Bayou Bats

June 27, 2023

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning,

Someone put something in the bats this week. Congrats to LSU on the CWS title after another game that left scoreboard operators utterly exhausted. Plus, we speed towards July with more MLB power rankings and some hockey news ahead of the NHL Draft (Wednesday).

Holiday Schedule: The Sportsletter team will be off Monday (July 3) — Wednesday (July 5) of next week to observe Independence Day.

Letter Rip!


Tigers Take the Title

Photo: Tyler Schank / Getty Images

#5 LSU Explodes With 18-4 Blowout of #2 Florida to Win Program’s 7th College World Series

What just happened?! Another outburst in Omaha… Game 1 of the College World Series was an 11-inning thriller that ended with a walk-off in favor of LSU. Game 2 saw Florida put up 24 runs to answer back. And in a winner-take-all Game 3, the pendulum swung the other way, and hard. LSU fell behind 2-0 in the 1st inning Monday night before the Tigers came roaring for the title, putting up six in the 2nd and four in the 4th. A 10-2 lead had the Gators shell-shocked, and LSU wasn’t done yet. The Tigers scored eight more in the final three frames (7th, 8th, and 9th) en route to an 18-4 exclamation-point title takeover. LSU took down 1-seeded Wake Forest in three games before stunning 2-seeded Florida in three more. A Tiger pile in the infield and LSU\’s rowdy fan base made for a fitting celebration in Omaha. And for the first time in 14 years, the Bayou Bengals are once again CWS champs.

LSU Stats in Game 3

The Tigers tallied 18 runs on 24 hits while 11 players put a ball in play. Josh Pearson (1) and Brayden Jobert (1) hit home runs, and three LSU players had four hits or more: Jobert (4-for-7, 1 HR, 3 RBIs), Tommy White (4-for-7, 3 RBIs) and Dylan Crews (4-for-6, 1 RBI). Tigers’ pitcher Thatcher Hurd did most of the damage from the mound (6 IP, 7 Ks, 2 Hits, 2 Runs). No walk-offs were needed in this one. Just a purely dominant CWS finale.

Watch: LSU Blows Out Florida in Game 3 (18-4) to Win CWS

The College World Series “Run” Down

Game 1: LSU Wins (4-3, 11 Innings)

Game 2: Florida Wins (24-4)

Game 3: LSU Wins (18-4)

Total Run Count: Florida 31, LSU 26

Tiger Baseball in the Record Books

LSU’s return to the top of college baseball has been a long time coming. The Tigers have frequently been among the sport’s elite, but it’s their first championship since 2009. The program won five titles between 1991-2000. This is their seventh championship, all in the last 32 years — second-most among all programs.

Schools With the Most CWS Titles

1. USC — 12

2. LSU — 7

3. Texas — 6

4. Arizona State — 5

T5. 3 Schools With 4 (Arizona, CS Fullerton & Miami)

Fun Fact: LSU has captured two NCAA championships in the last three months between Baseball and Women’s Basketball. The Tigers can also claim four school titles in the last five years — Football (2019) & Men’s Track (2021). The school has 51 national championships dating back to 1933. Only six schools have had more total championships since the inception of college sports.

Congrats to LSU, champs of college baseball!

Read More

ESPN: LSU A Fitting CWS Champion Following the Greatest Series Ever

AP News: LSU Wins College World Series Title, Beating Florida 18-4 One Day After 20-Run Loss



MLB Power Rankings (End of June)

Photo: Matthew Grimes Jr. / Getty Images

Braves Keep Bashing While Dodgers & Yankees Bounce Back, Mets Continue to Slide

We’ll keep it short and sweet in this week’s rendition of the MLB Power Rankings. Some small movement in the top 10 hasn’t shaken much up, aside from the Angels’ slide and the Yankees and Dodgers picking things up a bit. The margin of error between No. 10 (Angels) and No. 25 (White Sox) is just ten games, so we’re gearing up for a thrilling second-half playoff push. The Reds have cooled. The Braves are still hot. And it might be Atlanta in the No. 1 spot by the All-Star break. Here’s our latest look at the MLB picture.

MLB Power Rankings

1. Rays (54-27) | —

2. Braves (51-27) | — 

3. Orioles (48-29) | ↑1

4. Rangers (47-31) | ↓1

5. Diamondbacks (47-32) | —

6. Yankees (43-35) | ↑2

7. Dodgers (43-34) | ↑3 

8. Marlins (45-34) | ↓1

9. Giants (44-34) | — 

10. Angels (43-37) | ↓4

Teams 11-20

11. Astros (42-36) | —

12. Blue Jays (43-36) | —

13. Reds (41-38) | —

14. Brewers (41-37) | —

15. Phillies (40-37) | ↑1

16. Twins (40-40) | ↑1

17. Red Sox (40-39) | ↓2

18. Padres (37-41) | —

19. Guardians (37-40) | ↑3

20. Cubs (37-39) | ↑3

Teams 21-30

21. Mariners (38-39) | ↓1 

22. Pirates (35-42) | ↓3

23. Mets (35-43) | ↓2

24. Tigers (34-43) | ↑1

25. White Sox (34-46) | ↓1

26. Cardinals (32-45) | —

27. Nationals (30-48) | —

28. Rockies (31-49) | —

29. Royals (22-56) | —

30. Athletics (20-60) | —

MLB\’s Hottest Teams

Braves (Won 9 of Last 10)

Orioles (Won 3 Straight)

Cubs (Won 8 of Last 10)

Giants (Won 8 of Last 10)

MLB Home Run Race

1. Shohei Ohtani (Angels) — 26 HRs

2. Matt Olson (Braves) — 25 HRs

3. Pete Alonso (Mets) — 24 HRs

4. Luis Robert (White Sox) — 22 HRs

5. Jorge Soler (Marlins) — 21 HRs

In the Hunt: Kyle Schwarber (PHI, 20 HRs), Mookie Betts (LAD, 19 HRs), Aaron Judge (NYY, 19 HRs)

Read More

FOX Sports: MLB Power Rankings: Which Division Races are Most Exciting?

MLB: Braves Keep Winning Ways Behind Strider’s Gem, Late HRs

Video: Shohei Ohtani Hits 446-Foot Blast to Retake Home Run Lead (26)



NHL News: Around the Rink

Blackhawks Acquire Taylor Hall; NHL Announces 2022-23 Award Winners

The NHL offseason picked up on Monday with a blockbuster trade and the announcement of this year’s award winners prior to Wednesday’s NHL Draft. The Blackhawks swung a deal for Bruins’ Taylor Hall in a four-player trade before they\’ll select the No. 1 pick this week. It’s a new era in Chicago. Here’s a recap of Monday’s offseason notes from the ice.

NHL Roster Moves

Blackhawks Acquire Taylor Hall from Bruins

NHL Award Winners 

Hart Trophy (MVP): Connor McDavid (Oilers)

Vezina Trophy (Goalie): Linus Ullmark (Bruins)

Norris Trophy (Defenseman): Erik Karlsson (Sharks)

Calder Trophy (Rookie): Matty Beniers (Kraken)

Adams Trophy (Coach): Jim Montgomery (Bruins)

All 2022-23 NHL Award Winners



 Concacaf Gold Cup

Martinique def. El Salvador (2-1)

Panama def. Costa Rica (2-1)


Aces def. Fever (88-80)

4 Vegas All-Stars Combine for 82 of Aces’ 88 Points



 NBA Free Agency Outlook

Starting Friday at 6 p.m. ET, teams can start negotiating with more than 100 free agents available. Some teams are limited. So who has the cap space? (ESPN+)

 Can Yankees Survive Judge Injury?

Don’t expect Aaron Judge back in the Yankees lineup anytime soon. New York is one quick slide away from the bottom of the AL East. How long can they hold up? (FOX Sports)

 NHL Draft Big Board

The 2023 NHL Draft is tomorrow night. As the first big event of the offseason gets closer and closer, it\’s time to learn about the top prospects who will be selected. (Sporting News)





Tonight\’s Must-Watch List


Reds at Orioles (7:05 pm ET)

Twins at Braves (7:20 pm ET)

Rays at Diamondbacks (9:40 pm ET)

Concacaf Gold Cup

Canada vs. Guadeloupe (7:00 pm ET)

Guatemala vs. Cuba (8:45 pm ET)

Download The Sportsletter\’s Must-Watch Calendar



Question of the Day

Which July sports event are you most excited about? (click to vote)

 MLB All-Star Weekend (HR Derby)

 The Open Championship


 FIFA Women’s World Cup