It’s a matchup that could tear a few Louisiana families apart for a weekend.
With only a few days remaining until the UL-Lafayette arrives at Alex Box Stadium for its ruper regional against LSU, the hype has certainly begun to build.
“This is going to be as fun as it gets,” LSU shortstop Alex Bregman said.
These squads are fairly familiar with each other. LSU and UL-Lafayette have won in each other’s home park over the past two seasons.
Last season, the Ragin’ Cajuns stormed into Alex Box as a top-10 program and came away with a 4-1 victory in a rain-shortened contest.
“I have the greatest respect in the world for Tony Robichaux and his staff,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “I think those guys do a great job, and their players are outstanding players. I know LSU fans will probably cringe when they hear me say this, but I actually like those guys.”
The same can’t always be said for the fan bases.
“I don’t think I can even imagine (the atmosphere),” LSU freshman pitcher Alex Lange said. “Anything I’d say would probably be an understatement. I know this place is going to be packed.”
It will certainly be packed. About 10,000 of the total 10,326 seats inside Alex Box have been accounted for Saturday.
“It’s going to be a blast,” Bregman said. “This place is going to be rocking, and we’re excited. Our team knows how good of a team they are, and we know they’re going to come in here and compete. We’re going to match their energy and just take it one pitch at a time.”
There is only one definite in the LSU rotation for this weekend: Lange will take the mound in the series opener Saturday.
“After that, we’re not sure what we’re going to do yet,” Mainieri said.
If sophomore left-hander Jared Poché were to pitch Sunday in Game 2, he would be coming off of short rest after tossing 8.2 scoreless innings in a victory against UNC Wilmington on Monday. He threw 121 pitches in that game and said Wednesday he felt normal soreness in his forearm and back.
“We want to see how he feels as the week goes on,” Mainieri said. “I can’t give you a percentage on whether or not he’d pitch Game 2.”
Super regional roster
After winning all three games in its regional, Mainieri will stick by an old saying: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Mainieri said that he will keep the same roster he had last week.
That leaves the same six players off the roster for the super regional — Kramer Robertson, Greg Deichmann, Kyle Bouman, Jake Latz, Brady Domangue and Ryan May.
Robertson remains hampered by an elbow injury that’s kept him out for more than a month..
Another Tiger title
The LSU baseball team may have its own sights set on a national title run, but Mainieri kicked back and watch another program play for a championship Wednesday.
he watched from his office as the LSU men’s golf team defeat USC. He saw every stroke of the match, jumping out of his chair as the winning putt fell to seal the championship. He called men’s golf coach Chuck Winstead afterward to congratulate him.
“I’m just so happy for him and his players,” Mainieri said. “It’s a phenomenal day to be a Tiger. We just pull for each other. I’m so happy for the golf team. They deserve it.”