LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - McNeese State baseball head coach Terry Burrows is changing things up a bit.
His regular Friday night starter Dustin Lloyd will not start in MSU's first Southland Conference Tournament game since 2007. Jaden Dillon will get the start for McNeese against Southeastern Louisiana.
Burrows says Zach Butler will get the start in the second game. If McNeese plays a third game, Burrows says Lloyd will get the start then. McNeese's head coach also said Lloyd may come out of the bullpen if needed.
As for why he made the decision, Burrows says it's all about how the two pitchers have performed lately.
"It's more just based on their last few outings," Burrows said. "Lloyd has been a little bit more inconsistent lately and I think he'll be fine. I think he'll end up throwing fine. But we just need somebody to go out that first game for sure and be able to give us some innings. And right now, I just have a little bit more confidence in Jaden to do so."
The stats certainly back Burrows up. In his last three starts, Lloyd's ERA is 13.88. Dillon's ERA in his last three starts is just 5.21.
Dillon also has had success against the Lions this year. He pitched ten innings in a complete game victory against Southeastern back on March 21st. Dillon only gave up two earned runs in a 4-3 MSU win. That's the only victory this season McNeese State has had over Southeastern.
I asked Burrows how Lloyd reacted when he heard he would not be the starter for the opening game.
"Nobody said anything," Burrows said. "I just laid it out there. I said here's the way the rotation is going to be and nobody complains. I think everybody understands. It is what it is but I think he'll be ready to pitch whenever he gets it."
McNeese and Southeastern will play in the opening game of the SLC tournament on Wednesday, May 26th at 9:00am.