OMAHA, NE (WVUE) - With no consistent third starter, LSU hands the ball to bullpen standout Zac Person to survive a second-straight elimination game.
"You know the reason basically is because he's a senior kid," coach Paul Mainieri said. "He's gone through a lot of experiences in his life. I think he's going to have the best chance to have the poise and composure and has the ability to back that up and get us off to a good start."
Person added, "It's just going to be the same thing as it always is, whenever our name is called, whenever the ball is handed to us, go out there and try to get guys out."
Person started once this season, fairing well against Auburn. He's thrown just 25 pitches in LSU's last eight games, but could see extended innings tomorrow night.
"You know he hasn't appeared in these first two games, and arguably he's one of our top four pitchers," Mainieri said. "I didn't want to wait until the 7th or 8th inning if we were losing by six runs. I'd rather have him pitch meaningful innings when the game is still in doubt."
After Person, the Tigers will use their traditional 'Johnny Wholestaff' approach of swapping relievers nearly ever inning. When using this pitching-by-committee attack, the Tigers have posted a 13-0 record with a solid 2.34 era.
"We love Johnny Wholestaff, he's a good guy," reliever Alden Cartwright said. "We never know when we're going to pitch, but we know we will. So you go out there and get your one, two or three outs and hand it off to the next guy."
Reliever Parker Bugg added, "It could be the first batter of the game or the last batter of the game, or somewhere in between. It doesn't matter to me. Any way I can help us win and get to playing on Friday, it doesn't matter to me."
"We have a lot of confidence in Jack and Johnny Wholestaff, and they're going to take care of both games for us, so we'll be okay. I think we'll be fine," Person said.
Person is a senior, but he's only been with this LSU baseball program for the past two years. Back in 2013, he led LSU-Eunice to the Junior College World Series, where they fought their way through the loser's bracket to win the National Championship.