HOOVER, Ala. – LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri has won a heck of a lot of games. In fact, the Tigers’ win against Missouri on Wednesday in the SEC Baseball Tournament ranked as his 500th with the program. But still, Mainieri thinks some fans struggle to grasp his success.
“We have a tendency to panic in Baton Rouge every time we lose a game,” Mainieri said after the dominant 10-3 victory. “It’s such a football mentality, everyone expects you to win every game. But in baseball, it just doesn’t happen.
“Sometimes we have to keep reminding our followers that this game can be very humbling.”
Mainieri has a point. Even Oregon State, the team with the runaway best record in the nation, still has four losses. Everyone else has posted at least nine. Losing games is part of baseball — as long as teams win the right ones.
LSU won its 40th game of the season on Saturday, joining Florida as the only teams in the conference to reach that mark at this point. The Tigers won plenty this season, including an outstanding 21-9 record in conference. LSU’s mark was good enough to share the regular-season title with Florida.
However, Mainieri made it clear that he was OK with losing a few games throughout the regular season.
“I got that advice 11 years ago when I got here,” Mainieri said. “They told me that sometimes you can lose a game to find out who you can count on. Don’t be afraid to do that.”