All is right with the universe.
On a special note, LSU wore custom batting helmets and sweatbands for the #GeauxTeal campaign to raise awareness for prostate cancer. Tulane tries to contribute by wearing powder blue jerseys and pants, which aren't teal no matter what Jim Hawthorne says. So thanks for the effort Greenies, but you really mailed it in and now nobody is aware of prostate cancer.
Nine pitchers took the mound Tuesday night, and the only hit given up was a two-out single in the second inning by starter Austin Bain. Once again, the highlight reliever for me way Jake Godfrey. The kid might have found himself a true spot on the team, as he was the only pitcher other than Bain to pitch two full innings, and he brought home three Ks in the outing. That's a better performance than either of his last two starts, and builds upon the success of his last relief outing. Mainieri always seems to find these late to mid-season gems, and I think this might be the 2015 version.
If there is one sore spot on this staff, it has got to be at closer. Person and Stallings seem to alternate having bad outings lately, with Person taking his turn tonight by plugging the first batter. He would recover with a strikeout, but the struggle was real for a moment there. Stallings would get the final two outs, but against A&M and in tournament play we will need our starters to come in and close the game out.
On a side note, how spoiled are we as a fan base that a closer putting a single baserunner on is considered a borderline rough outing. Perspective.
Six runs on eleven hits and an inordinate amount of popups behind the plate for outs. Three in a row at one point as Hawthorne so astutely pointed out.
It really felt like things would get going early when Bregman got on in the first with a two-out double, and then promptly scored on a Hale double, but all was relatively quiet until the fifth.
The real early game highlight was watching Chinea step to the plate for his first at bat after taking that fastball to the jaw against Georgia. Naturally I was worried that he would hold back some, or at least seem uncomfortable with the added face guard screwed to his helmet, but Chinea was as cool as ever as he fought of pitches until he got one he could drive between a diving third baseman and a not-as-good-as-Bregman shortstop.
Then for good measure he stole second.
On top of all that, Chinea would kick off a four-run seventh inning with a solo homer to left center. Now I'm seriously considering taking a baseball to the dome. Foster would join Chinea with two hits on the night, while Conner Hale would contribute three hits and as many RBIs.
As usual in these types of games, the bench was emptied in the later innings, and I'm starting to wonder when we'll finally get to see a hit from the much hyped Greg Deichmann. He's appeared in seven games and is 0-6 with two bases on balls. Only one of those at bats resulted in a strikeout, but it is in the back of my mind every time he steps to the plate, and I'm sure it's in his also.
Solid pitching kept things relatively quiet tonight, although Bregman did commit a rare error on an errant throw to first in the third inning. In fairness, I don't think many could have made a clean transfer and accurate throw at the speed Bregman was working. Give Chinea a little longer glove and we aren't even talking about this play right now.
The error ultimately would just give us a chance to be reminded how awesome Cade Scivicque is as he threw the runner at on a steal attempt at second the next pitch. Scivicque would also catch a Greenie stealing in the sixth, because some people just don't learn.
#1 vs. #2 as the Aggies come to The Box, probably bringing their diseased ice cream with them. First pitch is Thursday at 6:30pm. That's right, Thursday. Game one will be on ESPNU, followed by an online only affair on Friday at 7:00pm, and then a 1:00pm showcase on ESPN. The weather looks like it may cooperate, so I expect it to be an awesome series.