Matulis, Mormann transfer from LSU, Rittiner undergoes Tommy John surgery

By Michael Lambert

Junior pitcher Chris Matulis and senior pitcher Mitch Mormann are transferring from LSU, according to LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri.

Matulis has left for Central Florida to play for Terry Rooney, who recruited Matulis to Baton Rouge when he was an assistant coach for the Tigers from 2007-08.

“He was looking for a clean start,” Mainieri said. “With my blessing, he decided to transfer.”

The Lake Worth, Fla., native went 5-3 this season with a 5.33 ERA in 12 appearances on the mound.

Matulis underwent Tommy John surgery on his elbow earlier this summer.

“I don’t know if he established himself as a premier guy for us,” Mainieri said. “He felt by the time he comes back he might have a chance to make an impact.”

Mormann will transfer for Wichita State after only playing one season for LSU with a 5.97 ERA in 19 relief appearances.

“He came here for one year and wanted to improve his [draft] stock and then get drafted,” Mainieri said. “The year didn’t end up how he hoped. He thought maybe a change of scenery could help him.”

Mainieri said sophomore pitcher Jordan Rittiner had Tommy John surgery Monday.

The elbow reconstruction surgery typically takes at least a year of recovery before the pitcher can gain full form.

“He came home from summer ball and found out he had to repair the ligament,” Mainieri said.

Junior pitcher Joey Bourgeois had Tommy John surgery around the same time as Matulis.

Mainieri said the biggest impact of losing Matulis, Mormann, Bourgeois and Rittiner will be missing the experience and depth they give the pitching staff.

“All of them had good moments, and all of them had moments when they didn’t pitch that well,” Mainieri said.

LSU’s pitching staff could get a shot in the arm after Aug. 16, the deadline for players selected in the MLB draft to sign contracts.

The Tigers are waiting on would-be senior pitcher Anthony Ranaudo and incoming freshmen Zach Lee, Kevin Gausman and Ryan Eades.

Ranaudo was selected by the Boston Red Sox with the 39th pick.

“If Ranaudo comes back, that gives us much more experience,” Mainieri said.

Mainieri said the ace pitcher is seeking a large contract from the Red Sox.

Lee, Gausman and Eades were also picked in the draft and have until Monday to sign contracts.

Lee, a scholarship quarterback for the football team, said he has the intention of staying in Baton Rouge at football media day Tuesday.

“We’ll have a better idea on Tuesday,” Mainieri said about his pitching staff for next season. “You just never know.”

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