Austin Bain will move back in and up a spot to pitch Friday in the second game of the series against South Carolina. LSU will drop Alex Lange down a spot so that he pitches in the finale Saturday.
That will provide Lange, who has struggled at times this season with arm fatigue, a full week of rest between starts.
“With the history of what he’s gone through in the last month,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri, “we thought the best thing would be to give him the full rest, so he could stay on the same routine he normally does.”
There was some speculation Mainieri made the move so he could withhold Lange from his start if LSU clinched the SEC title by the third game of the series. Mainieri denied that and said Lange will pitch this weekend, whether or not the championship’s been decided by the final day.
“It’s important for him to pitch and stay in the routine,” Mainieri said. “Whether or not he’ll go 120 pitches, I can’t tell you that. It’s all such speculation right now.”
Mainieri also made the switch with an eye on the postseason. With LSU set to play its first game in the SEC Tournament on Wednesday, all pitchers would have to pitch on short rest anyway. Lange will likely start the third game in the tournament on Friday — assuming LSU makes it that far.
“If he comes back on a week’s rest this week, then we may consider bringing him back on one less day rest in the SEC Tournament,” Mainieri said. “That would be OK, particularly considering he’ll have extra rest going into the NCAA Regional.”
Speaking of the SEC Tournament, Mainieri said Wednesday that Jared Poché is in line to pitch the Tigers’ opening game a week from today.
FOSTER EMBARRASSED BY ACADEMIC MISSTEP
Jared Foster owes somebody in the athletic department a really nice Christmas present.
The recently reinstated second baseman spoke publicly Wednesday for the first time since being ruled academically ineligible. That decision has since been reversed, thanks to an obscure NCAA bylaw uncovered Tuesday.
But Foster wishes he would’ve done better to prevent this from ever happening.
“It’s a second chance,” he said. “It shouldn’t have come to this in the first place. I did it to myself. I take full responsibility for it, but I’m very thankful it came out this way.”
Foster helped shed some light on how exactly he regained his eligibility.
It’s all thanks to Becca Hubbard, formerly the baseball team’s academic advisor. She now serves as LSU’s Athletics Certification Officer, mostly tasked with handling the eligibility process for incoming freshmen.
She was in Indianapolis this week for an NCAA seminar. There she had the opportunity to speak with people high up in the NCAA that knew the ins and outs of academic eligibility. That’s how Hubbard learned about the obscure bylaw, 184.108.40.206.7.1 to be exact, that got Foster back on the team.
The gist of it is this: college seniors must pass six hours worth of credit toward his or her degree. Foster did that, but received a grade in his facilities management class that did not meet the requirements for his degree. He still passed the class though, and that essentially is what reinstated his eligibility.
Foster said this was the first time this bylaw had been applied at LSU. And if not for Hubbard, they may have never known it existed.
“Becca is a wonderful person,” Mainieri said. “We’re already starting to build a statue of her outside The Box.”