By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor
LSU dodged a bullet Tuesday night.
Greg Deichmann declared himself “good” and said there’s “nothing to worry about” after leaving LSU’s 9-3 victory over Northwestern State following an eighth-inning collision with the pitcher while running out a tapper back to the mound.
The slugger laid on the ground, slammed his helmet down and grabbed his knee, bringing LSU coach Paul Mainieri and trainer Cory Couture out of the dugout in a hurry. A deaf silence fell over Alex Box Stadium as Deichmann got to his feet and walked off under his own power.
Deichmann said he felt a “tweak” in his knee when it happened, but insisted he felt fine by the time he got back to the dugout. He said he could’ve played right field in the ninth inning, but instead Couture examined his knee while Bryce Adams took his place.
“Our trainer checked his knee; it looked strong,” Mainieri said. “The pain subsided totally. He doesn’t feel anything at all. He hasn’t tried to run, but he’s walking without a limp and without pain. So hopefully he’s going to be ok.”
It certainly felt like a major bullet dodged for Deichmann, Mainieri and the rest of the Tigers. But not before a few tense minutes passed as the trainer looked over LSU’s most crucial offensive player.
“I couldn’t breathe,” Mainieri said. “It’s unbelievable that something like that could happen in the bottom of the eighth inning. But hopefully he’s going to wake up and feel fine and we’ll be good to go. Right now that’s how I feel. I feel confident that’ll be the case.”
Shortstop Kramer Robertson admits he damn near sprinted out to Deichmann’s aid along with the coach and trainer.
“I felt like I wanted to crawl on top of the canopy here and swan dive off,” Robertson said of seeing Deichmann grab at his knee. “My stomach dropped. I think I ran out there or jogged out there with Coach and our trainer. When he said ‘I think I’m good, the pain went away,’ I felt a little bit better.
“Definitely dodged a bullet. Shows you how quickly something like that can happen to anybody. Just like with Bryce Jordan right before the year. Your whole season can change just like that.”
Deichmann belted his team-leading 17th home run earlier in the game and leads the Tigers with 60 RBI. You’ll remember he underwent facial surgery and played on Opening Day a week after a baseball fractured his cheekbone.
LSU departs Wednesday for a three-game series with Mississippi State that has major Southeastern Conference and SEC West title implications on the line.