By LUKE JOHNSON
Tiger Rag Associate Editor
After getting their first day off in roughly a week yesterday, the No. 8 LSU baseball team will be back in action tonight at Alex Box Stadium against Nicholls State University.
LSU won five games in five days last week to push its record to 14-2 on the season. It’ll throw junior right-hander Brady Domangue at the Colonels tonight.
Domangue has made strides since the rough beginning to his LSU career, with his last outing being his best of the season. He went three innings in his start last week against Sacred Heart, allowing just one run while picking up his first strikeouts of the season. LSU coach Paul Mainieri has hinted that if Domangue pitches well enough in the starts, he could be in line for a weekend rotation spot later in the season.
The Tigers will throw freshman left-hander Jared Poché for the first two innings against Southern to get him some work before letting him rest up for a big weekend series against Vanderbilt, where he’ll start the Sunday contest.
Keep an eye on the weather forecast (and for that matter, twitter updates) throughout the day, as rain could potentially alter LSU’s schedule this week. If tonight’s contest gets rained out, LSU will play a day-night doubleheader tomorrow, with an early afternoon game against Nicholls and an evening game against Southern.
They don’t get much hotter than Andrew Stevenson, who went 7-for-12 in LSU’s five games last week, and has hit safely in each game he’s had an at bat in this season (14 game hit streak). Stevenson’s improved bat has made him a true weapon in LSU’s offensive arsenal. He’s tied with Conner Hale for third on the team with 10 RBI this season, and he’s hit three of LSU’s five triples. He’s also tied with Alex Bregman for the team lead in steals.
You can’t really pick on much with the Tigers lately. Pretty much everything is clicking, every cog is well oiled, etc. If we were nitpicking, Tyler Moore only has two hits in his last 10 at bats, but one of them was a homer. As we’ve documented before, Kramer Robertson struggled mightily on Saturday with four strikeouts and an error. It looks like Mainieri is toying with the idea of swapping these players in and out of the lineup depending on the pitching matchup. Against right-handers, Moore would play first base and Conner Hale would play second. Against left-handers, Hale would play first and Robertson would play second.
Senior third baseman Christian Ibarra will not play in either of LSU’s midweek games this week as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Mainieri didn’t sound concerned that it would be something that would hamper Ibarra (whose game is not predicated on speed anyway) as the season goes on. Freshman Danny Zardon will step in at third base while Ibarra recovers.
Aaron Nola was named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week after he tossed eight scoreless innings while striking out a career-high 12 batters against Purdue.
Freshman pitcher Jared Poché will get the start Wednesday, but will only throw two innings.
LSU vs. Nicholls State
- LSU: Jr. RHP Brady Domangue (1-0, 6.35 ERA, 5.2 IP, 2 K, 4 BB)
- Nicholls State: Jr. LHP Mike Hanchar (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 8 IP, 8 K, 5 BB)
LSU vs. Southern
- LSU: Fr. LHP Jared Poché (3-0, 1.00 ERA, 18 IP, 14 K, 2 BB)
- Southern: TBA
LSU (14-2) vs. Nicholls State (8-8), March 11, 6:30 p.m., Alex Box Stadium
- TV: N/A
- Radio: 98.1 FM
LSU (TBD) vs. Southern (2-8), March 12, 6:30 p.m., Alex Box Stadium
- TV: CST
- Radio: 98.1 FM