In what will likely be his final regular season start in Alex Box Stadium, Alex Lange was brilliant.
The LSU baseball team wasn’t too far behind, putting together one of their better performances of the season – a far cry from the stinker the team laid against South Alabama earlier in the week.
The Tigers beat Auburn 4-0 on Thursday night – a game that felt far more lopsided than the score would indicate. That was because of Lange, who showed every bit of the form that will likely make him an early-round pick in the upcoming MLB Draft.
He pitched a complete game in the win, allowing just five hits without a walk, while striking out 9. He got ahead in the count throughout the game and was as economical as we’ve seen all season.
The performance was much-needed for LSU, because this is a game the Tigers absolutely needed to win.
Auburn’s pitching rotations for the weekend are back-loaded. They have their best guys throwing in the final games of the series. Thursday’s starter, Andrew Mitchell, was an unproven commodity and ended up being a dud, which made the game even more important for LSU to win.
Hitting Keegan Thompson and Casey Mize on Friday and Saturday won’t quite be as easy, because those two guys are among the best pitchers in the SEC.
But game one is in the books and the Tigers earned the win they desperately coveted.
Now, it’s time for Jared Poche’ to do his best Lange impersonation and find a way to paint that picture-perfect final act in Alex Box Stadium.
Poche’ has been up and down the last few months, but something tells me he will have a little extra juice in the tank.
He needs it.
LSU does, too.
The team’s shot at being a national seed likely hangs in the balance.
LSU – Jared Poche (8-3, 3.33 ERA, 73.0 innings, 49 strikeouts, 22 walks)
Auburn – Keegan Thompson (5-3, 2.08 ERA, 69.1 innings, 51 strikeouts, 11 walks)
LSU – Eric Walker (5-1, 4.09 ERA, 66.0 innings, 55 strikeouts, 16 walks)
Auburn – Casey Mize (6-1, 1.39 ERA, 64.2 innings, 86 strikeouts, 8 walks)
In other LSU-related news, I’d like to state right off top that I officially have a man-crush on new men’s basketball coach Will Wade.
According to a report by Ross Dellenger, Wade spoke at a Tiger Tour banquet in Covington on Thursday night.
During his speech, Wade told fans in attendance that at the first team meeting he had, only a handful of players were wearing LSU gear.
His response to that was priceless.
“No wonder we kicked you (butt) last year in the Bahamas,” Wade said with a laugh.
He didn’t say butt – he said the three-letter a-word, which I’m not going to say here.
But the answer is beautiful and is exactly what LSU basketball needs from its leader, that fire and that passion – someone who will make it cool again for folks to wear their gear on campus.
Will Wade hasn’t yet coached a game at LSU, but he’s won some points from me already.
That quote was priceless, and it’s time to make LSU basketball great again!
Wait a minute … maybe I should re-think my slogan.
Make LSU basketball awesome again!
Yeah, that’s it.
That sounds a little better.