Floyd finding his place on Tigers in postseason

Former Rockmart standout Ty Floyd pitches during the 2021 NCAA Regional in Eugene, Ore.

Throughout his four years as a standout at Rockmart High School, Ty Floyd was known throughout the state of Georgia as a pitcher to be feared.

It is good to see that, with so much change going on in the world, that much has stayed the same.

Floyd, a freshman right-handed pitcher at Louisiana State University, has put together a remarkable first season in Baton Rouge. As of press time, the LSU hurler has a 4.44 ERA in 24 1/3 innings pitched.

Floyd has garnered an impressive amount of playing time as a freshman when you consider the fact that LSU, an annual powerhouse, is stacked with some of the top players in all of college baseball.

The Rockmart product has an 0-2 record with 20 relief appearances on the year. Despite not having a role as a starter, Floyd still ranks fifth on the team in strikeouts with 39, and opponents are batting just .195 against him.

Those close to Floyd understand that he cares less about individual accomplishments and more about team success. Fortunately for him, both have been found in abundance in the bayou this spring.

As of press time, the Tigers were 38-24 overall on the season. LSU is coached by the legendary Paul Mainieri, who announced earlier this year that he will be retiring after the season’s conclusion. Despite struggling in SEC play with a 13-17 conference record, LSU did just enough to earn an invite to the postseason. Floyd and the Tigers had to travel to the Pacific Northwest to compete at the NCAA Eugene Regional, hosted by the University of Oregon.

LSU did not have a fantastic start to the tournament. The Tigers lost in the first round of the double elimination tournament, falling 3-0 to Gonzaga. Floyd pitched one inning in the loss to the Bulldogs, striking out two and surrendering two walks.

With their backs against the wall, though, LSU shined. The Tigers won four consecutive elimination games to advance as the only team standing in the Eugene regional. LSU defeated Central Connecticut State 6-5 in ten innings before exacting revenge on Gonzaga by handing them a 9-4 loss and effectively ending their season.

Floyd and the Tigers would have to beat the host team, no. 13 Oregon, twice if they wished to move on to the Super Regionals. LSU knocked off Oregon 4-1 in Game 1 on Sunday, June 6, setting up a winner-take-all Game 2 on the following day.

The second contest would not be as easy of a win for the Bayou Bengals. LSU raced out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but Oregon battled back with five consecutive runs.

Floyd entered in the second inning, allowing an RBI double and a sac fly to push across the first two runs of the game for the Ducks. The Rockmart native was pulled after pitching just one inning in the Regional Championship.

Oregon led 5-2 going into the bottom of the fourth before LSU started chipping away at the lead. As soon as the Tigers retook the lead, the Ducks jumped in front with a two-run inning. Oregon led 7-6 going into the bottom of the eighth, but a miraculous three-run frame put LSU out in front by two runs.

Although the Tigers allowed a run to the Ducks in the top of the ninth, the visitors found a way to hold on to secure a 9-8 victory to win the Eugene Regional.

Floyd and the LSU Tigers had advanced to the Super Regionals round, meaning they were two wins away from qualifying for the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. It would not be an easy task for the Tigers, though, as they had to topple one of the best teams in the country yet again to move on.

LSU traveled to play SEC foe Tennessee in the Knoxville Super Regional. The best-of-three series started on Saturday, June 12, as the No. 4 Volunteers defeated the Tigers 4-2.

Game 2 was played on Sunday, while the if-needed Game 3 was scheduled for Monday. The series finished after press time.

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