Sophomore right-hander Jaden Hill will pitch in a game-like setting for the first time since February when LSU baseball holds its Purple-Gold World Series this week.
Hill will start Game 2 of the series on Friday, which marks the end of fall practice. He is scheduled to pitch one inning.
Hill began his freshman year in LSU's weekend rotation. He made two starts and allowed two runs over 10 innings. Then, Hill did not pitch the rest of the season. He later said he strained the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right arm.
LSU hoped to use Hill in the postseason, but he felt discomfort before a simulated game. LSU shut him down, and Hill underwent surgery to remove a screw from a plate in his collarbone, the result of an injury he sustained playing high school football. The procedure did not relate to Hill's elbow, coach Paul Mainieri said.
Hill spent the summer on LSU's campus, working out as he rested his arm. He added eight pounds, Mainieri said, and LSU hopes the added weight will stabilize his elbow.
“Man, does this guy look good,” Mainieri said in July. “He has developed his body into a man.”
Daniel Cabrera has spent the majority of fall practice sidelined by a quad strain, but as LSU played an exhibition against Nicholls on Sunday, Cabrera resembled the player LSU needs him to be next spring.
Hill threw his first bullpen of fall practice in early September. He progressed steadily, and on Monday, he faced three hitters during a simulated game. It marked the first time he had faced live hitters since his last start.
The Purple-Gold World Series will begin Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. inside Alex Box Stadium. LSU will divide its team into separate squads. Redshirt junior Eric Walker and redshirt sophomore AJ Labas will start Game 1. Sophomore Cole Henry will face Hill in Game 2.
Each game will last six innings with, if needed, one extra inning. The games are open to the public with free parking and free admission. The clear bag policy will be in effect, and after Friday night's game, which begins at 7 p.m., the players are available for autographs.
Former LSU players will coach the teams. For the Gold team, Buzzy Haydel will serve as the head coach. Chris McGhee and Mikie Mahtook will be his assistants.
For the Purple team, Wally McMakin will coach Game 1 while Josh Smith, LSU's starting shortstop last season, coaches Game 2. Parker Bugg and Raph Rhymes will serve as assistants for the Purple team.