BATON ROUGE, LA - Opening ceremonies Friday in Omaha cancelled due to expected heavy rain and lightning in the area. Luckily for LSU they're not here for the opening ceremonies, they're here to win a championship.
Saturday night is the first opportunity to take the first step towards that goal. The team had a busy Friday afternoon taking reps in the cage and on the field. We had a chance to speak with both teams and talk about exactly what they expect from one another.
"We know that we're in a little bit of a tougher bracket maybe," said Quincy Nieporte, 1st baseman for the Florida State Seminoles. "Facing LSU is a huge opportunity and challenge and facing him [Alex Lange] on the mound in our first game here is the perfect way to kick off the week."
LSU infielder Cole Freeman said, "We're going to stick to our plan. If he's a fastball thrower, which I think he's more of a change up, especially with runners in scoring position, just aim your sites more back and up the middle and away, and stick to that. Usually when we stick to our game plan it works out for us."
"They know how to do it, that's for sure," said Tyler Holton, sophomore left-handed specialist. "And I mean their coach, he's done a great job this year getting their team here, and we're excited to be here and we're not taking anything for granted."
Coach Paul Mainieri is urging his players to enjoy the experience with 300 Division I schools competing in baseball, with just eight teams remaining. He said every team that's at the NCAA College World Series this year has won championships, but the group of young players may only get one time to make an impact.
"They might get two times here if they're lucky so they need to enjoy the experience. The College World Series is the single greatest sporting event that I know of," Mainieri said.
Between the four programs in bracket one, they've combined for 12 national titles and 65 appearances here in Omaha. Certainly a lot of wisdom we will see at play Saturday afternoon and Saturday night when LSU takes on the Seminoles at 7 p.m. on ESPN.