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|Former OCS ace helps Tigers|
Daniel Bradshaw may just be one of the luckiest baseball players on the planet.
After graduating from Ouachita Christian School last spring, he immediately turned his attention to playing for the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge. And what a turn it has become.
Sunday, Bradshaw threw three innings in the Southeastern Conference championship game to help the Tigers win the SEC title for the first time since 2000. The Tigers defeated Ole Miss 8-2. Not many freshmen get to start for LSU, let alone get to start an SEC championship game.
This also put the Tigers in a position to host the NCAA Regionals which begin Friday.
The Tigers will face Texas Southern at 1 p.m. The other two teams are Southern Miss and the University of New Orleans, who will play at 6 p.m.
And it will also be a chance for the fans to see Alex Box Stadium one last time. The new stadium is currently being built and is expected to be ready to play in by next spring.
The Tigers have been on one hot winning streak lately. They have won 20 straight, and Bradshaw has been a big part of the streak.
"It's very exciting winning the championship game," Bradshaw said in a telephone interview, Monday. "It's kind of a flashback to the old days at OCS, but its a good building block for the next round. Now we've got to get ready for a really big time game. "This is a great way to end the era of the old Alex Box Stadium,"
Bradshaw, who threw a 90 mile an hour fast ball in high school, has a number of other pitches at his command now.
"I throw a breaking pitch and a curve ball," Bradshaw said. "I had the curve ball in high school but not the breaking pitch."
While he was in high school, OCS won the state AA championship when he was a freshman, and he could throw hard then.
The 6-foot-1 Bradshaw earned the Louisiana High School Coaches Association Pitcher of the Year honor in his last season at OCS.
Now, he's in the big-time and apparently has put a little something else on the ball. His fast ball has been recorded at 91 and 92 miles an hour.
He had one other start so far in his freshman year, a win against McNeese State. His earned run average is currently 3.63 and he is 4-5 on the mound.
"I'm used mostly in relief appearances,"Bradshaw said.
Bradshaw had nothing but kind words about second-year coach Paul Mainieri.
"He's a great coach," Bradshaw said. "The whole staff has been great this year."
"I'm sure it was a great experience for him (Bradshaw) to start like that," said Mainieri. "We recruited him out of high school and had a chance to see him play. We felt he would be real good at LSU and he has demonstrated good control. He hasn't disappointed us at all. He's going to continue to be good. He's an important part of the staff and we feel we can call on him whenever we need to."
Bradshaw is the son of Charles and Wendy Bradshaw of West Monroe.
Bradshaw is not the only baseball player in the family. HIs older brother David just completed his eligibility at Mississippi College in Clinton this spring as a catcher.