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Zack Hess: From Wild Thing closer to psycho starter

9 months 2 days 11 hours ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 February 16, 2018 11:33 PM February 16, 2018 in Sports
By: Brandon Saho

Baton Rouge, LA - "If you take the name LSU lightly that's your own fault. Because at the end of the day, this is LSU so that means we are going to a kick a lot of ass and take a lot of names and we are looking forward to seeing all of you out there for 2018, thank you!"

Zack Hess, aka "Psycho Hess" going from the Wild Thing closer throwing high 90-heat, to the Saturday starter looking to bring that same Omaha magic every weekend.

"When we were at the series, there were a lot of questions about psycho," says LSU hitting coach Alan Dunn.

"Let me tell you, is he a psycho on the mound in terms of I'm crazy about getting you out? Yes and that's who he is but he's also very smart when it comes to managing the game of baseball and what it takes to pitch and what his strengths and weaknesses are. That's just who he is."

"Deep down it's just going to be the same me. That emotional part of it may be a little more bottled up so I can go out there and pace it over 7, 8 or 9 innings but I'm not changing anything about my approach on the mound. I think the goal is to go out there and be as aggressive as you can and attack hitters and that's the mindset I'm taking into this starting role."

"The thing that's going to make the difference between relieving and starting, is that you have to manage to get through the lineup three or four times so the pitch selection, the ability to command three pitches, because we are always going to off our pitcher's strengths rather than what they can't do."
"I think the change-up has come a long way and I feel like it's going to be a reliable third pitch for me along with my two-seam fastball. So I feel good with the arsenal I have so I'm just looking forward to getting back out there on Saturday."

With Hess adding that change-up in the off season, Coach Mainieri says his command with all three of his pitches is his biggest concern while keeping his pitch count down but he still has all the confidence that Zack can succeed in the starting role.

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