Turchin Field is a comfortable place for LSU pitcher Russell Reynolds.
Everyone can’t say that.
After all, Tulane’s baseball park has an artificial turf infield, and the stands are abnormally close to the playing surface.
There’s this, too: “It’s not the most pleasant place for the LSU Tigers to go play as far as things they hear yelled from the stands,” coach Paul Mainieri said.
But for Reynolds? He’s just fine. LSU’s sophomore righty had a somewhat breakout game at Turchin two years ago. It’s still the longest outing of his career (7 innings) and the most strikeouts he’s every thrown in a game (4).
Reynolds – a year removed from recovering from shoulder surgery – makes his return to Turchin when LSU (21-3) meets Tulane (17-7) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in uptown New Orleans. He’ll start for the Tigers, a team ranked No. 1 in the nation in nearly every major college baseball poll.
“I will be more comforting knowing that I have pitched out there before,” Reynolds said. “There might be some extra emotion. I’ll be jacked up to pitch again and really extend it.”
He’s come full circle in many ways. LSU is grooming the Baton Rouge native to be its No. 4 starter, hoping to extend him more than ever in this, the third start of the season.
He was in a similar position when LSU headed to Tulane two years ago. As a true freshman, Reynolds shut out the Wave in a seven-inning outing that many thought would have spring boarded him to the No. 4 starting role that season.
Reynolds, a Parkview Baptist product, suffered his season-ending shoulder injury the next week and then missed all of last season while recovering from surgery.
Reynolds starting against Tulane isn’t just a coincidence.
“In my mind, I had dreamed that he might be getting along to this point where maybe he’d be ready against Tulane,” Mainieri said.
“I love pitching there. They’ve got a good fan base. It was fun pitching there,” Reynolds said. “It’ll be fun to go back.”
No change to weekend
LSU isn’t changing its weekend rotation – at least not yet.
Mainieri plans to start Jared Poché on Friday, Alex Lange on Saturday and Jake Godfrey on Sunday in this weekend’s Southeastern Conference series against Kentucky at Alex Box Stadium.
Poché struggled during LSU’s 5-1 series-opening loss at Arkansas on Thursday, and Lange, a true freshman, has a 1.42 ERA and is 5-0 in his six starts.
“This is not the time” to make a change in the order, Mainieri said on Monday. The coach hinted that a change might come later this season, a possible swapping of Poché, a sophomore, and Lange.
“I’m not saying something down the road couldn’t happen at some point, but this is not the time for it,” he said.
Sciambra keeps spot
For at least one more game - and possibly many more - Chris Sciambra will be in LSU’s lineup.
Sciambra, a senior from Baton Rouge, will be in the Tigers’ lineup in the game against the Green Wave. Presumably, he’ll bat leadoff as a designated hitter in a lineup that Mainieri says is “pretty much” settled about halfway through the year.
Sciambra supplied what Mainieri called a “spark” for the Tigers in the series win over the Razorbacks last week. Sciambra, who had not started back-to-back SEC games since 2013, had a three-run triple on Friday and four hits on Saturday as the Tigers won the final two games of the series.
“It was a lot of fun,” Sciambra said of Saturday’s 4-for-5 day. “I felt locked in. I was seeing good pitches to hit.”
Deichman, Jordan update
Greg Deichmann, a freshman out of Brother Martin who has impressed coach during batting practice, went through his first full practice on Monday since injuring his foot in the preseason, and rookie outfielder Beau Jordan could be back soon.
Deichmann played second base and shortstop in his first day of full drills since recovering from a stress reaction in his foot. Jordan will visit the doctor on Thursday with hopes he can return from a meniscus tear he suffered in the second week of the season against Boston College. He had arthroscopic surgery on the knee about a month ago.
In the polls
LSU fell one poll shy of being the consensus No. 1 team in the nation.
The Tigers are ranked No. 1 in five of the six major polls. They’re No. 2 in Collegiate Baseball, behind Texas A&M.
LSU (21-3) vs. Tulane (17-7)
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Turchin Stadium, New Orleans
Rankings: LSU is ranked No. 1 in five of six polls. Tulane is not ranked.
Projected starting pitchers: TU junior RHP Patrick Duester (3-1, 0.34) vs. LSU sophomore RHP Russell Reynolds (1-0, 3.38).
Online Streaming: None.
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: Russell Reynolds gets another shot to cement himself as LSU’s No. 4 starting pitcher, and he’ll do it against a junior college transfer that the Tigers don’t know much about. Patrick Duester has allowed one earned run, but nine total runs, in 26.1 innings on the mound.
Know your opponent: Tulane has an RPI of 79. The Green Wave has only lost two of six three-game series this weekend, and TU has a team ERA of 1.89, third nationally.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.