GAMETHREAD: LSU vs Sacred Heart, 6:30pm, No TV, GeauxZone

As if it weren't  bad enough having the bad taste of an unexpected loss to Yale on Sunday linger around, Mother Nature has decided that the LSU Tigers need to have a true test of management and depth before beginning SEC play on the road at Vandy in two weeks. Coach Paul Mainieri's original plans for Jared Poche', the now presumed leader for the Sunday starting spot, to get a road start against the Demons up in Natchitoches were up-ended by the coldest Mardi Gras Day in decades and now LSU will be forced to play 7 games in 8 days, including 5 straight starting tonight. Poche' is still going to get that road start tomorrow, so tonight falls to Jr. RHP Brady Domangue (0-0, 10.12 ERA). This will be Domangue's 1st start at LSU, but it's the role he played last year as a JUCO All-American at LSU-E, so Mainieri is hoping the change will help Domangue turn around his bad start. If things go south quickly, I'm not sure if he's on a short rope or if he will be left to get out of his own mess, given the needs of the next few days. It's a delicate balance keeping pitchers properly rested, and Alan Dunn and this staff will need to give their best efforts to pull it off.

Sacred Heart (2-1, finished 2nd in NEC in 2013 with a 34-24 record) pulled a big upset to start their season last weekend by taking 2 of 3 from Tulane on the carpet at Turchin, recording 10 hits in each of the three games and coming within a half inning of sweeping the Greenies. For a team that had not been outside all winter, the Pioneers had only 2 errors on the weekend. Their own Mardi Gras game against Nicholls St (part of a Louisiana road start that will have them play at SLU this weekend before heading back home) was also canceled, so this will be the Pioneers 4th game of the year. It's hard to read much from stats after 3 games, but FR SS Zach Short (583/643/833) was clearly ready to play from day one. On Sunday, the Pioneers top of the lineup in 2B Ted Shaw, RF Jayson Sullivan, Short, and DH Dan Perez went a combined 7-for-17 for 5R, with 3 RBI from their cleanup DH. Sacred Heart has not announced a starting pitcher for tonight and it's unknown who will be available, but their staff came out of the weekend with a 3.25 ERA and NEC Pitcher of The Week honors for their Friday starter.

All this is hoping that Mother Nature finally starts cooperating again. Games today at Southern and UL-L have already been postponed because of the expected rain. It's been in the forecast all day for Baton Rouge, but it seems to be holding for now.

6:30pm start time, Geaux Zone only for video tonight.

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