LSU-SLU baseball game suspended by rain

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- LSU fans Jim and Cami Stiglets wait out a rain delay last season at Alex Box Stadium.
Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- LSU fans Jim and Cami Stiglets wait out a rain delay last season at Alex Box Stadium.

Game to resume at 1 p.m. Sunday at Alex Box Stadium

The baseball game between LSU and Southeastern Louisiana was suspended because of severe weather in the bottom of the first inning Friday night and will be resumed at 1 p.m. Sunday in Alex Box Stadium.

The game was scoreless and the Tigers had runners on first and third with two outs and Mason Katz batting with a 1-1 count when the game was stopped at 7:20 p.m. because of lighting in the area. A light rain was falling and the grounds crew covered the infield with the tarp.

The rain picked up quickly and alternated between heavy and light for a little more than an hour before the game was halted in anticipation of more heavy rain.

SLU, which defeated BYU 4-1 Friday afternoon to improve to 4-1, will play the Cougars again at 1 p.m. Saturday. LSU (5-0) will play BYU at 6 p.m. Saturday as scheduled.

LSU coach Paul Mainieri and SLU coach Jay Artigues agreed before the game that they would have a halted game if the weather became an issue, though that appeared unlikely at game time.

The consensus among weather forecasters was that there would be minimal rain at the ballpark, but a series of heavy thunderstorms developed from the southwest.

“We knew we had Sunday available,” Mainieri said. “It’s an NCAA rule that you have to agree before the game if you want to have a halted game. We both want to play the game in its entirety. We’re both trying to get our teams ready for conference play.”

Mainieri said he plans to bring Ryan Eades (1-0), who threw 10 pitches and allowed just a two-out single in the first inning, back when the game resumes Sunday. It’s likely that Artigues will do the same with Jordan Hymel, who struck out Chris Sciambra leading off, gave up an infield single to Mark Laird, got Alex Bregman on a liner to right and yielded a single to Raph Rhymes before facing Katz.

The Tigers will start Brent Bonvillain (0-0) against BYU on Saturday. The Lions will start right-hander Tate Scioneaux against the Cougars.

Both teams were scheduled to be off Sunday because BYU doesn’t play on Sundays, so the series of games began Thursday.

The Tigers beat the Cougars 6-5 on Thursday.

Mainieri said the “highlight of the day” for LSU was a 30-pitch simulated game that reliever Nick Rumbelow threw.

Rumbelow has not pitched this season because of an oblique strain. He threw his first full bullpen session earlier this week, then threw two 15-pitch segments after the SLU-BYU game Friday afternoon.

“He was totally painless,” Mainieri said. “He was up to 92 miles an hour. He was throwing the ball pretty good.”

Rumbelow is expected to make his season debut at Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday.

Mainieri said the way Eades threw in the first inning was also pleasing.

“I thought Eades was as good as he’s ever been,” Mainieri said. “He was throwing 95, 96 miles an hour with a great downhill plane.

“(Pitching coach Alan Dunn) said that in the bullpen before the game he looked as good as he’s ever looked.”

Mainieri said the disruption in Eades’ routine will prevent him from considering moving Eades into the Friday night starter’s role next week. Mainieri is still contemplating flip-flopping Eades and Aaron Nola in the first two starting roles, but if that change does happen it won;t be until Eades is able to get back on a normal routine.

In the afternoon game, the Lions scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth after BYU had taken a 1-0 lead in the top half of the inning.

Dylan Hills (1-0), the third SLU pitcher, got the victory by shutting out the Cougars over the final 1.2 innings.