LSU Pitcher’s Text At 8:56 A.M. Said He Will Start That Night … Only He Didn’t Wake Up Until 11:10 A.M.

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Pitching is all about rest.

And LSU overnight sensation Nate Ackenhausen got his Tuesday morning. In fact, he slept through a text from LSU coach Jay Johnson that said he would be the Tigers’ starting pitcher that night in the College World Series.

The last time Ackenhausen started a game was at Eastern Oklahoma State Community College in 2022.

“I found out this morning,” Ackenhausen said Tuesday night after beating Tennessee 5-0 at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska. “He texted me at like 8:56 a.m. I didn’t wake up until 11. I was sleeping in a little bit. So, I texted him back around 11:10 a.m. I said ‘I’ll give it everything I got.'”

LSU newfound starting pitcher Nate Ackenhausen limited Tennessee to four hits in six innings for a 5-0 win at the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, Tuesday night (Getty Images).

Johnson corroborated the story.

“I can confirm the time lapse,” he said.

And what Ackenhausen gave fully awake on the mound.

Nate Ackenhausen Came Out Of Nowhere For LSU

“Proud. of Nate,” Johnson said. “Maybe a surprise, from a name, from a starter, but not a surprise performance. We’ve only lost twice when he’s pitched the entire year. I look for those things. He did a great job executing.”

The 6-foot-2 left-hander threw six innings. He had not pitched as many as four in a game through 15 appearances and 22 and a third innings all season. Ackenhausen allowed just four hits, struck out seven and walked no one for the win in front of 24,874. He threw 92 pitches and improved to 3-0 on the season. And LSU is now 14-2 in his appearances.

Johnson planned for much less out of Ackenhausen, but apparently once he’s awake, he’s on.

“Pretty much won it because I woke up today, I guess,” he said.

“The thought really was three innings, 60 pitches,” Johnson said. “My initial target was 12 hitters. And he obviously accomplished a lot more than that.”

LSU Must Beat Wake Forest Twice To Reach Title Series

Ackenhausen missed several weeks early in the season due to a hamstring injury. He has now pitched three times in the postseason. He pitched well previously in the SEC Tournament and at the NCAA Regional.

“Nate statistically has been one of our best pitchers,” Johnson said on LSU’s pre-game radio show. “When he pitches, we usually win.”

The Tigers (50-16) avoided elimination to go to 2-1 in Omaha. They now must beat No. 1 Wake Forest (54-10) on Wednesday (7 p.m., ESPN) and again on Thursday to reach the best-of-three national championship series that starts Saturday.

Johnson is expected to throw several pitchers Wednesday. If he gets by that game, he could throw ace Paul Skenes (13-2, 1.81 ERA) on Thursday on four days rest. Skenes is projected to be the first or second player taken in the Major League Baseball Draft on July 9.

Tigers Ended Tennessee’s Season In Omaha

Tennessee’s season ended at 44-22.

“Just felt good to be starting again,” Ackenhausen said. “Whole year out of the pen, I’ve been up and down with being hurt, coming back.”

Ackenhausen became the first pitcher in LSU history to start his first game at the College World Series, where LSU has been 19 times and won six national titles.

“Just took it all in,” he said. “That’s about it. Pretty good.”

LSU’s 3-2 loss to Wake Forest on Monday motivated Ackenhausen.

“I was mad,” he said. “I was mad we lost. I didn’t think we should lose to that team. They’re a good team. I just thought we didn’t play as well as we should have. But we get to go out and play them again tomorrow, right?”

That is correct.

College World Series Down To 4 Teams

The World Series continues Wednesday afternoon with No. 2 seed Florida (52-15) playing TCU (44-13) at 2 p.m. on ESPN. TCU eliminated Oral Roberts, 6-1, on Tuesday afternoon. TCU will need to beat Florida twice two reach the title series. Florida needs one more win.

LSU beat much more experienced starter Drew Beam, who fell to 9-5. He gave up six hits and one earned run. LSU led 2-0 after six and 3-0 after eight. Projected first or second pick of the MLB Draft Dylan Crews hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth for the 5-0 lead.

“To do what Nate did was unbelievable,” Crews said. “You could feel the energy and what was going on throughout the dugout. At the beginning of the game, you just knew that nobody was going to beat us today.”

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

Guilbeau joined OutKick as an SEC columnist in September of 2021 after covering LSU and the Saints for 17 years at USA TODAY Louisiana. He has been a national columnist/feature writer since the summer of 2022, covering college football, basketball and baseball with some NFL, NBA, MLB, TV and Movies and general assignment, including hot dog taste tests.

A New Orleans native and Mizzou graduate, he has consistently won Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awards since covering Alabama and Auburn at the Mobile Press-Register (1993-98) and LSU and the Saints at the Baton Rouge Advocate (1998-2004). In 2021, Guilbeau won an FWAA 1st for a game feature, placed in APSE Beat Writing, Breaking News and Explanatory, and won Beat Writer of the Year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). He won an FWAA columnist 1st in 2017 and was FWAA's top overall winner in 2016 with 1st in game story, 2nd in columns, and features honorable mention.

Guilbeau completed a book in 2022 about LSU's five-time national champion coach - "Everything Matters In Baseball: The Skip Bertman Story" - that is available at, and Barnes & Noble outlets. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, the former Michelle Millhollon of Thibodaux who previously covered politics for the Baton Rouge Advocate and is a communications director.

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