BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The LSU baseball team arrived safely in Knoxville, Tenn. on Thursday, March 25, but it wasn’t exactly an easy trip.
Head coach Paul Mainieri said there were lots of delays and it was a rough flight because of the weather.
Earlier in the week, Mainieri said he was disappointed Tuesday night’s game at Tulane was canceled because of bad weather. He had intended to get pitcher Will Hellmers some more work on the mound, as well as some other Tigers out of the bullpen like Garrett Edwards and Aaron George, who didn’t pitch against Mississippi State.
You could say LSU’s Jaden Hill was a hard-luck loser last Friday night against powerful Mississippi State. Hill allowed only three runs during the first seven innings of action before State broke the game open with three runs in the eighth and won the contest 6-1.
Hill is, without a doubt, a high-velocity guy, typically firing a fastball in the high 90s but despite that, he registered only two strikeouts on 106 pitches.
“It’s a double-edged sword, Jacques,” said Mainieri. “If he strikes out more batters, it’s going to cause him to throw more pitches, which will mean he can’t pitch as deep into the game. I thought Jaden pitched really great baseball. He didn’t strike out a lot of batters but if he did, he would’ve only given us, say six innings. And then, we really would’ve had to lean on the bullpen. And with us behind in the game and with us not showing much offense, it would’ve been a tough call going to premier guys out of the bullpen. And if we would’ve done that, you end up losing 2-0 and use your best guys on Friday night.”
Mainieri has made a change to the pitching rotation. He moved Landon Marceaux into the No. 1 spot Friday against the Vols, while Hill will now be handed the ball to start on the mound Saturday. Marceaux has enjoyed incredible numbers this season, pitching 30 innings of baseball without allowing a single earned run, meaning an ERA that currently sits at 0.00, with opposing batters only hitting .140 against him.
Marceaux has also struck out 35 of the 100 batters he’s faced. Following Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Mississippi State, Marceaux took a stand and, as a leader, said there is no room for cop-outs.
“We’re not using that excuse that it’s a young lineup or we have some guys; we’re not using that excuse,” said Marceaux. “No excuses. You come in and get the job done or you don’t. And that’s all it is.”
Here are the game times for the Tigers and Vols this weekend:
- Friday - 5:30 p.m.
- Saturday - 5 p.m.
- Sunday - Noon
The games will not be shown over the air on television. They will only be streaming on SEC Network+.
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