Paul Mainieri has had enough experiences with Ivy League schools to know they are no slouches.
Fresh off its first loss of the season Tuesday, LSU (7-1) hosts Yale in a weekend, three-game series starting at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Tigers lost a game to Princeton in 2011 and Mainieri’s Notre Dame team dropped a game to Yale.
This Yale sqaud returns its top five hitters and top four starting pitchers from last season.
“Those kids are very mature, very confident,” Mainieri said.
Highly rated freshman hurler Chasen Ford, a righty, will get his first college start on Saturday against LSU lefty Kyle Bouman. Ford, a California native, was rated by Baseball America as the preseason Ivy Freshman of the Year.
Because of the Ivy League’s game restrictions, Friday will be Yale’s season opener.
LSU will start ace Aaron Nola against lefty David Hickey on Friday. Hickey went 4-2 with a 2.15 ERA during a rocky season for the Bulldogs last year.
Yale finished 13-25 and 10-10 in the Ivy League in 2013. The Bulldogs are picked to finish second in the Red Rolfe Division of the Ivy League.
Kramer Robertson’s mother gave him one word of advice: Respond.
Robertson, LSU’s second baseman and the son of Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey, had a base-running blunder and an error on a groundball during the Tigers 4-1, rain-shortened loss over Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday.
Robertson is set to start Friday’s game at second base. He hopes to follow his mother’s instructions.
“She said, ‘Respond,’” Robertson said. “You’re not going to be perfect every game. It’s to be expected. She wasn’t upset. Of course, she wasn’t happy. Nobody was happy. (She) said come out and play hard and see if I can’t have the best game of the year tomorrow night.”
Robertson was trying to turn a double play on his error on a grounder, the final play of a game halted in the sixth inning.
The base-running error came in the third.
With two outs, UL-Lafayette shortstop Blake Trahan made a diving stop of Mark Laird grounder, and Robertson, running from second, wheeled around third and headed for home. Third-base coach Will Davis signaled him to stop.
The throw easily beat him.
“Just got to run with my head up,” Robertson said. “I was trying to turn a double play too fast. (Mainieri) can live with plays where I’m playing hard. When I’m passive and nervous isn’t me.”
Sewald leaves school
LSU sophomore pitcher Mitch Sewald has left school, Mainieri said Thursday.
Sewald, a Mandeville native who appeared in two games last season, was arrested for driving while intoxicated and reckless operation in November.
Sewald was serving a multi-game suspension to start 2014.
Sewald has started a six-month pre-trial diversion program. If he completes the program, he won’t be prosecuted for the DWI, said East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III.
Mainieri’s take on Glenn
LSU pitcher Cody Glenn “didn’t struggle that much” Tuesday against UL-Lafayette, Mainieri said, but the junior didn’t have his best stuff.
“I didn’t think his two-seamer had the movement, the sink it normally does,” Mainieri said. “I don’t think he pitched terrible, but he can certainly pitch better than that.”
Glenn is expected to win one of the two Southeastern Conference weekend starting spots behind Nola. He’ll start Sunday.
Glenn allowed five hits Tuesday. Two were infield singles and a third was an odd chopper that got past third baseman Christian Ibarra.
Lighting it up
Workers installed brighter LED lights on the giant Tabasco bottle in center field of Alex Box Stadium.
A controller to the lights will be in the press box. The sign has the ability to flash, pulsate, etc.