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LSU's Bumstead, Mestepey ready to take the mound

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU coach Smoke Laval is planning to
start right-hander Nate Bumstead and left-hander Lane Mestepey in
the first two games against Texas A&M in this weekend's NCAA Super
Regional.

The Aggies feature several left-handed hitters in their batting
order. Bumstead has been more effective against lefties this year.

"It's because of my changeup," explained Bumstead, who has
been the Tigers' most consistent starter with a 10-3 record and a
3.51 ERA.

The senior has been the only mainstay in LSU's weekend rotation
all season and is the only current Tiger who started games in the
regional, Super Regional and College World Series last year.

Bumstead pitched well against Baylor in the Super Regional last
year and struggled against Cal State Fullerton in Omaha, Neb.

"I'm excited about the challenge," he said. "I know I can do
it. I know I can get it done."

Mestepey, meanwhile, has been terrific over the last month or
so, especially in a complete-game loss to Georgia in the SEC
tournament and in a victory over the College of Charleston in the
regional final Sunday.

After recovering from 2002 shoulder surgery, Mestepey has slowly
returned to form this season.

"Throughout the whole year, you want to gradually progress and
get better," said Mestepey, who is 6-3 with a 3.80 ERA.

The Aggies' rotation will feature their two left-handed aces --
junior Zach Jackson (10-6, 3.54) and freshman Jason Meyer (8-2,
2.45).

The series opens Saturday night, with the second game Sunday
afternoon. If a third game is necessary in the best of three
series, it will be Monday. The winner goes to the College World
Series which starts in Omaha, Neb., June 17.