After losing their first home series against Alabama since 1996 and narrowly avoiding a sweep, LSU has to quickly rebound against a hungry ULL (12-8) team in the Wally Pontiff Jr. Classic in Metairie's Zephyr Stadium.
Over the past couple of years LSU and ULL have gotten to know each other quite well, culminating with last year's Super Regional that LSU won. ULL carried a lot of favor from the polls into the season, but a 1-2 showing in the Houston College Classic and a dropped series last weekend against Arkansas-Little Rock dropped them out of the polls. ULL has lost three midweeks to in-state opponents including Louisiana Tech, McNeese, and Tulane, but they have beaten Northwestern State and oddly enough, New Orleans, the team with the biggest turnaround under the Blake Dean regime.
Evan Guillory (1-2, 2.95 ERA, 21.1 IP, 5 BB 16 SO) will get the start for the Ragin Cajuns. In 21 innings pitched, Guillory has a sub-Mendoza BAA of .198 and a K/BB of 3.20. Guillory relies on his off speed pitches more than his fastball so if LSU wants to jump on him they need to take strikes to start off the at bat and work the count because the more pitches Guillory has to throw, the more likely it is that he begins to the miss the zone.
Brenn Conrad leads the Cajun assault with a .439 OBP, but that's mostly the work of his NINE hit by pitches on the year. NINE ! 9! For comparison, Bryce Jordan, who owns the high school record for the stat, only has seven on the year. Joe Robbins is the better hitter in the lineup with a .370 average with 5 home runs on the year. Robbins is also adept at dropping the ball where it needs to be, collecting three triples on the year so far.
I promise Brenn is his real name.
Cole McKay (0-0, 5.40 ERA, 3.1 IP, 4 BB, 2 SO) gets the start for the Tigers, the first of his collegiate career. McKay has only pitched 3.1 innings on the season thus far. In his limited exposure on the bump McKay has struck out two and walked four, surrendering five hits and two runs, both earned.
Brody "Bordy Waffles" Wofford will take over designated hitting duties over Greg Deichmann, who will be shuffled to third base in an effort to help make up for O'Neal Lochridge being out. Bordy Waffles came up clutch Sunday with a big line drive to eat away at Alabama's late lead.
After the game LSU will leave Wednesday to College Station for their big Thursday-Saturday series with Texas A&M.
This of course, is more than just a midweek game. This game is played in memory of the late Wally Pontiff, who was more than just a really great college baseball player. In lieu of the traditional Take Me Out To The Ballgame, a video honoring Pontiff will be played during the seventh inning stretch and proceeds from the game will go to the Wally Pontiff Jr. Foundation, which helps fund his memorial playground as well as supports local charities.
The game will be carried on Cox Sports TV, and available on ESPN3 outside of a cox cable blackout area.