OMAHA, NE (WAFB) - LSU coach Paul Mainieri says now that his Tigers are over their Omaha curse having beaten Cal State Fullerton, they can focus on evening the score with the same team that beat them 10-3 in their College World Series opener.
The Tigers held practice Wednesday afternoon on the campus of Creighton University in preparation for another elimination game. Senior Zac Person will get the start in the rematch against TCU.
It's only the second start of the season for Person, who has made 30 total appearances this year with two wins, a 3.34 ERA and 34 strikeouts. His only other start came back in early April against Auburn.
Coach Mainieri says he went with Person because of his experience as a senior, and the fact that he was a starter at LSU-Eunice, where he had the experience of losing the first game and coming back to win the JUCO World Series.
The Tigers will still have to continue to hit well, maybe even better than they did against Cal State Fullerton, if they want to pull of the tough task of taking down the Horned Frogs in a win or go home rematch.
"Nothing's impossible. We've won four games in a row earlier in the season plenty of times. We've run through the SEC. So that's prepared us, and we're ready to go," said senior DH Chris Sciambra.
"For what they did to us that last game, they beat us up pretty good. We're excited to have another shot at them. I think any team would when you get up by a team that bad," said left fielder Jake Fraley.
"As an offense, we want to be the guys on the team that really win the game for us because that's what we can control," said Sciambra. "We can't control if they throw strikes on the mound or if they make their pitches. So we just want to go out there and set the tone."
"For us to win against these teams, this team tomorrow night, we'll have to take advantage of almost any one of our opportunities," said Mainieri. "We're going to have to get some really clutch hits, have some good situational pitching. You know Alex Lange's not pitching in any of these next three games for us, so to think you're going to go out and dominate on the mound, that would be a big assumption."
While Person that will start, the Tigers plan to use a lot of arms against TCU Thursday with their famous Jack or Johnny Wholestaff rotation as they call it.
The Tigers have won 18 games, one third of their 54, using the wholestaff approach.
The game is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN. LSU will need a win against the Horned Frogs along with two wins against Vanderbilt to advance to the College World Series Championship.