Zack Hess announced on Wednesday afternoon his decision to sign with the Detroit Tigers, ending his LSU career.
Hess, a junior pitcher from Forest, Virginia, wrote a note on Instagram with his decision. After reflecting on his time at LSU, Hess thanked his teammates and the state of Louisiana.
Paul Mainieri dropped into his office chair.
"Still can’t believe it’s over.
It’s been 3 years since I first stepped foot in Baton Rouge. When I first got to LSU, I had no idea what I was getting into. I had no idea about the bond and brotherhood that coincides with wearing the purple and gold. I had no idea about the amazing people of Louisiana who make up Tiger Nation.
It was an honor to be apart of this University and community for the past 3 years. I learned a lot about myself during my time at LSU and I got to play with some incredible teammates. It may not have been the ending that we wanted, but I can’t even put into words how proud of the 2019 team I am. Just a blue collar group of guys who fought through every trial and adversity that came our way.
Thank you to my teammates for letting me be apart of that. Baton Rouge will always be my home away from home, and I will carry the memories I made here throughout the rest of my life. Thank you, Louisiana. Excited for the next chapter with the Detroit Tigers.
About an hour before a game in late March, Paul Mainieri found another reminder of his father, Demie. They had shown up often the previous two weeks.
Hess became the closer as a freshman in 2017, an essential part of LSU's runner-up finish at the College World Series. He pitched with a psychotic persona and a shaved head, earning him the nickname "Wild Thing."
Hess moved into the starting rotation the following season. He had some impressive starts during his almost two seasons as LSU's Friday night ace, but near the end of his junior year, he agreed with the coaching staff to move to the bullpen.
A draft-eligible sophomore, Hess decided to return to LSU for one more season. He ended his career 18-12 with a 4.42 ERA, and Detroit drafted him in the seventh round of the MLB Draft.
Freshman pitcher Cole Henry exited Saturday's game in the super regional with a nerve issue. He is expected to be OK for fall practice.
Ripoll announces transfer
John Curtis graduate Will Ripoll announced on Wednesday that he had transferred to San Jacinto College. Ripoll, who coach Paul Mainieri said last week intended to transfer, had a 6.48 ERA during his freshman season.