LSU will face SU next week; Tigers take another look at staff
LSU’s Wally Pontiff Jr. Foundation Classic baseball game at Zephyr Field was postponed Wednesday and rescheduled for next Tuesday, April 9.
The second-ranked Tigers were scheduled to play Southern Mississippi, but will now play Southern University at 7 p.m.
The only midweek date that was available for LSU and Southern Miss was April 23, which is the day before the Golden Eagles are scheduled to play Alabama.
“They were not all that interested in playing back-to-back midweek games against LSU and Alabama between conference series,” Tigers coach Paul Mainieri said, “and I can’t fault them for not wanting to do that.”
Mainieri said he contacted Southern coach Roger Cador about a backup plan Tuesday after seeing the forecast called for heavy rain overnight into Wednesday.
“Roger was willing to help us out of respect for Wally Pontiff,” Mainieri said. “We’re grateful that he was open and willing to play. We really want to have the game to help the Wally Pontiff Jr. Foundation.”
The infield at Zephyr Field was covered during the overnight rains that lasted into Wednesday afternoon.
The situation was complicated because both teams had to bus in for the game, and there was uncertainty if the right-field pole lights would be working — even if the rain cleared in time for the game to happen.
The lights had gone out during a Zephyrs practice Monday night. The electrician working on the lights Tuesday determined that he had to replace a breaker, but one had to be shipped in from Las Vegas and didn’t arrive until mid-day Wednesday.
At that point, it was time to decide whether the teams would make the trip not knowing if the weather would clear and the repairs would be completed in time for the game to be played.
“Paul wanted to play and we wanted to play,” said Zephyrs chief operating officer Ron Maestri, who made the decision to call the game. “But it was a combination of both things (the weather and the lights).”
LSU and Southern already were scheduled to play at 6:30 p.m. next Wednesday at Alex Box Stadium, so they will now meet on consecutive nights.
Tickets for the rained-out game can be used for the game next Tuesday at Zephyr Field.
Tigers sophomore left-hander Cody Glenn was scheduled to start Wednesday, which would have been an opportunity to get back on track after he allowed five runs in 1.2 innings at Missouri last Sunday.
Mainieri said he’s unsure if Glenn, who has been hit hard in two of his three SEC starts, will stay in the Sunday role against Kentucky this weekend.
Mainieri likely won’t announce his Sunday starter until after Saturday’s game against the Wildcats.
Freshman right-hander Russell Reynolds of Parkview Baptist, who gave up two homers and three runs in two innings against Alcorn State on Tuesday, “didn’t feel normal” in the outing and will be checked Thursday to see if there’s any health issue, Mainieri said.
“He’ll probably be unavailable this weekend,” Mainieri said.
Mainieri, who put his team through a practice at Alex Box on Wednesday afternoon, said his “inclination” is to bat Sean McMullen leadoff and use Alex Edward as the designated hitter against Kentucky, which is expected to start three left-handers.