*Note: Posted below is exactly what we posted on May 25th. It is May 25th 2019, our team is on a historic march, and none of you can convince me otherwise.
Coming into the 2019 season, Vanderbilt and LSU were widely viewed as the two best teams in the country, and the Commodores — who are currently 47-10 overall and claimed the SEC regular season title — have pretty much held up their end of the bargain.
LSU, though, has been something of a disappointment; the Tigers are currently 37-23 and entered the SEC Tournament as the 5-seed after going 17-13 in conference play. The Tigers lost to Mississippi State in 17 innings on Wednesday night (and, well, Thursday morning), then needed Auburn to blow the game on Thursday to stay alive before run-ruling Mississippi State out of the tournament last night.
LSU’s pitching staff is depleted going into Saturday; Vanderbilt, on the other hand, has a pretty fresh staff. The Commodores needed just two pitchers to get through Wednesday’s opener against Auburn. Vanderbilt got through Thursday using three relievers, and had Friday off. Basically, everyone’s available for today’s game minus the two starters.
LSU is limping in and Vanderbilt is rested and ready to go. Anchor Down.
Thoughts from Andrew VU’04
On the Mound
Vanderbilt Fr. RHP Kumar “White Castle” Rocker (7-5, 4.32 ERA)
PodKATT, of SBNation sister site And The Valley Shook, is about as dialed in on LSU baseball as anyone, and here’s his best stab at who will be on the mound today (from last night’s recap of LSU’s 12-2 run-ruling of Clanga):
The astounding win has elevated LSU’s first round hosting chances from a maybe into a veritable lock from the many pundits who predict that sort of thing. LSU went to Hoover with that goal in mind and accomplished it before the weekend even started. LSU is now in the semi-final round of the SEC tournament for the 7th straight year and it’s all lagniappe from here.
Which is good, because LSU is down to testing out position players on the mound. LSU will face Vandy in the mid afternoon game tomorrow and Mainieri will have to scrape something together. Devin Fontenot seems like the only arm who might have some gas left, but with hosting secured, there’s no reason to risk damaging the already frail staff. I suspect we’ll find a new Todd Peterson tomorrow (though not actual Todd Peterson, who has already been ruled out of any more appearances this weekend) and a new legend of Hoover will be born
LSU’s official twitter account is also still silent on the matter. If it is So. RHP Devin Fontenot (5-1, 3.79), he pitched 4 and 1⁄3 innings of relief and registered the win on Tuesday against The South Cackalacky Game Penises. He’s primarily a reliever, though he does have 2 starts on the season. He will be pitching on three days of rest, so it will be tough to project any more than 2 or 3 IP for Fontenot.
Either way, it’s some form of Johnny Wholestaff game for the Jambalaya Tigahs, and possibly even a position player or two on the mound. Normally, this would be a good thing, but have you seen the illogical amount of luck the Tigahs have benefited from this year (and, really, every time they’re in Hoover)??? If PodKATT is correct, and it’s some yet to be determined position player... well... that’s just playing into the Luck of the Boudin Bengals.
PodKATT and many of the LSU faithful would have you believe that since they have likely achieved their goal of hosting, they’re going to let their foot off the gas. No. I’m not buying it. They just run-ruled Clanga with a death by a million paper cuts approach. They eliminated The Auburn War Tigers with pure sorcery. LSU is going to be a tough out, whether it’s Devin Fontenot, The Ghost of Pete Maravich, or a sentient 64oz Daiquiri from Lakeside Daiquiris on the mound.
Especially if that sentient 64oz Daiquiri is a soft-tossing lefty.
No letting up now, boys. Batters, barrel it up, no matter who’s on the mound. Defense, stay sharp. Time for Kumar to take us to White Castle.
See you in the comments.