LSU Coach Paul Mainieri Says Team Will Stick With Same Lineup This Week
The time for lineup changes is over. At least for this week.
On Tuesday, LSU (5-3) coach Paul Mainieri revealed all four of the Tigers games will feature the same lineup. The 13-year coach for the purple and gold hasn’t been afraid to mix up the Tigers lineup in the first eight games of the season.
Mainieri wouldn’t go into specifics about what the lineup will look like but wants to see what some consistency will do for the LSU offense.
“We'll see if we can win games with this lineup put together,” Mainieri said. “There's gonna be some young guys in there. Some of them may not have a great week but they've got to play defense. Let's run them out there and challenge them and see if they can handle it.”
Mainieri said the reason for the decision to stick with one lineup stems from many of his players not being able to get into a groove. Outside of the everyday starters like Cade Beloso, Saul Garza, Daniel Cabrera, Zack Mathis and most recently Alex Milazzo, the lineup turnover has been varied.
LSU has pretty much rolled out every available healthy position player in a lineup this season.
“We can't continue to do this. You know, what you're trying to do is be fair to everybody, but nobody's getting into a groove,” Mainieri said. ”I know that players play better when they know you believe in them and that you're going to stick with them.
"I just think this is a really important week for us to build confidence and to get a little bit of cockiness going and believe that we can beat the top teams. We're gonna bite the bullet and make some decisions for this week and stick to them."
LSU first baseman Cade Beloso said the team's starting to find a rhythm offensively and that a set lineup for a few games could help with the consistency at the bottom of the order.
"I think guys could get more comfortable and that's what our sport's about is being comfortable and just being comfortable with what you're doing," Beloso said. "Where you're at in the lineup I think that can help a few guys move forward."
One player that likely won't be in the lineup this week is infielder Gavin Dugas. Dugas is doing well according to Mainieri after taking a fastball off the helmet in the rubber match win against Eastern Kentucky on Sunday. Mainieri said Dugas initially showed some concussion symptoms but has since passed the cognitive tests with flying colors.
"He hasn't been cleared yet, and may not be cleared by Friday," Mainieri said. "I don't know if he'll be cleared all weekend. But the way they do the concussion test, his score is really good. It's not perfect, but it's really good."