BATON ROUGE, La. — Bo Jackson it was not, but LSU baseball outfielder Zach Watson bid adieu to his bat Thursday night by splitting it in two.
Composite bats are not as prone to breaking as their wood counterparts — hence the budget-friendly reason they are used at the high school and collegiate levels. But that didn’t prove true for Watson’s stick in the series opener with Texas A&M. The bat cracked when Watson fouled off a pitch from Aggies starter Brigham Hill.
“Wood bats, I’ve broken,” Watson said. “When you do that with a metal bat, that’s a different story.”
As he walked back to the LSU dugout for a replacement, Watson decided to send the old one to the bat graveyard with a proper flourish, snapping it in half.
Someone’s been in the weight room. pic.twitter.com/dvbc1XCwRm
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) March 31, 2017
Though he got some help finishing the job with the bat already damaged, Watson probably isn’t the first LSU player most would suspect in a bat-snapping episode. However, the 6-foot, 166-pound freshman said you shouldn’t be deceived by his frame.
“I’m strong, don’t get me wrong,” Watson said with a grin.
According to him, someone stepped on the bat earlier in the game.
“My first at-bat, either I stepped on the bat or the catcher did. When I got back to the dugout I saw a cleat mark and thought, ‘Well, at least it didn’t pierce it,'” Watson said. “Then, I go up there and foul one off and hear it.”
The bat snap was an effective outlet for frustration.
“I was mad that I was swinging and missing,” he said. “So, I called timeout and broke it.”
LSU has dropped four of its last five games with the offense struggling mightily. The Tigers have been shut out in consecutive series openers and were limited to a run last Saturday at Florida.
Watson is hopeful that his moment of frustration will have the reverse effect on his teammates and provide some levity for a team that is starting to get a bit too much on edge.
“People are pressing too hard,” Watson said. “We need to slow the game down and have fun with it instead of being so worried about losing. Losing is tough. But the next day, you have to wipe it all away.”