With plenty of recent ads for the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, it only makes sense that the NCAA baseball tournament would feature an on-field one. In LSU’s 4-3 comeback win over Mississippi State in the opener of their three-game super regional series Saturday, freshman relief pitcher Zack Hess managed to deliver that, getting the final four outs with a spider on his hat:
— PodKATT (@valleyshook) June 11, 2017
Here’s another look at the spider:
— Andrew Van Etten (@andrewvanetten) June 11, 2017
And Hess had some Spider-Man style powers going on, including intense focus and intimidation. Long-time LSU coach Paul Maineri told James Moran of Tiger Rag afterwards that he decided to stick with Hess over veteran closer Hunter Newman thanks to Hess being “like a man possessed”:
Even with veteran closer Hunter Newman ready to go, Mainieri stuck with the freshman and Hess blew 96 and 95 mph heaters by Hunter Stovall to end it.
“I was a little bit afraid of him, to be honest with you,” the coach said. “If I had tried to take him out of the game I’m not sure I’d still be here to talk to you at the press conference. He was a man possessed, wasn’t he? He was high-fiving everybody when the runs were coming in. I went over to him and asked him if he wanted to stay in, and he about chewed my head off when I asked him.”
Well, hey, maybe it was those radioactive spider powers kicking in. In any rate, it certainly worked out for LSU. They’ll face Mississippi State again at 9 Eastern Sunday on ESPNU, with a chance to go to the College World Series on the line. We’ll see if the spider turns up again.