Week Seven (4/1-4/3): at The Yellow Shoe Gumbo Bengals
Thursday @ 6:30pm CT on SECN+
Vanderbilt #80 Jr. RHP Kumar “White Castle” Rocker (6-0, 0.73 ERA)
vs. Yellow Shoe #11 Jr. RHP Landon “Eaux and Two” Marceaux (0-2, 0.75 ERA)
Friday @ 8:00pm CT on ESPN2
Vanderbilt #22 So. RHP Jack “Leits Out” Leiter (6-0, 0.25 ERA)
vs. Yellow Shoe #0 Jr. RHP Jaden “Bobby” Hill (2-2, 6.35 ERA)
Saturday @ 2:00pm CT on SECN+
Vanderbilt #66 So. RHP Thomas “The Mayor” Schultz (2-2, 5.14 ERA)
vs. Yellow Shoe #26 RS Jr. RHP AJ “Get Out!*” Labas (1-0, 2.77 ERA)
*Note: If you get this joke, you are likely from the Philippines.
2021 Record: 17-8 (1-5 SEC). It’s safe to say the first two weeks of conference play have not treated the Gumbo Bengals well. In Week One, they played Clanga at home and lost two of three. That’s not exactly shocking (though it’s not exactly normal, either). That they were swept by the Knoxville Chuggers in the field by the Sunsphere in Week Two is shocking. Though they were all close games (1-3, 8-9, and 2-3), that’s the type of series loss that’ll make the locals call for a coach’s head.
As I said in this week’s mail bag, “That’s not supposed to happen. Not now; not ever.”
It’s clear Mainieri is feeling the heat, too, as after the series, he went all Papa Holliday and got all pissy about the fans in Chuggertown:
#LSU Paul Mainieri not mincing words about the Tigers trip to Tennessee - says fans were extremely nasty, a few calls by the umpires were very challenging and the Volunteers didn’t exactly handle some things in a classy manner. @OTB_ESPN @JacobHester18 @TBob53— Jacques Doucet (@JacquesDoucet) April 1, 2021
Pitcher to Watch: #0 Jr. RHP Jaden “Bobby” Hill (2-2, 6.35 ERA). Though Hill appeared in only 4 games, and was LSU’s closer last year, he only surrendered one hit in 11 and 2/3 IP. As a freshman, he was sidelined with elbow troubles. He was expected to be Yellow Shoe’s Friday starter this year, though, and MLB scouts were intrigued. He’s currently being mocked in the top of the first round (though his recent struggles might change that). He has a power arm and a filthy changeup. In short, when the schedule came out, I thought a match-up between Rocker and Hill would be appointment viewing for everyone who considers themselves a baseball fan.
Unfortunately, Hill got roughed up in his first SEC start—giving up 9 H and 6 R in 7 and 1⁄3 IP against Clanga—and was demoted to the Saturday starter against The Chuggers. He then gave up 5 H and 6 R in 4 IP against the Vile lineup, of course. I hate to break it to Hill and the Gumbo Bengals, but having to face Jack Leiter instead of Kumar Rocker is not exactly an easier path to success. That’s where he’s currently slated to pitch, though. That game is in the prime time slot on ESPN2.
Hitter to Watch: #3 Fr. RF Dylan “Xander” Crews. Crews leads LSU’s lineup of X-Tacles with a .380 batting average, .483 OB%, and is tied for the team lead with 8HR. He usually leads off (though sometimes he hits 3rd). Here’s hoping Rocker, Leiter, Schultz, and the rest of the Diamond Dores arms turn him into Barnaby Jones.
Oh, and Barnaby Jones...
Confidence Level: High.