OMAHA, Neb. - LSU right fielder Jared Mitchell and pitcher Chad Jones entered Monday night's best-of-three College World Series finals against Texas with a shot at a national championship and a piece of LSU history.
Both were members of the team that won the 2007 season BCS national championship against Ohio State, and now they have a chance to be the first LSU athletes to capture football and baseball rings.
Jones played in all 13 LSU football games last season at safety. He had one interception and returned eight punts, averaging 11.9 per return. Mitchell, a wide receiver, grabbed nine passes for 106 yards in 12 games.
Mitchell entered Monday's game 4 for 10 with two RBIs. Jones pitched one-third of an inning in the Tigers' opening 9-5 win over Virginia, facing two batters.
Mitchell is one of six Tigers drafted earlier this month, taken in the first round by the Chicago White Sox.
Mitchell is often asked which sport he prefers, and his answer never changes.
"During football season, it's football," he said. "During baseball season, it's baseball."
Will the draft change his line of thinking?
"It might, just a little bit," he said. "It's definitely a blessing. It's been fun. I've definitely enjoyed it."
Mitchell hasn't had any contact with the White Sox other than them telling him, "Congratulations. We'll talk to you after Omaha. Get the job done."
HOT MONDAY: Rosenblatt Stadium's first-aid station was as busy as the lemonade stands during Monday night's game.
"It's been really busy," EMT specialist Milton Trabal said. "The humidity and high heat came on."
Trabal would not estimate how many fans were seeking treatment. The majority suffered from dehydration, with the game-time temperature at 93 degrees and a heat index of 107.
Trabal was encouraging fans to drink plenty fluids and eat.
LSU fan Jason Fontenot was making his second trip to a concession stand for water in the fourth inning. Fontenot, from Lafayette, La., said he and his dad were seated in the right-field bleachers more than 90 minutes before the first pitch.
"We're from the South, so we're used to it," Fontenot said. "Now you know how we feel."
GOVERNORS' BET: A tray of fresh Louisiana seafood is on the line as LSU takes on the Texas for the national title in the best-of-three College World Series.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Monday bet Texas Gov. Rick Perry that the Tigers would take the championship. If the Longhorns lose, Perry put a tray of Texas barbecue on the line.
Jindal said LSU's strong pitching and hitting will "rack us up major wins against the Texas Longhorns in this series."
"Anyone can play small ball, but the LSU Tigers will teach Texas how monster ball is played," Jindal added.
Perry said Texas' baseball program has been winning national championships since the 1940s and expects another one this week. He said he's "certain there is going to be some Louisiana seafood headed our way."
FATHER'S DAY THOUGHTS: Texas pitcher Keith Shinaberry shared on the university's athletic Web site an e-mail he sent to his father, Curt, on Father's Day.
The senior wrote: "Dad, the time and effort that you have spent on and off the field with me is unlike any other. You have taught me to be confident in myself in whatever I choose to do, while maintaining to keep me modest after my accomplishments."
Shinaberry will begin a teaching career in South Dakota this fall.
SHORT HOPS: Texas' relievers took a good-luck charm to the bullpen with them Monday. Propped on the bench was an inflatable killer whale they bought during a trip to the Omaha zoo.... Total attendance heading into Monday was 271,200. To break the all-time record of 330,099 set last year, the finals likely would need a third game with an average of 19,632 necessary to break the mark.... This year is the sixth time that two teams went unbeaten in bracket play since the CWS went to a two-bracket format in 1988.