Last night, LSU fell to Mississippi State 6-1 in a very lackluster performance offensively. Nothing seemed to go right for the Tigers and in this article we will discuss what happened and what the Tigers can do to bounce back in the final two games of the series.
Firstly, let’s talk about the umpires. While there is no excuse for minimal offensive output, the home plate umpire should be held accountable for some no calls at the plate that weren’t even close to being balls. Hilliard came in in relief and appeared to have landed a strikeout to end the inning but instead the umpire called the pitch a ball and on the following pitch he hit the batter. Also, earlier in the game Jaden Hill had at least 5 clear strikes not called. None of these pitches discussed were even close to being a ball and ultimately gave Mississippi State better opportunities to score. There was also a play at first that was reviewed that would’ve ended the inning but the play wasn’t overturned and the inning continued. To be fair on this one, it was so close that it is hard for me to dispute this one, it was literally a 1/2” difference.
Again, let me be clear, there are no excuses for the result last night.
Jaden Hill looked really good. While he did allow a home run, he looked very good. He showed that he can go deep into a game and maintain his velocity. He never looked rattled and truthfully looked like a professional out there. His fastball sat consistently at 94-96, while his change up stayed at 81-82. His slider was sitting at 87 and looked very good when he maintained control of it.
Tonight, Landon Marceaux will take the mound, and I expect him to do what he does best, record plenty of outs while controlling the zone. He has a full bullpen behind him, so no shortage of pitchers tonight and it is the perfect opportunity to bounce back from last nights letdown.
Offensively, yeah this one was a tad puzzling. While there were a high number of strikeouts, LSU was able to put the bat on the ball pretty well, unfortunately everything went right to the defender.
Collier Cranford was given the start at second and performed really well, especially since that was his first start of the year. He needs some more at bats, simple as that. Last season he showed promise at the plate and remaining active will get him to where he needs to be.
Hayden Travinski came in, in the middle of the game to replace Alex Milazzo and while he didn’t record a hit(pretty much no one did anyways), his presence behind the plate was not bad at all. We have seen his power over the last few games and we are seeing that he is also talented defensively. In my personal opinion, I believe that Travinski should be given the starting nod for the next couple of weeks and give him a chance to either lockdown the job or we see that Milazzo is the man for the job.
The main objective for game two should be to attack early in the count and go for the fastball.Oral Roberts did this to Jaden Hill a few weeks ago and the dominated him. Also, a change in the batting line up could help. Why not let Jordan Thompson lead off? Maybe Tre’ Morgan? Thompson has been on fire lately and Morgan has been flirting with a tad of a slump. As good and consistent as Dylan Crews is, he would fit better in the 3-5 spot. If I were the decision maker, this would be my batting order:
- Tre’ Morgan
- Jordan Thompson
- Cade Doughty
- Dylan Crews
- Gavin Dugas
- Cade Beloso
- Hayden Travinski
- Mitchell Sanford/Brody Drost/ Gio DiGiacomo
- Collier Cranford
I think a small change could be very effective. That said, there is a reason that I am simply writing/sharing my opinion and Paul Maineiri/Eddie Smith are being paid for these decisions. They know this roster best and I trust them to make the right decisions as the season goes on.
So to close, attack, attack, attack. Show no mercy at the plate, and for the love of God do not get struck out looking. It is never a good look to get swept during the opening weekend of conference play, especially when you play in the hardest division in all of college baseball. I am sure we will see a rejuvenated Tigers Offense as they take the field tonight.