LSU baseball notebook: Rain delay a ‘silver lining’ for Kramer Robertson and his injured hand _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- The Southeastern dugout is empty except for a notebook stand as both the Lions and Rice Owls were suspended in the seventh inning of their game Saturday in the Baton Rouge regional at Alex Box Stadium.

Heavy rains are affecting LSU’s present postseason push.

And its also got coach Paul Mainieri looking ahead.

“The only concern I have about this delay ’til tomorrow is, if we’re fortunate enough to win the regional, it’s one day short rest for Alex Lange going into next weekend,” Mainieri said. “We haven’t won anything here, but if we’re fortunate enough to win, the super regionals could start either Friday or Saturday. In a sense I’d hope we’d get the Saturday start.”

Lange is still scheduled to start the Tigers’ game Sunday, which is now slated to begin 55 minutes after Sunday’s elimination game. That game will begin 55 minutes after the resumption of Southeastern and Rice’s opening round game, which the Owls lead 4-1 in the seventh.

Asked if he would start Conference USA Pitcher of the Year Jon Duplantier in the Owls’ next game, whether in the winners or losers bracket, Rice coach Wayne Graham was non-committal.

“That’s a question I don’t want to have to answer,” Graham said. “I haven’t made up my mind on that.”

Delay a ‘silver lining’ for Robertson

After he was hit by a pitch on his right hand in the sixth inning of the Tigers’ 7-1 win against Utah Valley, Kramer Robertson was quickly X-rayed, and a fracture of his pinkie finger was ruled out.

Saturday’s delay gives the first-team All-Southeastern Conference shortstop an extra day to rest his throwing hand (it is also the top hand when he grips a bat).

“It’s not as sore as yesterday,” Mainieri said. “My only concern was fracture, and it’s definitely not fractured, but it’s a pretty nasty bruise on his hand. It’s pretty sore today. Maybe another silver lining of a rainout is it gives him another day to recuperate and it won’t be as sore tomorrow.”

Age matters

Though the game hasn’t yet been completed, Southeastern and Rice had a 2016 tournament oddity.

Lions coach Matt Riser, 31, is the youngest coach in the NCAA postseason, opposing Owls skipper Wayne Graham, who at 80 is the oldest to lead a team in the tournament.

Graham, now into his 25th season as head coach, has won 1,111 games compared to Riser, who has 119 wins in his third season.

This season is Graham’s 37th as a collegiate head coach.