LSU Baseball Notebook

TSD caught up with Paul Mainieri to discuss several topics including what he thinks of the NCAA's move to a new baseball and the future of signee Dylan Williams, who was indicted on gun and drug charges.

TSD's Hunter Paniagua caught up with LSU coach Paul Mainieri this week to discuss the Tigers exiting fall practice. Be sure to check out the complete fall practice wrap-up.

Mainieri also discussed some topics that didn't concern fall practices, so check out this notebook for all the latest from the LSU baseball coach.

WILLIAMS INDICTED ON GUN, DRUG CHARGES

LSU baseball signee Dylan Williams was indicted last month on multiple gun and drug charges, according to Tigers coach Paul Mainieri.

Williams faced a grand jury in October after being arrested in July during a drug raid at a friend's house. Though Williams claimed he was not involved in the operation, he was charged with trafficking the drug Ecstasy, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm.

Mainieri said he most recently spoke Williams on Wednesday, who's still holding out hope the charges will be dropped.

"He says there's a chance," Mainieri said. "So I'm still letting that slim percent of a chance play out. I'm not in a rush to make a decision."


That being said, Mainieri said the "odds are against him coming" at this point. Mainieri said the deal with Williams was that if the charges get dropped, he's free to report to LSU. If they don't, he can't.

"If what he said is true, that he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, it's really sad," Mainieri said. "But if what he said to me is not entirely true, if he's involved in some way, then this is how it should have happened. I don't want anybody in the program that would be a black eye for us."

MAINIERI APPROVES OF NEW BASEBALL

Mainieri's one of the 80 percent of college coaches that supports the NCAA's decision to move to a lower-seamed baseball.

The decision came down earlier this week and will go into effect for the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Individual conferences will have the option to move to the new ball for the 2015 season, and balls for all non-conference games that year will be decided by the home team.

Mainieri said LSU will use the new ball starting next fall and expects the SEC to make the switch as well.

"I'm excited about it," Mainieri said. "I was probably one of the more outspoken coaches in the country when they changed the bats, saying it was a big mistake."

Mainieri said he was in the minority back then as fellow coaches held LSU's Gorilla Ball reputation against him. Now the call for more offense has been picked up after teams hit just three home runs during the College World Series.

"It got so much notoriety that it forced people to figure out what to change to help it," Mainieri said.


These new balls are estimated to travel 20 feet further than the old ones. Mainieri said the seams on the old balls created drag, like landing gear on an airplane, that prevented home runs. LSU hit just 46 homers last season, compared to the triple-digit totals of the Gorilla Ball era.

With the lower-seam balls, that should help counteract the effect of the newer bats, which Mainieri said "sucked the offense out of the game."

One knock against the new balls is what effect it will have on the pitchers. While the lower seams will make it harder to throw curveballs, Mainieri said pitchers might actually expect to add a little velocity to their fastballs.

He said pitchers also won't have blister problems with the new ball, something Kevin Gausman struggled with during his LSU career. The new ball will also feel lighter compared to the old one, which Mainieri said "felt like a grapefruit."

'UNEVENTFUL' SEC MEETINGS

Mainieri spent two days this week in Birmingham, Ala., for the SEC meetings. He said there was only a brief discussion on changing the 12-team format of the conference tournament, but that was quickly tabled.

"It was pretty uneventful really," Mainieri said. "It was the shortest agenda we've ever had."

---------------------------

Stick around at Tiger Sports Digest and talk all the latest in LSU sports and recruiting on our free board or over on our premium access board.

TigerSportsDigest.com Recommended Stories


  • Peyton Manning emerged alone atop yet another category in the NFL record book tonight vs the Niners, as he tossed touchdown #509 under the national spotlight of Sunday Night Football (NBC). (Photo…

  • Former USC and NFL running back LenDale White added tons of drama to what was a relatively quiet Homecoming weekend for the Trojans.

  • Here’s a way to watch football and improve your golf swing at the same time. In your living room (or on the range), practice the one-minute golf swing, as shown in this video. Set the timer on your…

  • Dr. Roto, like many others, can't believe Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (pictured above) passed for over 300 yards and rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. First time that's ever happened…

  • As soon as those winds fall off, get into the stand! I always tell people you can't kill them if you aren't out, but if you want to try and pick an opportune time – this is it.

Up Next


LSU's two losses put a slightly different feel on the Tigers' annual rivalry game with Alabama in…

Tweets