LSU will send freshman right-hander Todd Peterson to the mound for its SEC tournament opener Wednesday against the winner of Tuesday's game between Missouri and Texas A&M.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri said he plans on following Peterson with his usual weekend rotation in its usual order: Alex Lange, Jared Poché and Eric Walker.
“If we want to win the tournament, which we’re going to strive to do, at some point somebody other than Lange, Poché and Walker is going to have to win a game for us,” Mainieri said. “Let’s see if we can do it at the beginning.”
Mainieri had this scenario in mind last week when he started Peterson against Northwestern State. Peterson responded with his best effort of the season, allowing one run while striking out six in five innings.
This also allows him to keep Lange on regular rest, which he felt was important after the junior right-hander had averaged 116 pitches in his last five starts, including a season-high 125 last week against Mississippi State.
“I wanted to keep Alex on six days rest,” Mainieri said. “It’s no secret he’s worked really hard these last few weeks.”
DEICHMANN STAYING PUT?
Mississippi State was not planning on letting LSU slugger Greg Deichmann beat it last weekend, and it resulted in Deichmann drawing 10 walks, five of which were intentional.
Even after that happened, Mainieri — at least publicly — does not plan to shake up his lineup in an attempt to prevent that from happening.
“Every time he gets intentionally walked, it’s a base runner for us and it gives us an opportunity to score,” Mainieri said.
Mainieri said he thinks junior first baseman Nick Coomes has done a solid job hitting behind Deichmann, and that his results from the Mississippi State series would’ve been better had Coomes not have been robbed of extra bases on two different occasions.
Coomes finished the weekend 3-14 with 4 RBIs and 17 batters left on base. LSU still managed to average better than eight runs per game in the series.
“I think our offense is clicking right now … and I don’t see a reason or need to change right now,” Mainieri said.