In a bit of a surprise LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri announced Friday in Omaha before team practice that the Tigers will go with sophomore southpaw Jared Poché (9-1, 2.91) in Sunday's College World Series opener versus TCU (2 p.m., ESPN).
Many presumed Mainieri would throw freshman ace Alex Lange (11-0, 1.89), but it's now clear LSU's skipper prefers to save Lange for a potential winner's bracket game Tuesday that would put the Tigers on the doorstep of the best-two-of-three final.
Poché has been dynamite in his last two starts after stumbling in the SEC Tournament.
In helping the Tigers advance from Regional and Super Regional play, the Lutcher native allowed only one run and struck out 15 batters in wins over UNC-Wilmington and Louisiana-Lafayette.
Probably influencing Mainieri's decision is the fact that TCU features six left-handed hitters in its everyday lineup.
The Horned Frogs will counter on the mound with senior righty Preston Morrison (11-3, 2.55), widely considered one of the top pitchers in the history of TCU's program. Morrison was an eighth-round selection by the Chicago Cubs earlier this week.
Click on the link below for my take on the decision to start Poche, originally aired on "Bumper to Bumper Sports" on 103.7 FM (KLWB) in Lafayette.
Jared Poche tabbed for CWS opener
Tiger Blitz Top Stories
Tiger Bites: Inside Everything LSUCome inside Tiger Bites: Inside Everything LSU with the latest on LSU commits, a potential wide receiver target and what we're hearing on the offensive coordinator search.
Tiger BlitzYesterday at 10:20 AM
LSU commit Myles Brennan reopens recruitmentLSU quarterback commitment and four-star St. Stanislaus quarterback Myles Brennan re-opened his recruitment after the Tigers offered four-star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on Tuesday…
Tiger BlitzWednesday at 4:15 PM
Tiger Blitz Mailbag: November 30Tiger Blitz publisher Billy Embody answers all things LSU Tigers for members on football, basketball and recruiting.
Tiger BlitzWednesday at 3:40 PM
What LSU's latest QB offer means for TigersLSU extended an offer to Scout 4-star quarterback and Alabama commit Tua Tagovailoa on Tuesday night and it has major implications for the Tigers' direction on offense, Myles…
Tiger BlitzTuesday at 4:33 PM