By Jeff Palermo
One of the best rivalries in college baseball writes an exciting new chapter when LSU meets Mississippi State in the Super Regionals. There's added intrigue, because former Tigers hitting coach and recruiting coordinator Andy Cannizaro is the head coach of the Bulldogs.
But LSU skipper Paul Mainieri says the main motivation for his team is advancing to the College World Series.
"It doesn't matter who we are playing, we just want to win," Mainieri said.
Cannizaro took the head coaching job at Mississippi State last November and there's been reports Mainieri was miffed over how the former Tulane standout left LSU. But the Tigers veteran head coach says that's not the case.
"There's no bad blood, Andy was a good worker for our program for two-plus years and now he's head coach of Mississippi State," Mainieri said.
LSU swept Mississippi State in a three-game series to finish off the regular season. During the weekend in Starkville, the Tigers clinched an SEC West championship and an SEC Title. Mainieri says what happened in May shouldn't impact what happens this weekend.
"When games are over, they are ancient history, they don't have any effect on the next game," Mainieri said.
Game 1 of the Super Regional Series is Saturday night at 8 PM. Game 2 is Sunday at 8 PM and if Game 3 is necessary, it will take place on Monday at a time to be determined.
When meeting with reporters on Tuesday, Mainieri was not ready to discuss pitching plans and said it's too early to tell if first baseman Nick Coomes will return to the line-up after injuring his thumb in the Regional.