LSU coach Paul Mainieri told reporters Thursday he was planning a change or two in his lineup for this weekend’s series against Wichita State.
When Friday’s lineup was released, Mainieri made even more changes than the few he discussed.
Brennan Breaux earned his first start in center field, and a “B” appeared to the left of Michael Papierski’s name — indicating a return to switch hitting for the junior catcher.
One other thing: The top of the order was completely rearranged.
Senior shortstop Kramer Robertson was in the leadoff spot for the first time this season. Robertson batted No. 3 in the order in each of LSU’s first 13 games.
Cole Freeman and Antoine Duplantis, typically the Nos. 1 and 2 hitters in LSU’s lineup, each shifted a spot down in the order.
The move may have been made in an attempt to get Robertson going at the plate.
Entering Friday’s game, Robertson had just one hit in his previous 15 at-bats, and that came when he was awarded a hit after his ground ball hit Duplantis on the base paths in LSU’s loss to McNeese State on Wednesday.
Despite the fact Robertson has struggled to find gaps in the defense, he still entered the Wichita State tied for the team lead in walks with eight — four of which have come during his mini-slump.
He also came into the series with the second-best on-base percentage (.446) on the team, and his batting average was still a robust .348.
Mainieri initially planned to hit Robertson in the leadoff spot this season before senior designated hitter Bryce Jordan, the presumptive cleanup hitter, tore his ACL and was lost for the year.
SATURDAY’S GAME MOVED TO 1 P.M.
Game 2 of the series between LSU and Wichita State has been rescheduled to start at 1 p.m. Saturday, LSU announced Friday night.
The game was originally scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., but was moved in an attempt to avoid heavy rain, which is in the forecast for Baton Rouge on Saturday night.
Game 3 of the series is still scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday.
LSU SCHEDULES GAME WITH LOUISIANA COLLEGE
LSU didn’t have to wait long to find an opponent to make up its rained-out contest with San Diego from Tuesday.
The Tigers announced Friday they will play Louisiana College at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 14. Fans can use tickets to the San Diego game to attend Tuesday’s contest against Louisiana College.
Thanks to a conference slate that features five series that start on a Thursday, LSU only had four open dates on its schedule to work with. LSU also preferred to make the game up earlier rather than later with Southeastern Conference play starting up next week.
“It’s very difficult after a rainout to find an opponent that also has an opening within the 56-game schedule limit,” Mainieri said. “Louisiana College had an opening Tuesday, which is when we needed to play in order to avoid having two midweek games after we begin our conference schedule.”