Aces Go Head-To-Head In LSU-Ole Miss Match-Up
Collegebaseball360.com contributor Randy Rosetta covers LSU baseball for the Baton Rouge Advocate. He checks-in with a preview of today’s marquee pitching match-up between LSU’s Anthony Ranaudo and Drew Pomeranz of Ole Miss. Pomeranz went head-to-head last week with CB360 Prime Time Pitcher of the Week Blake Cooper of South Carolina.
NOTE: This game was rained-out Friday night and will be played as part of a Saturday doubleheader.
(Oxford, MS)–LSU coach Paul Mainieri will have a pretty good seat Friday when the fifth-ranked Tigers square off with No. 19 Ole Miss, with aces Anthony Ranaudo and Drew Pomeranz locking up for the second year in a row.
Just being in the stadium would be enough for him, though.
“I’d like to sit in the stands and just enjoy it,” Mainieri said.
“This is probably the matchup of the year in college baseball – two guys who are going to go in the top 5 (of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft) and for sure in the top 10 picks.”
Ranaudo and Pomeranz collided in the series opener last season, with Pomeranz and the Rebels claiming a 7-4 victory, one of just three losses Ranaudo suffered all season.
Pomeranz was 8-4 last season and is off to a 6-0 start this season with a 1.38 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings. He tops the SEC in ERA, strikeouts and opponent batting average (.165).
This hasn’t been a dominant season for Ranaudo – yet.
He missed four starts with a stress reaction in his right elbow and has come back to start on the last four Southeastern Conference weekends with a pair of victories and a 3.00 ERA. Ranaudo has struck out 22 in 21 innings and last week logged a season-high six frames with eight strikeouts vs. Alabama.
“I think Anthony is 100 percent and will be the Anthony Ranaudo of old,” Mainieri said.
A key for Ranaudo will be to keep his emotions in check as he strives to match whatever Pomeranz does. Last week a controversial call led to a four-run Alabama second inning, but the Crimson Tide never threatened again with Ranaudo on the mound.
“I have to go out there like it’s any other start, compete and set the tone for our pitchers, just throw strikes and be me,” Ranaudo said. “The bar is set pretty high this weekend.
“I’m 100 percent ready – no pitch count and my arm feels great. I’m back in my routine for everything, so now I can just go out and focus on winning games.”
Mainieri doesn’t expect the situation to overwhelm his big right-hander.