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Story Archives: Skip Bertman's sweat
|Skip Bertman's sweat|
I think I even saw Skip Bertman sweat during the first game of the College World Series.
Of course, it was hard not to sweat up in Omaha during the first and third games of the College World Series Championship.
I know Paul Mainieri was pulling a Bertman by keeping Louis Coleman in there an inning or two too long in the second game.
I guess he just has too much of a flair for the dramatic.
Mainieri certainly pushed the right buttons otherwise. Changing the lineup in the final game was a touch of genius and bringing Coleman back to close the game out in the rubber game of the series was a touch of class.
But Monday's game was one for the ages.
The Tigers got out of several jams in the bottom of the final innings and scraped a run in the top of the 11th to get the 7-6 win.
Take away Warren Morris' home run and I don't know if there have ever been any bigger hits than DJ LeMahieu's two-out double in the ninth to score two runs or centerfielder Mikie Mahtook's two-out RBI single in the 11th to give top-ranked LSU a 7-6 victory.
OK, OK, there were some big hits by the likes of Warren Morris and Brad Cresse.
But this team came back against a team that has been known for pulling out some wild wins on its own going into the championship series.
And what else can you say about freshman right-hander Matty Ott, who earned the win for LSU, throwing three shutout innings between the ninth and eleventh, allowing no hits and striking out three.
Or Chad Jones, who got three huge outs in the seventh after Connor Rowe led off the ining with a home run.
Jones proceeded to retire Michael Torres by outrunning him to first base on a grounder to first, force Travis Tucker to fly out and stuck out Brandon Belt.
I actually had someone tell me the second game of the CWS was rigged by ESPN so it would go three games.
Wow, college baseball could only wish that was the case.
If there is one major sport that is stepped on by the national media it's college baseball.
Then again, all you have to do is look at the final eight teams and see a problem.
LSU, Southern Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas are within a stone's throw (OK, you have to have a arm) of each other.
I imagine you can count on one hand the number of college baseball players who have graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. And probably have at least a couple of digits left over.
It's kind of like hockey down here. You aren't going to see a lot of college hockey games on television because not too many folks south of Omaha are going to be watching.
I have to admit I probably would not. Then again, I have been to three minor league hockey games and absolutely loved it.
Let's face it, how many people up north outside of Minnesota really cared about how the Gophers did in the Baton Rouge regional?
But there were close to 200 people in Hattiesburg welcoming Southern Mississippi back home from the CWS and probably thousands more in the state of Mississippi watching the Golden Eagles putting Texas on the ropes.
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of towns or cities in Mississippi that have a lot of say to what is shown on national television.
ESPN did a great job with the College World Series and Mike Patrick is one of my favorite announcers.
But if you want to watch college baseball before the regionals you are going to have to stick a web camera on top of Alex Box.
And that's too bad. Because folks like Paul Mainieri, Anthony Ranaudo, Jarred Mitchell, DJ LeMahieu and Matty Ott are a lot of fun to watch and carry themselves very well. Even if the game is not rigged.