LSU Baseball Offense Running at a Historic Pace Early in Season

Tigers 2021 start reigniting the “Gorilla Ball” terminology used to describe 1990s LSU baseball
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After LSU’s struggles on offense in the first two games of the season, many were quick to judge just how big of a problem scoring runs would be for this 2021 team.

The Tigers put up a total of 11 runs and even coach Paul Mainieri was a little unsettled about the start at the plate. But in the five games since, this offense has exploded, bringing a new meaning to the term “Geauxrilla Ball.”

In the four games since the early weekend jitters, the Tigers have put up 16, 11, 6, 5 and 14 runs and propelled LSU to a five game win streak in the process. 

That term “Geauxrilla Ball” became synonymous with the mid 1990s LSU baseball teams. It would be best used to describe the 1997 LSU baseball season, a team that shattered the record books with 188 home runs during that magical run. In fact from 1996-98, LSU blasted a total 476 home runs which led college baseball.

The 2021 LSU offense is getting it done through power and contact, though it’s been the power that’s been on full display in this past weekend’s slate of games. Through seven games, the offense has blasted 15 home runs, the most through seven games since the 2009 season.

Only that 1997 team had more home runs than those two LSU teams with 22 en route to its historic season. What’s been most impressive to this hot start is that  most of the production has come from the younger players on the roster.

Dylan Crews, Cade Doughty, Tre Morgan, Brody Drost and Zach Arnold as well as veterans Gavin Dugas and Cade Beloso have been major contributors to this offensive surge. What's impressed coach Paul Mainieri is the players ability to really adapt to a new approach after the first two games of the season. 

"I knew we had some good hitters. Eddie Smith is an outstanding hitting coach and has done tremendous work with the guys and he emphasizes attacking the ball and hitting it with authority," Mainieri said. "It became a big point of emphasis after the first two games, to go out there and generate bat speed and once we started doing that, the ball started flying."

Mainieri mentioned the next step in the growing process of this offense is finding ways to be more consistent in bringing in runners on base. The power is something he's happy with but the Tigers have squandered some opportunities where they've come up empty. 

"I love home runs as much as anybody and it's nice to see them. I love the power and hope we can do it all year," Mainieri said. 

Even for a starting pitcher like Landon Marceaux, watching what this offense has accomplished through seven games has been a ton of fun to behold and obviously makes his job easier as a pitcher when the offense gets going early.

"We're hitting the ball extremely well. Some young guys are stepping up to the plate and doing some damage," Marceaux said. "We're gonna need those young guys to step in those situations and continue to succeed."