Kyle Bouman gets his chance for redemption. And so does LSU.
Nine days removed from a rocky last appearance, Bouman gets the starting nod Tuesday against Tulane, a team that dealt the Tigers a blow last month.
The Green Wave stunned LSU in a 3-2 loss in 11 innings on March 25 in New Orleans, a result that still leaves players shaking their heads.
“I wasn’t in a good mood at all. It was a game we should have won,” LSU senior Sean McMullen said. “Happy we get another chance at them.”
Bouman gets another shot, too, when Tulane (15-22) visits Alex Box Stadium to face surging LSU (30-10-1). The Tigers, back in the top 10 in all five major polls, have won 10 of their past 12 since a four-game losing skid, which began with that loss to the Green Wave.
Bouman started LSU’s 10-4 series finale loss to Arkansas on April 13, his last appearance. He allowed the first three runners of the game to reach base — double, single, walk — before Blake Baxendale hit a grand slam.
Bouman lasted just the one inning.
“Just made a couple of bad pitchers,” Bouman said. “Stuff like that happens. Just got to overcome it and come out tomorrow ready to go.”
Bouman, who began the season as LSU’s No. 2/3 starter, won’t have a pitch count Tuesday, coach Paul Mainieri said.
“I thought that game was an aberration for him. Don’t think that was typical of the way he can pitch. I want to give him another chance,” Mainieri said of Bouman. “He’s got a chance to be out there and pitch for a while if he’s doing well.”
Bouman will face what Mainieri calls Tulane’s No. 1 pitcher, senior right-hander Tyler Mapes (4-2, 1.97). Mapes was expected to pitch Saturday at Charlotte, but the game was rained out. Tulane does not have a conference series this weekend.
The Green Wave is 2-11 since beating LSU last month. The Tigers had five hits in the game as Tulane used its closer, Kyle McKenzie, for four innings.
“That told you how important the game is for them,” Mainieri said. “I don’t blame them. They have the right to do whatever they want to do, but it also probably cost them on the weekend because their closer wasn’t available to them Friday night when they lost the lead late in the game.”
McMullen, normally batting leadoff in the LSU lineup, never had to check the lineup card before a game last season.
This year? Yeah, things have changed.
“I always know this year to keep my eyes on the lineup,” he said Monday.
McMullen batted in the No. 4 hole in Saturday’s win over Ole Miss. Mainieri re-arranged his batting order, placing some players where they had never been.
Shortstop Alex Bregman batted below third for the first time in his career. He batted No. 6. Andrew Stevenson hit leadoff for just the third time this year.
Freshman Jake Fraley batter third for the first time in his LSU career.
Mainieri’s uncertain if he’ll continue using the lineup.
“I thought there was some moderate success to it,” Mainieri said. “Gives me some thought going forward that we might (keep it).”
LSU moved up in all of the five major polls released Monday. The Tigers are ranked Nos. 6, 6, 6, 9 and 10. … LSU will wear camouflage hats during Tuesday’s game against Tulane for military appreciation. … LSU second baseman Conner Hale was named the SEC Player of the Week for his performance last week. Hale went 5-for-8 in two starts in the series win at Ole Miss. He hit his first home run this season in the 2-0 series-clinching victory Saturday.