LSU baseball makes change to weekend pitching rotation

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BATON ROUGE, La. — When the LSU baseball team takes the field vs. Texas this weekend, the team won’t look the same as it did last weekend vs. Notre Dame.

After a series in which LSU’s three starting pitchers allowed 16 earned runs in 10 2/3 innings, LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri is shifting around his rotation. Sophomore Zack Hess, who started on Saturday against Notre Dame, will move up to Friday night. Junior Caleb Gilbert, the Friday night starter in the opening series, will move to Saturday.

“I wanted [Gilbert] to pitch the opening game of the season,” Mainieri said. “I thought he earned that and deserved that. But I think when you compared stuff, the Friday night stuff guy who has a chance to dominate the opponent, Zack Hess has a better chance of being that guy.”

While neither Gilbert nor Hess pitched particularly well in the season opening series, Gilbert was the better of the two. Gilbert threw 4 1/3 innings, allowing 5 earned runs on 9 hits with no walks and 2 hit batters. Hess lasted just 2 1/3 innings, giving up 8 earned runs on 5 hits and 6 walks.

One advantage Gilbert and Hess will have moving forward that they didn’t have last weekend is at catcher. Junior Hunter Feduccia wasn’t available versus Notre Dame as he worked through an injury to his non-throwing hand. As a result, backup catchers Bryce Jordan and Nick Coomes had a tough time controlling the running game and framing pitches, making the game harder on LSU’s pitchers.

Mainieri acknowledged that because of this and more factors, he expects the pitching rotation to improve as the season goes on.

“Certainly 16 walks and 9 hit batters and 10 stolen bases and 4 wild pitches and 3 passes balls, all that stuff made for very sloppy baseball. That’s not typical of LSU baseball. And it’s not going to be typical. But I said this, and people don’t like to hear it, but when you have new players, there’s going to be some growing pains.”

LSU (2-2) returns to action on Friday at 7 p.m. CT for the first game of a home series vs. Texas.

The post LSU baseball makes change to weekend pitching rotation appeared first on SEC Country.

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