It's not been the best couple of days for LSU baseball. Aside from the maddening rain delays and rain cancelations, 3 members of the roster have made an early departure before the final regular season weekend. Dakota Dean and Jarret DeHart, two freshmen who couldn't crack the lineup, have decided to transfer in search of more playing time. This is not an unusual decision and LSU loses about 2 players a year to this kind of attrition. The third loss, however, is former regular Sunday starter Cody Glenn. After a fine 2013 regular season, things seemed to unravel when he was held out of last year's regional round for skipping out on practice and he hasn't been the same since.
2013: 7-3, 2.68 ERA, 15GS, 84.0 IP, 17BB, 38K.
2014: 1-1, 5.51 ERA (highest on team), 7GS, 32.2 IP, 9BB, 18K
Glenn was not on the eligible roster this past weekend and was informed by Coach Mainieri that he would not be on the eligible roster for the post season. According to reports, Glenn will transfer to Lipscomb in the A-Sun, where his father was recently appointed to a head administrative position. I wish Glenn well, but the mystery of what happened to turn his career south will remain.
Tonight LSU will be starting Poche', who missed any weekend action due to the rain, in a "bullpen session" to keep him loose for the weekend, followed by Johnny Allstaff in relief. LSU needs to sweep this weekend and have a good time in Hoover and maybe even get some help from the rest of the SEC West to nail down a regional hosting gig that is now in serious peril. That all starts with a consistent bashing of the Demons.
Northwestern ( 30-21, 18-9 in Southland)has been on a pretty good tear since a middle of the afternoon weekday 8-1 loss up in Natchitoches back in March. They're tied for 3rd in the Southland, only 1 game back of the leaders with a series against SLU to close out their regular season. The Demons arent much to speak of offensively, but a 63 of 90 stolen base mark as a team is something to watch for.
Tonight is also a special event for the network and production company airing the game. Long, long ago, in the before time, former LSU pitcher Ronnie Rantz thought it would be a good idea to put college baseball, and specifically LSU baseball, on television. So he started Jumbo Sports, and more than a decade later an LSU baseball game not being televised is the odd exception, rather than the norm. As time, progress, and the increasing value of college sports has rewarded the SEC and it's teams with an unbelievably lucrative rights contract, Rantz and the crew at Jumbo Sports and Cox Sports are the unintended victims of success. The future for regional sports networks in the South is a murky one (Comcast Sports South, a mainstay of SEC games in much of the Miss/Bama/UGA region has already announced they're closing down in June) and the prospect of Cox Sports surviving on Sun Belt sports and a few Saints preseason games is not an optimistic one. If this is the end for Jumbo/Cox Sports as we know it, it's a shame. Rantz and Lyn Rollins, along with Greg Bowser during football and Collis Temple III for hoops, were the home team for LSU sports on TV. Biased, sure, but honest too. And they provided LSU a window on TV when no one else would. For that alone, they will be remembered fondly.
LSU – Fr. LHP Jared Poche' (6-3, 2.58 ERA, 69.2 IP, 23 BB, 43 SO)
NSU – Sr. LHP Andrew Adams (1-1, 2.93 ERA, 27.2 IP, 8 BB, 25 SO)