JaCoby Jones was one of the crown jewels of LSU’s 2011 recruiting class and from all indications has a bright baseball future ahead of him. But his status with the Tigers right now is in a bit of limbo after an incident during Sunday’s a game, a 7-6 loss at Kentucky.
Jones was lifted in the fourth inning in Lexington after he didn’t aggressively go after a ground ball his way at second base. That ball got through for a base hit that triggered a three-run Wildcats' rally against Aaron Nola and erased an early LSU lead.
“I didn’t like the effort he made to get a hard-hit ball,” Tigers coach Paul Mainieri said Monday. “I thought he should’ve made a better effort.”
Mainieri said he doesn’t right now whether Jones will be back in the lineup when the third-ranked Tigers (32-9) entertain Southeastern Louisiana (28-13) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“I’m going to address that with him and we’ll see,” Mainieri said.
Jones has started 40 games this season and all 56 in 2011. His batting average has tumbled the last few weeks and is down to .245. He was hitless at Kentucky (0-for-8) and is 4-for-40 with only four runs scored in the last 11 games.
New mid-week look
The Houma native and Thibodaux High standout has been one of LSU’s most effective relievers of late and has a 2-0 record and 3.10 ERA. He has given up only four runs in his last 14.1 innings, with extended outings against Florida, Southern Miss and Kentucky.
When the Tigers and Lions tangle, junior left-hander Brent Bonvillain could become the third different pitcher to get a mid-week start.
Bonvillain was a regular starter as a freshman at Nicholls State in 2010 and spent last season at Delgado College where he was 8-3 primarily as a starter. In 13 relief appearances this season, he has logged 20.1 innings with 17 strikeouts and seven walks and foes are hitting .247 against him.
The other option as the starter Wednesday would be Joe Broussard, who is 4-0 and has started three of the last five mid-week games.
Losing two of three games at Kentucky did minimal damage to LSU’s standings in the national polls revealed Monday.
The Tigers are ranked No. 3 by Collegiate Baseball (down from No. 1), No. 4 by Baseball America (stayed the same), No. 6 by USA Today/ESPN (down two spots) and No. 6 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (down one spot).