Hoover Dispatches: LSU’s Hoover Magic Continues, Rebs Pitching ShinesNotebook
• Another Magical Hoover Moment For LSU
• Ole Miss Pitching Steps Up Again
HOOVER, Ala. — If games were played on paper, LSU would have lost Friday night. Instead, its storybook run in Hoover added another chapter in a 12-2, mercy-rule victory over Mississippi State.
LSU had little pitching available after playing 35 innings in four days. Mississippi State had played one fewer game and had second starter and former first round draft pick JT Ginn on the mound.
This was as lopsided a pitching matchup as one could find. Instead, the Tigers erupted to chase Ginn in a five run third and drubbed the MSU bullpen for a seven-run fourth. It was all the runs they needed for the seven-inning stoppage.
“This is exactly the way we drew it up,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri joked after the game. “We are going up against a first round pick who turned down three million dollars to go to school and frankly we are pitching guys who didn’t pitch a lot during the year. So you had to love our matchup. The first six at-bats we had were as non-competitive as you can have. The first two innings, we couldn’t even get a sniff. He looked like he was going to dominate the game.
“Hitting is contagious. You get a couple of big hits and then everybody goes up there nice and loose,” the LSU coach continued. “It is hard to explain baseball sometimes. I have been around it 37 years as a head coach. I am not surprised by anything anymore.”
Mainieri turned to three pitchers that had not pitched previously in the tournament. Clay Moffitt made only his third start of the season. He worked 2.1 innings and allowed just one hit but walked three. Both of the MSU runs were off him. Aaron George got the win in relief with 2.2 scoreless innings of four-hit ball. Chase Costello entered with a 10.47 ERA but finished the game with two scoreless innings.
The trio had combined to pitch 17, 23,2, and 16.1 innings all season. Friday evening, they held a vaunted MSU lineup to six hits. Meanwhile, the LSU lineup scored 12 runs in two innings. Remember the eight teams who played Thursday combined for 13 runs in the four games.
“(It was) a tough night,” said Mississippi State coach Chris Lemonis. “We didn’t have things go our way. We could have made a couple plays, made a couple pitches or had some better at-bats in some innings to keep it going. We just have to reboot. We’ll travel back to Starkville and get ready to host a regional.”