LSU baseball: Tigers plan to start Alex Lange on Saturday vs. Florida State – SECcountry.com

BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU baseball team will go with its ace to open the College World Series.

Junior right-hander and Chicago Cubs first-round pick Alex Lange will start the LSU baseball team’s first game of the College World Series on Saturday when the Tigers take on Florida State at 7 p.m. CT. This will be the second start of Lange’s College World Series career, after a complete game win in his first start as a freshman back in 2015.

LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri explained the move in blunt terms. To Mainieri, Lange is LSU’s workhorse, and it’s smart to ride your best pitcher at the most important time.

After Lange, Mainieri wouldn’t divulge what his pitching plans are for the rest of the tournament. Freshman Eric Walker, who didn’t pitch last week as a result of LSU sweeping its Super Regional series versus Mississippi State, threw a simulated game of about 75 pitches Monday night to keep his arm loose, but he’ll still likely go more than two weeks without starting a real game.

Between Lange, Walker and senior Jared Poché, LSU has three bona fide starters it can use in Omaha. Those three have been LSU’s weekend starters every series this season with the exception of Super Regionals when the Tigers only played two games.

On Monday night, Lange expressed excitement for the opportunity to pitch in the College World Series.

“I’m excited,” Lange said. “I’m really excited for the opportunity. It’s going to be fun. This is why you come to LSU. This is what you want out of college baseball.”

Lange is 9-5 with a 2.92 ERA in 2017. He was named a second-team All-American and a first-team All-SEC pitcher, as well as being the starting pitcher on the SEC’s All-Tournament team after throwing a complete game shutout versus Kentucky in Hoover, Ala.

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