LSU goes with the Jack, Johnny Wholestaff approach for TCU

LSU goes with the Jack, Johnny Wholestaff approach for TCU

OMAHA, NE (WAFB) - The top-ranked LSU Tigers will have to win their rematch with TCU to try and make it three SEC teams among the College World Series final four. Florida joined Vandy in the final four with Virginia Wednesday night.

LSU may have a parade of relievers Thursday night to get the job done.

Zac Person, LSU senior and one of the leaders out of the Tiger bullpen will start the game. But the Tigers will use their Jack and Johnny Wholestaff approach, which is unlike a lot of other teams in the country.

It's a baseball term, but LSU's pretty unique with it. 9Sports wanted to get to know Jack and Johnny, maybe even distant cousin Jim.

Tell us a little about Jack.

"Well Jack and Johnny are pretty similar people. It's a collection of multiple personalities. I guess you could say he's a pretty odd cat," said Person.

"Jack's a great guy, you know," said Alden Cartwright, an LSU reliever from Runnels. "He's a man of many characteristics. He's never the same, and he changes personalities about every inning. So it's always pretty interesting when Jack goes out there."

"Jack's confident right now. We've done it before. He's ready to go," said freshman reliever Jake Godfrey.

Now if Jack were to use one member of the pen's fastball, who would it be?

"I guess Jesse because he throws the hardest. That would be the funnest to be able to go out there and throw 95," said Cartwright.

"Jack's got to go with Jesse Stallings fastball. That thing runs it up there," said Godfrey.

What's so unique about the way you guys use Jack and Johnny to piece games together and do it so well?

"It's our mental state. We pick each other up, and we're going to go do that again," said Godfrey.

"I think Jack's a little more cocky about himself, goes out the first time and gets the job done," said Cartwright. "Johnny's kind of like his little stepbrother. He gets the job done too, but it's not always as pretty, but he does the job.

"But I think we might see Jim too. Jim's the distant cousin, and if we go deep enough, we might see Jim too."

"When we say we're going to use a lot of guys, nobody on our team starts looking at each other saying, 'What's he talking about?' We do it so often that they understand that that's a strategy that we're using, and that they each have a role that they have to fulfill for this to work," said LSU head coach Paul Maineiri.

Whether it's Jack, Johnny or Jim on the mound at TD Ameritrade Park Thursday, know that the Tigers have been very successful this postseason when going to their bullpen frequently.

Wholestaff's defeated Auburn, Arkansas and Lehigh in the SEC and NCAA Tournament. Godfrey says the Tigers are all feeling pretty good about themselves right now.

The Tigers have won 18 games, one third of their 54, using the whole staff 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.

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