(WVUE) - LSU head coach Paul Mainieri has a pitching dilemma that doesn't involve his best arm in the rotation. SEC Freshman of the Year Alex Lange will start Saturday, and reliable sophomore lefty Jared Poche will get the call Sunday, assuming the Tigers are still playing. But Friday is the big question for Mainieri.
Assuming the top seeded Tigers beat Lehigh, Lange's appearance will come against the winner of Tulane and UNC-Wilmington. But, based on what he's done this season, does it really matter who he'll face? Lange has been as dominant a freshman pitcher as LSU has had in recent memory.
With an ERA under two all season long, the 10-0 starter has been the rock of this rotation. And he's coming off a solid SEC tournament start against Florida in which he threw a hundred pitches over seven-strong inning. It was his first postseason pitching experience and the hope is that there's some carry over to the regional. "I'm very excited," he said. "This weekend, it was a good experience to get out there in a postseason environment with a lot of fans in Hoover. I felt very confident in whatever they're going to put me in. I know they're going to do whatever is best for this ball club and what's best for this team."
Team-wise, it's best that the Tigers keep things as normal as possible. Even though Lange has put up gawdy first-year numbers, keeping him on his usual pitching schedule should ensure even more success for the Tigers as the games get more crucial. "I'm ready to do whatever it takes if it's Friday, Saturday or Sunday, it doesn't matter to me. I'm going to go out there and be ready to compete."
First pitch Friday against Lehigh is set for 3 p.m.