A letter to LSU baseball freshman Jake Brown

On Monday night, LSU took on North Carolina in a winner-take-all Game 7 for a shot at hosting a super regional against West Virginia. With two outs in the top of the tenth inning, Johnny Castagnozzi hit a fly ball to right field to Jake Brown.

Brown retreated towards the wall and tracked the ball while fighting the lights glaring in his eyes. He put his glove up to catch the ball… and the ball went right over his glove.

After that, North Carolina would hit an RBI single to take a 4-3 lead and never look back. After the game ended, many Tiger “fans” took to Twitter to berate Brown and say nasty things about him and his family. With the way people were talking about Brown, you would have thought he missed the ball on purpose. Obviously, he didn’t.

Coming out of Sulphur High School in Louisiana, Brown was rated as the No. 1 player in the state of Louisiana and the No. 18 left-handed pitcher in the country. He starred as a pitcher and as a center fielder for the Sulphur Golden Tors. Brown played in 56 games as a freshman for LSU this season and was listed as a left-handed pitcher/first baseman/outfielder on the Tigers roster.

In those 56 games, Brown had 48 total chances to make a play on defense. He finished the season with 46 putouts, one assist and only one error. The man missed one ball all year long and now people want to crucify him for it.

For those of you who are uneducated, playing outfield is hard. It is even harder when you are on the road. At home, you are familiar with the layout of your ballpark and you know every nook and cranny of that field. When you are on the road, you are not as aware of the dimensions of the ballpark, and on a ball hit near the wall, you have to reach a hand out to try to find out where the wall is.

You are also fighting the lights. It was mentioned a few times during the broadcast that it is hard for right fielders to see the ball at “The Bosh” no matter what team you were playing on. With all of those things in play, it is a recipe for disaster for anyone. Jake made one mistake all year and everyone blames him for that loss.

No one wants to talk about how LSU only had one hit after the third inning (Hayden Travinski singled in the bottom of the ninth). One of LSU’s five hits was a solo homer from Jake Brown. If it wasn’t for him, the game would not have had the lead at all.

The moral of the story is that nobody is perfect. I am sure no one is beating themselves up more about the play than Jake because all he wants to do is make a play for his team. He is a Louisiana man who bleeds purple and gold. This is just one setback on the road to possibly being one of the LSU greats. Keep your head up, Jake. You’ll bounce back stronger next year.

For all of you, keyboard warriors who are downing Cheetos and whining about how you could make that catch with your eyes closed, use that energy to do something productive instead of bashing someone online.

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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire