OMAHA, NE (WAFB) - "Jack Wholestaff" now has a Twitter account, as does just about anything that has to do with the LSU bullpen. That's the baseball world we live in, and for LSU baseball, that's become a regular part of their work week.
"We have a lot of confidence in Jack and Johnny Wholestaff," says senior Zac Person, who gets the start Thursday against TCU. "They're going to take care of both games for us."
The Wholestaff family, of course, refers to LSU's pitching strategy of using anywhere from five to eight relief pitchers to piece together a game, and they've been very successful with it. But without the luxury of having National Freshman Pitcher of the Year Alex Lange on the mound, the Tigers success will rely a little more on their offense as well.
"We've just got to score runs when the opportunities come," says LSU junior Alex Bregman, who began Tuesday's game against Cal State Fullerton with four hits. "We've got to drive in runners in key situations, and that will really give our pitching staff a lot of confidence."
LSU head coach Paul Mainieri says we're likely to see Bregman continue to bat first in the lineup, which provided a spark for the bats two days ago and is unlike any lineup Tiger fans or TCU has seen before.
"You're talking about the first batter they have to face is an All-American, second pick in the draft," says Mainieri. "He's not going to go down easy. He's a tough out. He's going right at you, and I thought that would inspire our team a little bit."
The Tigers need that momentum from Tuesday's elimination game where they burst for a four-run third inning to carry over. They'll face another one of TCU's best arms in sophomore Mitchell Traver. His 1.60 ERA is the best among the Horned Frogs starters with a few less strikeouts than fellow starter Preston Morrison who handled LSU quite comfortably on Tuesday.
With a 7:00 p.m. start, it will be LSU's first night game in Omaha this year.