The Tigers got out of their first SEC weekend with a win, something to cherish in this 30-game marathon, but there are lingering questions that are tampering down the confidence in this year’s club. Most prominently, how will the bullpen recover now that it’s best arms have been drafted into the starting rotation. Barring a terrible regression, Hilliard has cemented his weekend spot. Is Bain’s bat too good to leave in the bullpen? There are a few arm right now that I would charitably call “untrustworthy” at the moment, so some new blood needs to be found. To that en, Fr RHP Nick Storz will start on the mound tonight in brief action before a planned yield to AJ Labas. The Brooklyn native comes in with sufficient hype and has finally cleared his shoulder fatigue issue. Also back tonight is catcher Nick Coomes, who has finally cleared concussion tests. It has at times been thought and said that these midweek games are meaningless, but in a year where LSU will undoubtedly need all the resume help they can get when the post season comes around, the Tigers can ill-afford a fifth-straight loss to those dirty, stinking Greenies.
The Greenies (9-12, yet to start conference play) are off to a tough, sub .500 start, but they’ll get a lot of credit for a tough schedule. They’ve played Ole Miss (lost 3), CS Fullerton (lost 2), and Long Beach (lost 2). They’ve also had a bad time on the regional mid-week circuit, losing to ULL, UNO, SLU, and Southern Miss. They’re starting Fr. RHP Josh Bates (1-0, 4.30 ERA, 14 ⅔ IP, 8 BB, 12 K) who had success early in the year, but has gotten beat up and chased to a no decision in his last 2 midweek starts.