Several LSU players remember one thing very fondly about Dudy Noble Field in Starkville, Mississippi: The park’s rowdy left field seating area known as “Left Field Lounge.”
“I got my ex-girlfriend’s name chanted,” Bregman said. “My mom’s name was chanted. They do their homework.”
This season’s matchup between No. 1 LSU and Mississippi State won’t have the same hype as in previous years, considering the Bulldogs’ 23-22 overall record and 7-14 mark in the Southeastern Conference.
That said, the atmosphere in Starkville could be rowdy with the rival Tigers in town for State’s home series finale of the season.
It will be a new experience for all three members of LSU’s starting staff.
“I’ve heard it’s a pretty fun place to play,” southpaw Jared Poché said. “They attract pretty good crowds, and (my teammates) said it feels like the fans are right on you. It’s always fun to play in atmospheres like that.”
Freshman Alex Lange said he is just looking at the road trip as another SEC weekend.
“It’s a tough place to play,” Lange said. “I’m excited to get out there and experience it. It’s going to be a good time.”
LSU freshman left-hander Jake Latz finally stepped back on to a mound to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday afternoon. LSU coach Paul Mainieri said the 25-pitch session “was ok.”
“While he was throwing, he felt good, but he was rusty,” Mainieri said. “You could see his command wasn’t great. He’s got a ways to go before you have confidence in him to be able to pitch in a game.”
Mainieri said Latz may throw another bullpen in Baton Rouge on Saturday.
Mainieri said seniors Kyle Bouman and Brady Domangue, sophomore Kramer Robertson and freshmen Greg Deichmann, Jake Latz and Ryan May did not make the team’s travel roster for the trip to Starkville.
Two weeks ago, sophomore infielder Danny Zardon wasn’t included on the Tigers’ travel roster, but with his success hitting against left-handed pitchers in 2015, he’ll be making the trip to Dudy Noble Field this weekend.
“Danny Zardon becomes an option as a right-handed (designated hitter) against left-handed pitching,” Mainieri said. “I’m not 100 percent sure if that’s what we’ll do (Thursday) night, but it’s a consideration right now.”
Lange, Stallings named to watch list
Lange and redshirt freshman closer Jesse Stallings were named to the watch list for the 2015 National Pitcher of the Year Award, which will be presented at the National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions on June 29.
The Tigers have an opportunity to win the award for the second consecutive year. Former LSU starter Aaron Nola took home the honor in 2014.
Mainieri to host luncheon
Mainieri will host a luncheon on May 5 at the L’Auberge Resort in Baton Rouge, and the event will be open to the public.
The event will be held at the Bon Temps Buffet on the resort’s main floor, and LSU hitting coach Andy Cannizaro will also be in attendance.
LSU (38-7, 14-6) vs. Mississippi State (23-22, 7-14)
When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Dudy Noble Field, Starkville, Mississippi
Rankings: LSU is ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation in all six polls. Mississippi State is not ranked.
Projected starting pitchers:
Thursday: MSU Sr. LHP Lucas Laster (4-3, 3.16) vs. LSU So. Jared Poché (7-1, 2.74)
Friday: MSU Jr. RHP Preston Brown (5-5, 3.76) vs. LSU Fr. Alex Lange (7-0, 1.86)
Saturday: MSU TBA vs. LSU Fr. Austin Bain (1-2, 2.83)
Online Streaming: Online only at SEC Network-plus, which is accessible at SECNetwork.com and the Watch ESPN app.
Radio: WDGL 98.1 FM (Baton Rouge); KLWB 103.7 FM (Lafayette); WWL 870 AM, WWL 105.3 FM (New Orleans)
In-game updates: @DellengerAdv
What to watch: What seemed like a premiere duel at the beginning of the season has turned into a worst versus first series that will be on national television each day. LSU leads the SEC Western Division while Mississippi State is in last place. The Tigers don’t need to drop a series to a squad with an RPI of 101.
Know your opponent: The Bulldogs have lost 10 of the last 12 games. They’ve won just one of seven SEC series this season and are heading for their first season without an NCAA regional trip since 2010.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.