Super Regional reflections

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 6, 2001


There was nothing easy about this past weekend’s Super Regional Series between Tulane and LSU. LSU came in with history on their side – a team that might not be greatest that the state has ever produced, but could and would perform in the clutch. Tulane arrived with probably the best baseball team that they’ve ever had- with depth in pitching, the bullpen, and an order that swung the bats well. But they knew that LSU was dangerous no matter what the score. And they knew that with this being Skip Bertman’s last season the Tiger’s would be playing harder than ever. Of course, its over now. As of presstime, Skip Bertman is probably out on a fishing boat, maybe around Golden Meadow, depressurizing. Rick Jones, on the other hand, is just beginning to worry about the trials and tribulations that a trip to Omaha entails. The pressure, if it was barely bearable before, will build to incredible levels in the next 10 days. But maybe we shouldn’t look for the future in Omaha. Maybe we should look for the future here. What does this Super Regional mean to Louisiana baseball? It is possible that Tulane’s victory against LSU indicates a sea change in both team’s fortunes, and the dominance of one program over another. Let’s review the facts: Tulane’s team is a mixture of young players built around a core of seniors who have been to the NCAA regionals four times in the past four years. It is their youth that is striking- 23 freshmen or sophomores on a roster of 35 players. LSU has 15 upperclassmen of a roster strength of 25. Tulane was able to defeat LSU four times this season. Of their five matchups, LSU only won the first Super Regional – a 13 inning endurance match that more resembled a marathon than a baseball game. In the last two Super Regionals, Tulane was the dominate team. The Wave was able to everything that the Tigers weren’t – pitch consistantly, string together hits, keep advancing the base runners, and defend with vigor and elan. While they didn’t make any grevious mistakes, the Tigers didn’t do any of that. Therein lies the change. Perhaps Lady Luck has found someone else to smile upon. Maybe, after a long and fruitful relationship with Skip Bertman and his Tigers, she has decided to move on. Maybe. Skip can’t really complain. For 18 years, the Tigers have been golden. At the end of a coaching career, with his record, the memories of those spring days when the Fates smiled on him should be more than enough. J. EDMUND BARNES can be contacted at L’Observateur (P.O. Box 1010, Laplace, La, 70069, 652-9545) or by email at