Jake Godfrey has started restraining his emotions.
It’s not easy.
“Everyone has to work on something,” Godfrey said. “I’ve got to work on being a little more even keeled.”
LSU’s freshman pitcher will start against Kansas in the third game of the season-opening three-game series on Sunday. And the toughest thing he might have to do is control emotions and reactions on the mound.
His 93-94 miles per hour fastball — one with more movement than most — is just fine. But those emotions? It’s time to keep them in check.
Coach Paul Mainieri and pitching coach Alan Dunn spent much of preseason practice preaching to the rookie from Illinois not to react to each pitch.
“Jake Godfrey’s a competitor,” Mainieri said. “When he goes out on that mound, he wants to beat you more than he wants to breathe. When a guy puts so much into it, sometimes his emotions get carries away.”
Mainieri has seen a change in Godfrey ahead of this weekend’s series, he said. Shortstop Alex Bregman has helped, Godfrey said. The two have become close friends.
“I’ve got Alex Bregman behind me yelling at many at times. ‘Hey, you got this, you got this,’ ” Godfrey said. “He’s very vocal. It helps.”
Godfrey was told Sunday night that he’d start this weekend.
“It’s a dream come true,” he said.
Is he nervous and will he be nervous? Yeah, probably, and that’s OK with him.
“Everyone should be nervous,” he said. “It’s a good thing. Keeps you on edge. Keeps you ready to go. Other than that, I’m just going to use the nerves for good.”
Bregman named to list
Bregman was named to the preseason USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list on Tuesday.
The list features 50 of the nation’s top amateur players, and will be a “rolling” list until May 22, when the semifinalists for the award are announced.
LSU caps season tickets at 9,200
LSU has capped its season ticket sales at 9,200, the second-most in school history, and only standing-room tickets remain for Friday’s season opener against Kansas.
Most of LSU’s Southeastern Conference games are soldout, aside from standing room only spots.
The school capped season tickets this year at 9,200, something that wasn’t done a year ago. LSU sold 9,300 season tickets last year. Some on a waiting list were turned back, said Eric Hummel, assistant manager for ticket sales who oversees baseball.
Houston College Classic tickets
Tickets for LSU’s three games at the Houston College Classic on March 6-8 are available for sale at www.astros.com/collegeclassic or by calling 1-877-9ASTROS.
Adult tickets purchased in advance are available for a $16 daily admission, as well as a $36 three-day tournament pass. Tickets for high school and college students, with a valid student ID, and children (ages 4-14) are available. Season ticket holders (27-game packages and up) are offered a $10 daily ticket and a $24 tournament pass.
LSU meets Houston (March 6), Baylor (March 7) and Nebraska (March 8) at the tournament at Minute Maid Park.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.