Batman and Robin. Holmes and Watson. Lange and Poche.
That’s the kind of stature LSU’s dynamic duo has held in the baseball world the past couple of seasons.
The argument could have been made two years ago that the Tigers had one of the best 1-2 punches in all of college baseball in Alex Lange and Jared Poche.
In 2015, they combined for a 21-2 record with a 2.50 ERA and led LSU to a College World Series appearance. Last year was nearly as strong, as the Tigers—led by the same pair of pitchers—earned a fifth consecutive national seed in the postseason, which has only been done once before in NCAA history.
LSU entered the 2017 season with expectations as high as ever and two familiar faces as the team’s frontmen.
“We push each other,” Poche says. “Whatever I’ve done, he wants to do better than me. Then when he goes out, I want to one-up him. If we can continue to do that this year, it’s always going to be a positive outlook.”
Poche has been a household name around Baton Rouge since his freshman season, when he went 9-3 in 16 starts. The lefty is back for somewhat of a surprise senior showing despite being picked in the 14th round of the MLB draft last year.
While Poche has already put three full seasons as a starter under his belt, Lange is entering his third go-round as the Tigers’ No. 1 arm, giving the pair a combined five seasons of SEC experience.
“They’ve been in every environment you can be in,” says pitching coach Alan Dunn. “There’s nothing you’re going to throw at them that they haven’t seen. How do you put a value on that?”
Lange is already loaded down with accolades on the collegiate level and is projected as a potential first-round pick in next year’s draft. But individual awards don’t mean much to the junior right-hander, who only has one benchmark for a successful season.
“I’ll know it’s a good year when we’re on the plane coming back from Omaha on June 27 with that trophy,” Lange says. “That’s what this culture and this town expect. That’s what we strive for. That’s the ultimate goal, and that’s the only goal that we have is to go out there and bring the national championship back to Baton Rouge.”
Career wins for Jared Poche at LSU. Just 11 shy of tying the school record. #winning
Total strikeouts for Alex Lange in two seasons. He’s 153 short of the school record. Swing and a miss.
Combined postseason appearances for Lange and Poche. Experience.
This article was originally published in the March 2017 issue of 225 Magazine.