A better word to describe Mainieri's emotions after the 1-0 defeat.
"It's frustrating because we pitched so well and played good, solid defense," Mainieri said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't solve (Ryan Arrowood)."
Arrowood was the Mountaineers' starting pitcher who pitched 7 innings and allowed two hits and no runs and recorded 10 strikeouts, ran into turbulence in the first inning, but regained control, struck out five straight and retired 16 in a row.
"All of my pitches were feeling really good," Arrowood said. "I was just throwing it with strikes all the time. It felt good all around.
"I started off a little slow in the first and had to catch a little rhythm, but I pounded the strike zone from there on out."
Arrowood walked Tyler Hanover to lead off the game, and Hanover moved to second on a single by Casey Yocom. Hanover moved to third after a Raph Rhymes hit into a double play, but was stranded when Mason Katz struck out to end the inning.
"We lost out on a golden opportunity there in the first inning," Mainieri said. "We didn't have another opportunity until the end."
Arrowood kept the Tigers fooled from the second inning on, retiring 16 straight batters before Hanover knocked a single into right field in the sixth inning.
"We just couldn't get him out of his groove," Hanover said. "Once you see a pitcher get into a groove, they keep going.
|Eades allowed just one run, but LSU couldn't come alive at the plate|
"(Arrowood) worked very fast. He liked to get in there and work quick just to stay into that groove he had."
Mainieri, who repeatedly called the loss frustrating, said Arrowood's dominance seemed to rattle everyone – even Hanover, who recorded two of the team's three hits.
"I literally told Tyler Hanover that I wanted him to swing at the last pitch in the last inning, and he took a fastball for a strike," Mainieri said. "I just think it was one of those days where a guy got into a groove. He was a confident pitcher out there.
"It just got our guys into disadvantage counts all day and got us defensive at the plate."
As good as Arrowood was, LSU starter Ryan Eades wasn't far off.
Eades pitched 6.1 innings and allowed just one run on four hits. He struck out five batters and walked two.
"I just tried to match (Arrowood)," Eades said. "In a close game like this, one hit or one run can be the game."
Unfortunately for Eades, that was the case on Saturday.
In the fourth inning, Appalachian State DH Daniel Kassouf took a curveball over the left field wall – the lone run that would cross the plate.
"It wasn't a terrible pitch, but he got it," Eades said. "He won that battle, and that was all it took, unfortunately."
With his forehead buried in his right palm, Mainieri – for the first time in a young 2012 season – wondered what went wrong on a day that his Saturday starter pitched to the level expected.
"It's a shame to waste a great pitching performance like we gave," he said.
Added Hanover: "(Eades) pitched well enough to win for us. If we have a pitcher that comes out and do that, we have to be able to put up more than zero runs."
LSU will wrap up the weekend series on Sunday with a first pitch set for 11 a.m. Kurt McCune is scheduled to take the hill for the Tigers.