LSU and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette are no strangers to each other on the baseball diamond, but the Tigers will be in unfamiliar territory today when they travel on the road for the first time in 2013.
The No. 9 Tigers (6-1) will visit Moore Field in Lafayette for the first time in 11 years. LSU coach Paul Mainieri is expecting the crowd to be ready to welcome its Baton Rouge opponents.
“We’re really looking forward to [tonight’s game],” Mainieri said. “Lafayette’s a wonderful town. I have many, many friends there, and I know they love their Ragin’ Cajuns and I know they love college baseball, too. I’m sure it’s going to be a raucous crowd, and I’m not sure there’s a lot of people who have a deep love for LSU over in Lafayette like they do over here in Baton Rouge.”
Mainieri said he’s looking forward to seeing how his team handles its first road challenge.
“It’ll be a very emotional game, and everyone will be fired up,” he said. “I’m sure it’s going to be a great environment. That’ll present its own challenge, but I’m looking forward to throwing our team into that environment and seeing how they handle it.”
ULL has matched up well against the Tigers in previous seasons, as the Ragin’ Cajuns (7-1) have won two of the last four contests against LSU.
Sophomore southpaw Cody Glenn will get his second start of the season, and Mainieri will again evaluate the lefty on the mound.
Mainieri noted that ULL’s offense could present Glenn with a challenge. The Ragin’ Cajuns’ offense has scored nine or more runs in four games in 2013.
“It’s going to be hugely important for [Glenn] to get us off to a good start,” Mainieri said. “You get into an environment like that, and the last thing you want to do is dig yourself a hole. Hopefully he’ll go out there and pump a lot of strikes. I’ve been watching the box scores for ULL, and they’ve been scoring a lot of runs this week.”
Glenn is still vying for a potential rotation spot with senior No. 3 starter Brent Bonvillain running into trouble late in his previous start. Mainieri said he hasn’t decided how much of an effect tonight’s start will have on the weekend rotation.
“It’s always an ongoing competitive situation,” he said. “One of those guys is certainly going to go to the bullpen when we get to the [Southeastern Conference], so right now it’s good for Glenn to get in these innings. My only concern right now is winning Tuesday night, and I just want him to pitch well enough for us to win. If he does, then he’s certainly in the mix [for a weekend rotation slot].”