LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri putting out a call for arms after dropping … – The Times-Picayune

All
LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri has to do to make himself feel better about
his No. 6 Tigers winning just one game in their SEC opening series at No. 3
Vanderbilt last weekend is look at the SEC standings after the first week of
play.

“There
wasn’t a single sweep in the league,” Mainieri said Monday. “Everybody is 2-1
or 1-2. So we’re going to look at it like we’re a game out of first place with
27 to go. I wish we could have won the series, but this (vs. Vanderbilt) was a good
series to get one win in.

“We
want to stay positive, but at the same time, we need to tighten it up a bit. We
have to do a better job of holding runners close so people don’t steal bases at
will. We’ve got to get a bunt down when we call for a bunt. We’ve got to
execute hit and runs, but I’m not going to get down our guys.”

The
No. 6 ranked Tigers, 17-4 overall and 1-2 in the SEC, play their weekly
non-conference game Wednesday night in Alex Box Stadium against South Alabama
(10-8) before a weekend home series vs. Georgia starting Friday night.

Mainieri
thinks it’s doubtful his team will face any pitching staff as good as
Vanderbilt’s, which limited the Tigers to 10 runs and a .147 batting average in
the three-game series in Nashville.

“It’s
such an embarrassment of riches that Vanderbilt has,” Mainieri said. “It’s hard
to believe they can put a (pitching) staff together like that on 11.7
scholarships. I admire them for being able to do it, because every pitcher they
bring in is throwing 94 to 97 miles an hour.

“I
felt going out there (to Vanderbilt) that if we scored 3 to 5 runs per game
that we should be fairly content with that offensively. If you score 3 to 5
runs, that’s double what they give up. The only way you can beat them is if
you’re pitching shuts them down totally. We did that Friday night (with Aaron
Nola pitching). Then we had two guys (pitchers) starting their first SEC
games.”

The
Vanderbilt pitching staff issued just five walks while striking out 22 Tigers.
When LSU runners did get on base, as Mainieri noted, they went nowhere.

“We
didn’t advance a runner the entire weekend,” he said. “We didn’t have a
sacrifice bunt, we didn’t have a successful hit-and-run, we didn’t steal a
base. Every time we scored, we either knocked them in or scored by error, and
it’s hard to score a lot of runs doing that. We had about 20 baserunners the
whole weekend and 10 of them scored.”

Mainieri
will start junior left-hander Cody Glenn (1-1, 4.79 ERA) against South Alabama.
Glenn, who has started in four of the six games he has appeared this season,
has been tagged for 26 hits and 14 runs in 20.2 innings.

“We
need and want Cody Glenn to pitch well to win games,” Mainieri said of Glenn,
who was 7-3 last season with a 2.68 ERA. “I don’t need him to prove anything to
me.

“He’s
going to have a tough time coming out of the pen, because he doesn’t have the
greatest control. He needs to settle in and get in a groove. If he does that,
he’s going to be very effective.

“He’s
pitched well at times this year. When he’s pitched well, you’ve seen why. His
sinker has a lot of movement, sometimes it tails out of the zone and guys chase
it. When he elevates it, it flattens out, he doesn’t throw exceptionally hard
and it becomes an easy pitch to hit.”

Mainieri
may have to do some pitching staff shuffling. Freshman right-handed middle
reliever Alden Cartwright tweaked his pitching shoulder in Tigers’
season-finale loss to the Commodores.

“We
don’t know how long Cartwright is going to be out,” Mainieri said. “He’s going
to see the doctor tomorrow (Tuesday). The initial prognosis by our trainer is
he thinks it’s a muscular strain, which typically is a couple of weeks.

“In
the meantime, we need an extra arm out of the bullpen, so Brady (Domangue)
would make the most sense. We’re going to bring Brady out of the bullpen on
Wednesday and see how he helps us.”

Domangue,
a junior college all-American last season at LSU-Eunice, is 2-0 despite a 5.06
ERA. He has pitched better in his two games as a starter than in his three as a
reliever.

“I’m
hoping our pitching staff can stay healthy,” Mainieri said. “Outside of Nola
(4-0, 0.27 ERA), we don’t have that one guy who can dominate and pitch deep
into the game for you.

“In
all honesty, when Kyle (Bouman) and (Jared) Poche (the Tigers’ other SEC
weekend starters) pitch, you hope you get six good innings out of them and you
can use your bullpen in the last third of those games. And that’s if everything
goes well.

“This
past weekend, we got four innings out of each of them and it put an additional
strain on our bullpen. I thought Bouman was fine after his first inning and I’m
excited about Poche.”

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