Bailey is 2-1 this season with a 3.54 ERA in 28 innings. He has struck out 33 and walked 7. Bailey logged two scoreless frames against Kentucky in the tournament opener.
This is a game the Tigers would love to win, of course, but it's not vital to their postseason seeding.
Does that mean a pitch count for Gausman, or an inning limit – especially considering he has logged back-to-back complete games?
Maybe. But I think a lot depends on the game situation as the sixth and seventh innings arrive.
If it's a taut, up-for-grabs game and Gausman's pitch count is manageable, I would expect he'll stick around. If either team is ahead by 3-4 runs in a tournament when scoring has been tough, I would imagine he'll be icing his arm and getting rested up for Game 2 of NCAA regional play.
But four of those strikeouts with runners on base three with a runner in scoring position, two in the first inning when the Tigers had a chance to produce an early lead against Stratton and squandered it.
Considering LSU got only four at-bats with runners in scoring position in 33 plate appearances, not at least putting the ball in play on those handful of chances was a major problem.
The good news from a pitching standpoint for the Rebels is that four pitchers have teamed up to surrender only 13 hits in 17 innings with 18 strikeouts and three walks.
The bad news? After the top three hitters in the batting order – Tanner Mathis (2-for-7), Alex Yarbrough (3-for-7) and Matt Snyder (5-for-7), the remaining Ole Miss hitters are a combined 5-for-48 in the tournament.
In 2010, the Tigers rolled the Rebels 8-0 in the semifinal round as Ben Alsup twirled a one-hitter to send LSU into the championship game where it outlasted Alabama 4-3 in 11 innings.
Two years earlier, LSU and Ole Miss met in the final and the Tigers cruised to an 8-2 triumph, part of a 23-game winning streak.