BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Things are going quite well for the LSU baseball team and head coach Paul Mainieri. The No. 1 ranked Tigers are cruising along with a spectacular record of 43-8 overall, with a 19-7 mark in the SEC. LSU has put themselves in prime position to be a Top 8 national seed in the NCAA Tournament and be at home in the postseason until the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
However the Tigers are still dealing with some concerns, like the shocking loss of senior Jared Foster. Foster was ruled academically ineligible Friday, as his collegiate career came to a crashing halt. LSU was able to sweep Missouri without him and now continues to move forward.
"We don't have a choice. So I choose to always take a positive view of it," says Mainieri. "Do I wish Jared Foster was still a part of our team? Certainly. He was our everyday second baseman and I thought he was a great athlete and a great ball player. The bottom line is, he didn't get the job done. He didn't do what was necessary of him, off the field, to allow him to play. He let us down. And he knows that. So what are we going to do, sit around and cry about it? All we can do is keep plugging ahead."
Mainieri says his players were very disappointed to lose Foster, but then handled the situation extremely well.
"I had to drop the news on the team, three hours before the game Friday," continued Mainieri. "My biggest concern was how they were going to react to it. But it shows the resolve of our team and the character of our team. They can care about a teammate, they can care about a friend. But at the same time, they said 'ok', what's reality is reality, he's not with us, somebody step up and play in his place. And the rest of us, let's all do a little bit more."
The Tigers play their final mid-season game of the season at UNO Tuesday night at 6:30 pm.