The LSU Tigers are hoping to make history and not become history against the North Carolina Tar Heels.
The game will fall on the left arm of Cody Glenn, who hasn't pitched in nearly a month. His last outing was on May 22 in the SEC Tournament. However, head coach Paul Mainieri is going with Glenn because UNC has six lefties in the lineup.
"I'm going to catch my groove and I'm going to try to catch that groove as soon as possible in the game," Glenn said. "If I can get that groove in the first inning, I feel good about my chances going deep into the game."
"A good sinker ball guy is going to be good in any park, if he makes his pitches," said Mainieri. "And, I just thought, ‘We're only going to play them one time. Let's run the left-hander against them and see what happens.'"
"He's been reliable all year, been a great arm and we're excited for him to get back on the mound and show us what he can do," added Raph Rhymes.
The Tigers appeared in good spirits during batting practice Monday. And, those bats need to come alive after popping the ball up all night against UCLA's Adam Plutco. It also won't get any easier against Trent Thornton, who is on the bump for North Carolina. He is 11-1 with a 1.28 ERA.
"He's a real cocky kid. He's going to come right at our hitters and we've got to be ready for that challenge. Try to keep the ball out of the air and do some things," Mainieri explained.
"We're not going to change our approach too much. We're just going to bear down, try to draw the ball through the infield, hard liners, and we should be alright," Rhymes said.
Many people thought this would be a national championship game, but unfortunately, either the No. 1 national seed or the top team in the polls, will take an early flight back home.
"We're excited for this challenge. It's something we've wanted all year. It's a great matchup, two great teams going at it in the College World Series. How much more could you ask for?" Rhymes added.
"If you start thinking about winning the national championship now and how many wins you need, you have to win six, that just seems overwhelming. Just like we did at the SEC Tournament, when we lost a game there," said Mainieri.
"There's no need for me or anybody else to have to try to fire anybody up because if they're not fired up, then they really shouldn't be playing this game," said Mason Katz.
The Tigers want to try avoiding that same history from 2008, when North Carolina bounced them from the College World Series.
The first pitch will be at 2 p.m. on ESPN. The winner will play either UCLA or North Carolina State at 7 p.m. Thursday.
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