After facing Tulane, where he played his college ball, twice in the regular season, Cannizaro now faces TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle, who was an assistant coach with the Green Wave from 1994-2001.
"Selection Monday when we saw the show and the brackets came out, trust me, in the back of my mind, I was like, 'Oh look at that, the first round in Omaha,'" says Cannizaro. "We're excited to be here. I know they're excited to be here. So we're just looking forward to getting out there and playing. We've got a great group of guys that we know are going to play hard. We'll be ready to play and excited to get out on the field with them."
Schlossnagle played a big role in recruiting Cannizaro to Tulane out of high school, and says the two remain very close, often exchanging text messages every couple of days.
"He's just a very, very special young man in every sense of the word," says Schlossnagle. "I had no doubt that he would be successful at whatever he wanted to do."
The Horned Frogs' head coach added that had the timing and situation been better for his own staff, he would have loved to have Cannizaro as well. However, the former New York Yankee would be the first to tell you how thrilled he is to wear the purple and gold.
"Getting the chance to work for coach Mainieri everyday in terms of myself wanting to become a head coach in the future, there's not a better guy in the county to work under in terms of program management, how to run the program and how to win at the national
level," says Cannizaro. "This year has been outstanding, and I've enjoyed every step of the way."
With Cannizaro as hitting coach, the Tigers' batting average, slugging percentage, home runs, extra base hits and RBI have all significantly increased this season, and that's exactly what LSU needs when they square off against TCU this Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
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