Alex Lange will throw Friday this week and Thursday next week.
Not that the LSU ace pays it any mind.
“I’m just trying to enjoy this experience and go out there and give my team a chance to win as much as possible,” Lange said Thursday. “Whether that’s Friday, Saturday or Sunday it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m out there helping my team win.”
One week later than originally scheduled, Lange will assume the leading role in the LSU rotation, opening conference play against Alabama at 7 p.m. in Alex Box Stadium while opening night starter Jared Poche moves to Saturday.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri was going to switch the two for last weekend’s series against Ball State, but Lange’s career-high five earned runs on March 5 against Fordham gave him pause.
Mainieri saw progress in Lange’s March 12 start against Ball State where he still walked four batters but threw his curveball more for strikes and was ahead in more counts.
More importantly, though, he pitched out of jams, stranding six runners on base – including five in the fourth and fifth inning of his six-inning start.
“His bullpen that he threw day before yesterday was as good a bullpen as he’s had all year,” Mainieri said. “His command was fantastic, when (pitching coach Alan Dunn) told him to throw it at a certain spot, he looked like (Aaron) Nola with his control … He’s a prototypical Friday night starter in the SEC and I thought it was time to make the move.”
Reid remains at third
Mainieri said Chris Reid will remain at third base for the foreseeable future after Wednesday’s MRI discovered a stress fracture in O’Neal Lochridge’s back.
Reid -- a St. Michael product and Baton Rouge native -- started the last three games in Lochridge’s absence, playing errorless baseball while collecting three hits. He had an RBI single in Wednesday’s 9-4 win against UNO.
“There’s a few plays that were a little harder than others, but I handled it pretty well. Made all the plays and hopefully I continue to do that,” Reid said. “(I have) a lot of great memories with my family and my dad at the old Box and the new Box. It’s a dream come true. I’ve always hoped and pictured myself in this position and now that it’s here hopefully we can capitalize on it.”
Follow Chandler Rome on Twitter, @Chandler_Rome.