Tigers regaining their roar?

Mark Menard
April 17, 2017 - 8:12 pm

LSU baseball seemed to relocate at least some of their groove in the past week, posting a 3-1 record and a series win over Ole Miss at Alex Box Stadium. Coach Paul Mainieri weighed in on his team’s recent run of success on his weekly radio show, and started by praising his hitters for the dominant way they opened their series against the Rebels.

“Ole Miss’s pitching was really outstanding,” Mainieri said. “They’re leading the SEC by a pretty wide margin with their earned run average. What a great all-around performance by our kids on Thursday night (in Game 1). When you look at the way [Alex] Lange pitched, in dominating fashion… Our defense was outstanding, as it was all weekend. And we swung the bat so well.”

LSU would indeed dominate that contest, winning 15-2, but the tables turned on Friday in Game 2, where the Tigers picked up a loss in front of the home crowd.

“It was a strange game because Poché really actually pitched a great game,” Mainieri said. “Jared struck out nine, which I believe was his career high, and he only gave up five hits, but unfortunately four of them were solo home runs.”

Mainieri lamented his team’s inability to find the gaps with their hitting in that Game 2 loss, leading to a rubber match on Saturday where freshman Eric Walker earned praise from his coach for another solid outing. Walker improved to 5-0 on the year to help lead LSU to a series victory over the Rebels, which could prove crucial in the SEC West race.

Now the Tigers look ahead to another important week that starts with a midweek game against the Lamar Cardinals of the Southland Conference and concludes with a trip to Lexington to battle the unlikely leaders of the SEC East, the Kentucky Wildcats.

Mainieri usually demurs when asked to look ahead to a weekend series prior to a midweek game, but did discuss Tuesday’s meeting with a Cardinal team coached by former Mainieri assistant Will Davis.

“Will Davis is a special person to me,” Mainieri said. “We shared a lot of experiences together, including winning a national championship… I’m so proud of him that he’s doing a great job over there at Lamar. It’s difficult to coach against a friend, but for about three hours, you just have to put the friendship on hold and do your job.”

First pitch between LSU and Lamar is set for 6:30 Tuesday night, and the game will be broadcast on WWL AM & FM, beginning with pregame coverage at 6pm.

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