By JAMES MORAN
Tiger Rag Associate Editor
Alex Lange won’t be at Alex Box Stadium when LSU takes on Fordham in the middle of three games on Saturday afternoon.
That’s precisely the way Paul Mainieri wants it. Instead, John Valek will pitch game one and the sophomore ace will tow the rubber in the night portion of Saturday’s split admission double header.
“I wanted Alex Lange to have a night game so that he can get into his normal gameday routine for when he pitches a night game,” Mainieri said. “I’m not even having him come to the field for the day game. I want him to go through his normal routine. Where he eats, sleeps, whatever his normal routine is for a night game in preparation for SEC weekend.”
Beyond flip flopping his second and third starters, Mainieri said the approach won’t be any different for LSU (6-2) to play three games in two days against Fordham (3-4).
The Rams couldn’t get a late enough flight to play Sunday, Mainieri said, hence the double header.
NEWS AND NOTES
– Mainieri refereed to freshman reliever Caleb Gilbert as his “end of the game guy,” essentially confirming the rookie’s ascension to the closer role. He also said Jesse Stallings was a setup man who would fill that role if Gilbert wasn’t available.
– Unsure who’d play first base this weekend, Mainieri said he expected both Bryce Jordan and Greg Deichmann to see time there. Jordan has started the past two games at the position, and Mainieri re-itterated Thursday that he felt his backhanded pick in the first inning was one of the key plays in LSU’s 9-4 victory at Nicholls State.
– Left fielder Beau Jordan saw a doctor Thursday after tweaking his groin in the weight room, Mainieri said. He’ll be a game-time decision for Friday night’s opener.
LSU – Jr. LHP Jared Poche’ (1-0, 1.42 ERA, 12.2 IP, 6 BB, 13 SO)
Fordham – Jr. RHP Greg Weissert (0-0, 1.74 ERA, 10.1 IP, 7 BB 12 SO)
Saturday – Game 1 of DH
LSU – Sr. LHP John Valek III (2-0, 2.13 ERA, 12.2 IP, 0 BB, 13 SO)
Fordham – Sr. RHP Joseph Serrapica (0-2, 5.91 ERA, 10.2 IP, 4 BB, 8 SO)
Saturday – Game 2 of DH
LSU – So. RHP Alex Lange (1-0, 2.31 ERA, 11.2 IP, 6 BB, 18 SO)
Fordham – Sr. RHP Jimmy Murphy (0-1, 10.38 ERA, 8.2, 6 BB, 11 SO)
Friday, March 4 – 7 p.m. CT
Saturday, March 5 (DH) – 2 p.m. CT and 6:30 p.m. CT
Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge, La.
LSU – No. 6 by Perfect Game; No. 7 by Baseball America; No. 7 by D1 Baseball; No. 10 by Collegiate Baseball
Fordham – unranked
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge on Friday and the second game on Saturday; WTGE 100.7 FM in Baton Rouge for the first game on Saturday)
LSUsports.net – live audio and live stats
SEC Network + – accessible at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app
Friday’s game will mark the first meeting between LSU and Fordham. The Tigers are 11-3 all-time against current members of the Atlantic 10 Conference – LSU is 5-1 against Virginia Commonwealth, 3-0 against St. Louis, 2-1 versus George Washington and 1-1 versus Dayton.