Coast Connections: Doug Thompson - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Coast Connections: Doug Thompson

Doug Thompson sits in the home radio booth at Alex Box Stadium as the home radio color commentator for the LSU baseball team (WLOX Sports) Doug Thompson sits in the home radio booth at Alex Box Stadium as the home radio color commentator for the LSU baseball team (WLOX Sports)
"Dougie" Thompson was a four-year starter at Biloxi High School, leading the Indians to the South State Championship Series all four years. (WLOX Sports File) "Dougie" Thompson was a four-year starter at Biloxi High School, leading the Indians to the South State Championship Series all four years. (WLOX Sports File)
Doug Thompson spent two seasons at MGCCC, posting a record of 26-4 and earning All-American honors (WLOX Sports File) Doug Thompson spent two seasons at MGCCC, posting a record of 26-4 and earning All-American honors (WLOX Sports File)
Doug Thompson threw the game-winning pitch in LSU's 1997 College World Series National Championship (WLOX Sports File / NCAA) Doug Thompson threw the game-winning pitch in LSU's 1997 College World Series National Championship (WLOX Sports File / NCAA)
WLOX Sports: Coast Connections WLOX Sports: Coast Connections
Baton Rouge, LA (WLOX) -

When taking in an LSU baseball game at Alex Box Stadium, you don't have to go far to realize the legacy of Doug Thompson.

He's commemorated in Champions Circle, he's memoralized inside their Baseball Hall of Fame, and he's stationed in the broadcast booth, providing color commentary for his beloved alma mater.

"Knowing what to look for, knowing what to expect, it helps me to be able to communicate more clearly to the audience or listener what happened on that play and why," Thompson said.

Thompson reflects on his playing days to inform his call, bringing an insider's perspective to the booth. 

"My time on the field, certainly here and in the Minor Leagues and whatnot, and a lot of times even as a little-leaguer, right?" Thompson said. "There's certain things that happen that my experiences as a player helps me to add color."

Experiences that began in Biloxi.

From 1991 to 1994, "Dougie" Thompson was a dominant force on the mound for Biloxi High School. Thompson led the Indians to four consecutive South State Finals appearances, only to fall short every single time."

"Those teams that I played on at Biloxi were great," Thompson said. "Lots of great players, always competed up into South State, always had heartbreaking losses, but I will never forget my time as a Biloxi Indian. I have a lot of pride in that baseball program."

His stellar prep career earned him a spot at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, where Thompson casually posted a 26-4 record, earning All-American honors. After two years in Perk, the Biloxi native was all set to attend Mississippi State. But then, his dream school finally called. 

When asked why this South Mississippi kid wanted to attend LSU?

"That's a great question, a great story," Thompson said. 

"When I grew up as a kid, I would always hear these stories about my grandfather, he was a huge LSU fan," Thompson said of his namesake, Doug Thompson. "He would drive around his patrol car while LSU played Mississippi State or Ole Miss, and when the Tigers would punch one in across the goal line, he would turn the lights on and lay on the horn with the fight song. So many people told me that that story that for some reason I just loved LSU."

And so, Thompson was Callin' Baton Rouge, and soon found himself pitching on College Baseball's biggest stage, the 1997 College World Series in Omaha, NE. 

"It was a dream come true for me," Thompson said.

Facing a bases-loaded, one out jam in the fifth inning against Alabama, the Tigers turned to Thompson. The Biloxi native delivered, earning back to back strikeouts to get out of the jam.

With his steady presence on the mound, LSU built a 13-6 lead over the Tide, culminating in a moment he had waited for his entire life. 

"As a 9, 10, 11, 12-year-old kid in Biloxi, Mississippi, I had a shed out in my yard like everyone else did," Thompson said. "I would (practice striking) out the last batter to win the championship."

All Thompson had to do was finish the job, and he did. With his final strikeout, the Tigers won the 1996 College World Series, their second consecutive national championship.

"They've been playing baseball at LSU for over 100 years and there's only six national championships," Thompson said. "It's very special to be even a small part of such an enormous program here in Baton Rouge."

Now, some 20 years later, Thompson remains a fixture in Baton Rouge. A father of three young boys, he uses his time in the booth to pass on his love of the game to his sons, a love that was founded all those years ago right here on the Coast.

"We've got some great memories up there in the (press box)," Thompson said. "I have a lot of fun. I love baseball, I love LSU obviously. My eight-year-old is in love with baseball because of this place. It's very special to me, it always has been, but even more so now that I get to share it with my own kids."

Thompson said his radio career may not be in the long-term plans, but in just three years at the mic, he's already gotten to call some pretty incredible moments. Thrown into play-by-play duty at the beginning of last season, the Biloxi native provided the soundtrack for Jared Poche's no-hitter against Army, only the sixth no-hitter in L-S-U baseball history. 

Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

  • SPORTSMore>>

  • Hometown hero Harper wins thrilling HR Derby over Schwarber

    Hometown hero Harper wins thrilling HR Derby over Schwarber

    Monday, July 16 2018 10:47 PM EDT2018-07-17 02:47:41 GMT
    Tuesday, July 17 2018 1:48 PM EDT2018-07-17 17:48:28 GMT
    Washington Nationals Bryce Harper (34) reacts to his winning hit during the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby, Monday, July 16, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)Washington Nationals Bryce Harper (34) reacts to his winning hit during the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby, Monday, July 16, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Harper thrills home crowd and father by winning Home Run Derby over Schwarber 19-18.

    More >>

    Harper thrills home crowd and father by winning Home Run Derby over Schwarber 19-18.

    More >>
  • Young, joyful France beats Croatia 4-2 to win 2nd World Cup

    Young, joyful France beats Croatia 4-2 to win 2nd World Cup

    Sunday, July 15 2018 1:03 PM EDT2018-07-15 17:03:26 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 10:53 AM EDT2018-07-16 14:53:03 GMT
    (AP Photo/Martin Meissner). France's Kylian Mbappe, front, celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal during the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018.(AP Photo/Martin Meissner). France's Kylian Mbappe, front, celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal during the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018.
    France won its second World Cup title by beating Croatia 4-2 in a match briefly interrupted by an on-field protest that Russian punk band Pussy Riot later took credit for.More >>
    France won its second World Cup title by beating Croatia 4-2 in a match briefly interrupted by an on-field protest that Russian punk band Pussy Riot later took credit for.More >>
  • Kerber tops Williams at Wimbledon for 3rd Grand Slam title

    Kerber tops Williams at Wimbledon for 3rd Grand Slam title

    Saturday, July 14 2018 7:25 AM EDT2018-07-14 11:25:04 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 7:38 AM EDT2018-07-15 11:38:52 GMT
    (Neil Hall/Pool via AP). Serena Williams of the US returns a ball to Julia Goerges of Germany during their women's semifinal match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Thursday July 12, 2018.(Neil Hall/Pool via AP). Serena Williams of the US returns a ball to Julia Goerges of Germany during their women's semifinal match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Thursday July 12, 2018.

    About 10 months after having a baby, Serena Williams plays in the Wimbledon final against Angelique Kerber.

    More >>

    About 10 months after having a baby, Serena Williams plays in the Wimbledon final against Angelique Kerber.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly