Tommy White, LSU’s All-American third baseman, led the nation in RBI and won a national championship in 2023 – and he did it all with only one good shoulder. Now, it seems he’s finally fully healthy after offseason surgery.
White injured his shoulder in the first inning of the season opener against Western Michigan in 2023 and then struggled with the injury for the rest of the season. He said his shoulder “popped out probably 20 times” during the season and even popped out during the dogpile after winning the national championship.
“It was definitely a struggle throughout the year and something I had to play through,” White said. “I’m excited to finally play healthy. I mean, I was battling adversity all last year and now that we’re finally healed up and fixed up it should be fun.”
White has now recovered from his offseason surgery and is back hitting after missing all of fall practice. He said missing fall practice helped him realize just how much he loved baseball and wants to continue playing.
“I always loved [baseball], but now I know I really, really love it,” White said. “This is something I want to do for the rest of my life.”
White said head coach Jay Johnson has him hitting every day in practice in preparation for LSU’s season opener on Feb. 16 against VMI.
Despite the injury, White still had a prolific season at bat in 2023 and was a key player in LSU’s national championship run. He led the team home runs, RBI, and hit the game-winning home run in the 11th inning against No. 1 Wake Forest to send LSU to the College World Series Finals.
After so much success last season, expectations are sky high for White and LSU. However, he said that he isn’t really interested in the numbers that he puts up as long as LSU can continue to have success on the field.
“I’m not really looking at any numbers or anything,” White said. “I’m just looking at wins. If I can help the team win that day, I did my job.”
White also said he believes in his teammates to help replace the production LSU got out of center fielder Dylan Crews. When White transferred to LSU after an impressive freshman season at NC State in 2022, he quickly formed a partnership with LSU star Crews.
Crews was selected at No. 2 in the 2023 MLB Draft and was the Golden Spikes winner in his final season at LSU. He led LSU in batting average and was second on the team in RBI and home runs behind only White.
“Every single guy that’s going to be out there can do exactly what was done last year.,” White said.
He said that multiple players contributed besides him and Crews. He mentioned Cade Beloso and Gavin Dugas, who combined for 33 home runs and 95 RBI, as other players on last year’s team who pitched in on offense.
Returning players like Hayden Travinski, Josh Pearson and Jared Jones were all parts of LSU’s trip to Omaha and will be the cast of players that White believes can replace Crews’ record-breaking production.
“I think it’s going to be the same thing this year and everybody’s going to contribute, and we’ll be good for that,” White said.