NOTEBOOK: SEC West still up for grabs

Cody Glenn, two others expected to transfer from LSU; Jared Poché has a busy week ahead; Senior Day ceremony rescheduled.

Paul Mainieri enters every season with a long list of goals.

Two of the many are winning the SEC Western Division and hosting a NCAA Regional. Both are still attainable for this LSU team with one week remaining in the season, it'll just take a little help from their rivals.

The Tigers enter the final weekend of SEC action two games behind division leader Ole Miss and one game behind Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and South Carolina, who are all tied for third overall in the conference.

LSU has its sights set on finishing in the top four of the SEC, which would secure them a first-round bye in the conference tournament and solidify their chances of hosting a regional at Alex Box Stadium.

The first step for LSU will be winning at least two games against Auburn this weekend, with a sweep the ideal outcome. Then the Tigers will have to turn their attention to the scoreboards.

South Carolina and Vanderbilt play each other, so if LSU handles its business, the Tigers would surpass the loser of that SEC East series in the overall standings. Ole Miss plays at Texas A&M and Mississippi State plays at Alabama, and LSU holds the tiebreaker on both the Rebels and Bulldogs after winning those series earlier this season.

So while the list of possible scenarios seems limitless, it does provide LSU with at least a possibility of achieving two of its biggest goals.

"If we do what we have to do, what we know we're capable of doing, we can still accomplish some significant stuff this weekend," Mainieri said. "It's not beyond the realm of possibility that by the end of the weekend we could be the SEC Western Division champs."


Cody Glenn, a former member of the weekend rotation, and freshmen Dakota Dean and Jarret DeHart will not return to LSU after this season. None of the three players made the team's postseason roster and have already left for the summer. They are expected to transfer elsewhere.

Glenn emerged last season as one of LSU's top starters, landing in the weekend rotation and earning a 7-3 record with a 2.38 ERA in 15 starts. But Glenn was suspended from the team before LSU's NCAA Regional and his only tournament appearance came in the College World Series against North Carolina, in which he surrendered three earned runs and five hits in just two innings.

Glenn entered 2014 in a competition with Jared Poché and Kyle Bouman for the other two spots in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. He lost out to the two newcomers, and failed to regain his form from the 2013 regular season.

In his seven starts this year, he allowed 14 earned runs in a combined 25 2/3 innings. He finished the year with a team-worst 5.51 ERA.

Neither Dean nor DeHart received much playing time in their first year on campus, as each player appeared in only 10 games with two starts.

Dean, the younger brother of former LSU great Blake Dean, did not record a hit in 10 at-bats this season. DeHart finished the year 3-for-15 with a double, triple and two RBI.


Freshman starter Jared Poché has a busy week ahead of him.

He'll take the mound Tuesday night against Northwestern State for the Tigers' final home game of the regular season. He'll return to action two days later to start the series opener against Auburn.

He's also set to start the opening game of the SEC Tournament, which could happen as early as next Tuesday, May 20, giving him three starts in the span of seven days.

"I'll get my rest in, Coach will make sure of that," Poché said. "I just have to go out there like I do every weekend and just throw strikes and get ahead of hitters."

But Poché's start tomorrow won't be much more than a typical bullpen session. Poché will not pitch more than an inning against the Demons, and he may not even last that long as Mainieri said the southpaw won't throw more than about 18 pitches Tuesday.

This outing is just to knock off some of the rust that's built up since his last appearance on May 3 against Texas A&M.

"It would be 11 days between starts [if he didn't pitch Tuesday], and that's just too long for him to not even be out there," Mainieri said. "It's just an opportunity for him to throw his bullpen, get on the mound in a game situation, face a couple hitters and we'll turn it over to other guys."


Mother Nature didn't just cancel LSU's series finale with Alabama on Sunday, she also got in the way of the Tigers' senior day ceremony.

LSU planned to honor the team's four seniors before the start of Sunday's game, but the inclement weather that arrived about an hour before gametime prevented them from ever getting the ceremony underway. So LSU will instead honor its departing, soon-to-be graduates before Tuesday's game against Northwestern State.

"It was going to be such a buildup for the game, and we never even got to the starting gate," Mainieri said. "I felt so bad, but fortunately we have one more home game."

For three of the Tigers' four seniors, the rescheduling isn't much of an issue. But for Christian Ibarra, it is.

Ibarra's family made the long drive from Southern California to College Station, Texas, last weekend to see LSU's series with the Aggies. They then tripped over to Baton Rouge and spent the last week in town awaiting the senior day ceremony that never happened.

After spending so much time away from home, Ibarra's family had to make the 24-hour drive west Sunday night and won't be in attendance for Tuesday's festivities.

"They had to go home," Ibarra said. "They missed like two weeks of work, so they had to go back…I thought we were going to get it in, but it's alright. My parents said not to worry about it, just go out there and have fun."

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