LSU baseball notes: Order change sparks Alex Bregman

Maybe Alex Bregman needed a bump to snap his slump.

Bregman batted somewhere other than the No. 3 hole for the first time in his college career in LSU’s 2-2 tie with Georgia on Sunday.

Hitting second, the sophomore shortstop drove in the tying run in the seventh inning, an RBI single to right field.

Bregman is in the midst of, maybe, the worst hitting skid of his career, and he struggled this weekend in the clutch.

“It was nice,” Bregman said of the hit. “Just executed the approach. Coach (Paul) Mainieri called for a hit and run. Guys in front of me in the lineup gone on and did their job.”

Bregman’s hit might have averted a loss. The game ended in a tie because of curfew; no inning could start after 3:45 p.m. because Georgia had to catch a flight out of New Orleans.

Kramer Robertson and Mark Laird walked to start the seventh before Bregman came to the plate. He entered the at-bat in a 3-for-25 slide and had hit into a double play in the third inning.

He squared to bunt on the first pitch, then smacked a 1-0 delivery to right.

“Hopefully he’s going to get it going,” Mainieri said. “Going to be hard for us to win a lot of SEC games if Alex Bregman doesn’t hit.”

Bregman left the bases loaded on a flyout in Friday’s win over Georgia and stranded a runner on third Saturday.

Sean McMullen replaced Bregman in the order, and Laird took his place as the leadoff man. McMullen had never hit third in his career at LSU.

“I know there’s a lot of stuff I need to do better at the plate,” Bregman said Sunday. “And I’ll be working at it tomorrow — maybe tonight.”

Relievers show starting stuff

Mainieri and his staff last week discussed moving reliever Zac Person into a starting role before deciding against it.

Person and the entire bullpen’s performance Sunday might have them re-thinking the possibility of expanding a reliever’s role.

Person (2.1 innings), Parker Bugg (four) and Henri Faucheux (3.1) each pitched for season-long durations. The trio allowed three hits and no runs and struck out seven in a combined 9.2 innings.

“We just came in and threw what was called,” Person said. “Battled and competed.”

Said Bregman: “I think our pitching staff made a huge jump forward today.”

LSU, though, emptied much of a bullpen that is already hurting depth-wise.

The Tigers have 11 healthy pitchers. Mainieri used all but three this weekend: Hunter Devall, Brady Domangue and Cody Glenn.

Mainieri said he wasn’t sure who would start Tuesday’s game at Tulane (12-11). Glenn would seem to be the frontrunner.

“Going to be a pretty short list of available pitchers,” Mainieri said. “We might be going there with a staff of three available pitchers.”