Sophomore Jared Poché will likely begin the season as LSU’s Friday night starter, but the position could rotate between four hurlers before Southeastern Conference play starts.
Poché will start opening night on Feb. 13, coach Paul Mainieri said Friday at LSU baseball’s media day, but the coach could use four different starters on the four Fridays leading up to the SEC opener against Ole Miss March 13.
Returning starters Poché and senior Kyle Bouman and four highly touted freshmen – Alex Lange, Jake Godfrey, Jake Latz and Doug Norman – will vie for weekend starting jobs over the first month of the season. All five pitchers will start, at some point, during the first month of the season.
Bouman is a likely candidate to start during the midweek, and one of the four freshmen will likely become LSU’s closer, the coach said. Poché will be in LSU’s weekend starting rotation, Mainieri said.
The Tigers, ranked in the top 10 in three preseason polls released so far, begin the season with a three-game set against Kansas Feb. 13-15.
Mainieri hopes to settle on his weekend starting rotation by the time the Tigers head to the Houston College Classic, the final pre-SEC weekend.
LSU only lost two everyday starters from a lineup last season that batted .287 (47th nationally) and fielded .976 (18th). The Tigers have a seasoned bullpen, too.
The question marks look at third base, where Christian Ibarra leaves a void, and at starting pitcher, where a host of young arms will be relied upon. LSU lost ace Aaron Nola.