bases and in the outfield, power hitting and additional pitching prowess.

The new group of Tigers includes seven pitchers and eight position players. Two of the players – infielder Alex Bregman and right-handed pitcher Will LaMarche - were selected in the 2012 MLB Draft and elected to enroll at LSU instead of beginning a pro career.

“We are very excited to see what kind of impact this class will make upon our program,” said Mainieri, who led the Tigers to the 2012 SEC championship. “I truly believe we’ve addressed our needs in all phases of the game, and I know our fans will enjoy watching these young men perform in Alex Box Stadium very soon.”

The 15 newcomers start classes at LSU on August 20 and will join the returning players for conditioning drills and individual workouts.

The Tigers begin their six-week, full-squad fall practice session on September 23. The 2013 season starts on February 15 when the Tigers play host to Maryland in Alex Box Stadium.

LSU was the No. 7 National Seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament and fell just one win shy of reaching the College World Series. Mainieri said the Tigers are looking forward to the opportunity to reach the CWS in Omaha, Neb. in 2013.

“In a lot of ways we overachieved last year,” Mainieri said, “and we came so close to realizing all of our goals. However, we recognize there are areas in which we need to improve and we’re confident that we’re heading in the right direction with this signing class.”

Mainieri also sent congratulations Friday to ace pitcher Kevin Gausman, who signed a contract with the Baltimore Orioles. Gausman, a 2012 first-team all-American with a 12-2 mark and a 2.77 ERA, was the fourth overall selection in last month’s draft.

“I’m so proud of Kevin, and he’s earned everything that’s coming his way,” Mainieri said. “He developed so much both as a pitcher and as a young man during his time here, and I know the Orioles will benefit tremendously from having Kevin in their organization. I think it says a lot about our program that a young man of Kevin’s ability came to LSU and grew both professionally and personally in very significant ways.”


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