BATON ROUGE, La. — Rarely has something as meager as Jared Poché’s mustache inspired such intense devotion.
The LSU baseball team formally bid farewell to the pitcher’s lip whiskers in a memorial service on the mound a couple hours before Sunday’s series finale against Georgia. The hair was stored in a baggie after Poché shaved, then spread across the pitcher’s mound.
Senior second baseman Cole Freeman recorded the event for historical posterity. Though everyone on the team is clearly in a joking mood, they do comply when relief pitcher Russell Reynolds implores everyone to “Shut the hell up” as the mustache hairs are formally consecrated into the mound dirt.
— Cole Freeman (@ColeDrank) March 19, 2017
Why such a big to-do over a mustache? Coach Paul Mainieri permitted Poché to grow it as long as he kept opponents off the scoreboard. And for his first four starts, he did, though the month without shaving didn’t seem to do much for the fullness of his facial hair.
The streak lasted 32 straight innings to start the season before Georgia’s Keegan McGovern led off the fourth inning with a solo homer in an eventual 5-1 LSU win on Saturday night. Only Ben McDonald, the No. 1 pick in the 1989 MLB Draft, has a longer scoreless streak in LSU history.