By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
BATON ROUGE, LA: LSU Head Coach Paul Mainieri and his Tigers will have an opportunity to advance to CWS in Omaha, Nebraska as they found out on Monday morning that received a NCAA Regional at-large bid.
The Tigers (34-22) will travel to Eugene, Oregon where they will be the #3 seed and matchup first against #2 seed Gonzaga (33-17) at 9:00pm CST on Friday. The #14 national seed Oregon (37-14), and Regional host, will take on the #4 seed, Central Connecticut (28-13) ay 4:30pm on Friday.
"We're five wins away from going to Omaha" said Mainieri. "That's the way I explain it to the team every year. 'we're not going to be play teams any tougher than we've been playing all season."
The regional bid comes just days after Paul Mainieri announced his retirement from coaching on Friday.. Several former LSU players and media members took to Twitter to thank the head coach for all that he has done for the purple and gold....
Alden Cartwright::: So much emotion. Much love and respect for Coach Mainieri. He help me fulfill a childhood dream and belived in me. It was the greatest honor to play for you, Coach!! Congratulations on one hell of a career!!
Jacques Doucet::: Paul Mainieri always returned a phone call + never declined a charity event. He constantly praised our
military + demanded his players represent the #LSU uniform with respect + class. The baseball talk is the baseball talk, but as a human being, I haven't covered many better.
Peter Burns::: 1,500+ wins, a CWS title, almost 100 players drafted by MLB and as good of a coach as he was for LSU......he was an even better person to his players and the media. A true college baseball Hall of Famer. LSU has been lucky to have multiple legends for coaches.
Ben McDonald::: Coach, congrats on 39 years as a Head Coach 15 at @LSUbaseball ...the first job as a HC is to
impact lives...prepare kids for life after baseball...Paul did that as good as anyone and bye the way collected over 1500 wins and a #NationalTitle along the way! Thank you and #4everLSU
Devon Fontenot::: "He's done a lot for me personally. Challenged me." Fontenot said they want to send Coach Mainieri out right."
Alex Lange::: Word a can’t describe the impact this man has had on the numerous players of the years. It was an honor to play for him. Congratulations Coach, on an impressive career. Thank you!
Cole Freeman::: I will forever be in debt to you coach. You gave me an opportunity when most wouldn’t. You taught me how to approach the game the right way & always got the most out of us. I’m beyond grateful to have had you as a coach but more importantly as a friend. Love you coach!#ForeverLSU
Antoine Duplantis::: I will forever be grateful to be given an opportunity by this man. Congratulations on a legendary career.
Alex Bregman::: True class. Amazing career Coach! Enjoy retirement!
Mikie Mahtook::: Coach, congrats on an amazing career! You challenged me, motivated me, and never let me settle for being mediocre. I wouldn’t be the player I am today without the lessons you taught me. Thank you for all you have done. #GeauxTigers
Blake Dean::: Coach my words will never be enough to repay the impact you had on my life but I’ll say it again Thank You!
Kramer Robertson::: Forever grateful for everything you did for me and so many others. You made it possible for me to live out so many of my dreams. You kept believing in me when nobody else did. I would not be where I am today without all the ups and downs that you guided me through. Love you coach..
Full schedule for the Eugene Regional is below; TV/Online schedule for Saturday, Sunday and Monday is TBA:Friday, June 4
Game 1 – Oregon vs. Central Connecticut - 4 p.m. CT (ESPN3)
Game 2 – Gonzaga vs. LSU - 9 p.m. CT (ESPN3)
Saturday, June 5
Game 3 – Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser - 3 p.m. CT
Game 4 – Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner - 9 p.m. CT
Sunday, June 6
Game 5 – Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Loser - 5 p.m. CT
Game 6 – Game 5 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner - 9 p.m. CT
Monday, June 7
Game 7 (if necessary) – Game 6 Repeat - 9 p.m. CT