A pair of shortened games and some standout performances by starting pitching conspired to nix some of LSU coach Paul Mainieri’s plans regarding his bullpen usage.
Specifically, Mainieri mentioned junior Hunter Kiel and seniors Russell Reynolds and Collin Strall as three relievers he was hoping to use last weekend but couldn’t.
“The fact that we played two seven-inning games — and one of those games was a complete game — limited the amount of available innings to pitch,” Mainieri said.
He shouldn’t have any problem getting his players work with five games on tap this week, though.
After throwing the first individual no-hitter by an LSU pitcher since 1979, senior left-hand…
Sophomore right-hander Caleb Gilbert will start on the mound against UNO on Tuesday evening. Mainieri said he’s not sure how long Gilbert will stay in the game.
“We’ll see how long he goes, and after that we’ll use several guys, I’m sure,” Mainieri said.
Gilbert threw an inning in relief Saturday, and the longest outing of his career was 5.2 innings.
LSU entered the season as a consensus top-five team in all five major college baseball prese…
Freshman right-hander Zack Hess is in line to start Wednesday’s home game against Hofstra after working an inning in relief Sunday against Air Force. Depending on his efficiency and effectiveness, Mainieri said he will go a maximum of five innings.
“Hopefully he’ll pound that (strike) zone, keep his pitch count down and go out there and pitch an extended outing for us,” Mainieri said.
After throwing the first individual no-hitter by an LSU pitcher since 1979, senior left-hander Jared Poché earned some national recognition.
Poché was one of 10 players recognized by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper as National Players of the Week after he held Army hitless in a seven-inning contest Saturday. The only thing standing between Poché and a perfect game was a fourth-inning error by right-fielder Greg Deichmann.
It was the sixth individual no-hitter in LSU history — of which five were recorded in seven-inning games. Poché needed 79 pitches to finish the game.
Poché was also named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week Monday.
1. How about those freshmen?
LSU in the polls
The Tigers stayed put in each of the five major polls after sweeping service academies Army and Air Force last weekend.
Both Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Perfect Game ranked LSU No. 2, the USA Today Coaches Poll pegged it No. 3, Baseball America ranked LSU No. 4 and D1 Baseball had LSU at No. 5.
TCU remained the consensus No. 1 team in the country after sweeping Penn State. LSU will face TCU in Houston on March 3 in the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic.
Louisiana-Lafayette dropped in some rankings after going 1-1 this past weekend, falling to No. 16 in both the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball rankings. Both D1 Baseball and Perfect Game kept the Cajuns at No. 13.
Coomes to get a start
Mainieri is not sure whether it’ll be Tuesday or Wednesday, but he said junior-college transfer Nick Coomes would get a start at catcher during one of the midweek games.
Coomes is a Baton Rouge native and Catholic High product who transferred to LSU from LSU-Eunice, where he hit .359 with 13 home runs and 81 RBI last season.
Mainieri did not have an update on Jordan Romero, who sprained his ankle about a week before LSU opened its season. He did not appear in LSU’s first three games.
Romero served as the backup catcher last season and hit nine home runs in part time action. As of Sunday, Mainieri said Romero was not yet able to run or get in his defensive crouch.
LSU started 3-0 for the ninth consecutive season, and 10th in 11 years under Mainieri … The Tigers finished opening weekend allowing just two earned runs in 23 innings, good for a 0.79 team ERA … LSU was one of five SEC teams to go undefeated last weekend. Kentucky (0-3) was the only SEC team not to win a game. Former LSU assistant Andy Cannizaro went 3-1 in his first weekend as Mississippi State’s head coach.