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Lowder-Skenes showdown helped get Mavrick Rizy to LSU

June 22, 2023 will be a day that LSU baseball fans won’t forget for a very long time.

On a beautiful Omaha night, Rhett Lowder and Paul Skenes went toe-to-toe in an epic showdown that saw the Tigers defeat the Demon Deacons to advance to the College World Series Championship series.

It was also the day that helped Jay Johnson and his coaching staff grab a 2024 commitment from a big-time arm.

Originally a commitment to Connecticut, Maverick Rizy is a 6-9, 235-pound Fiskdale, Massachusetts native that chose the Tigers over Vanderbilt and Mississippi State.

“My family and I all watched the CWS this year,” he said. “That was about the time that I thought about reopening my (recruitment) process. I was sitting in the living room watching the LSU-Wake Forest game and she looked right at me and said ‘Mav, if you go anywhere, I want you to play for them (LSU).’ The rest is history.”

(self scouting report) “I’m a very calm pitcher. The moment is never too big. I’m a big guy on the mound that attacks hitters. The fastball right now sits low to mid 90’s and I have a curveball that I typically can throw in any count. My strikeout pitch is my cutter a lot more than the curveball and I’m also working on a splitter right now.”

Another driving factor for Rizy to come to Baton Rouge was the weather. Playing less than 30 games as a junior last season in high school in Massachusetts, he said enough with the cold weather.

“I love New England; but as a baseball player, in particular a pitcher, it’s not good to throw in that kind of weather,” Rizy said. “It was 35-40 degrees during our spring game. You’ve got

hand warmers in your pockets and you are trying to get a feel for the ball. I’ve had enough of playing in the cold.

“It’s brutal. We start the first week of April and we go to the end of May, beginning of June. Our practices are indoors until March. Having to go play baseball in 35-degree weather is for sure not fun.”

In addition to the weather and the program itself, Rizy said it was the connection he made with Jay Johnson that helped put LSU over the top.

“The first questions (Johnson) asked me were about my family,” he said. “We didn’t really talk a lot of baseball throughout the entire recruiting process. Of course we had to talk baseball, but with (Johnson) it was all about developing the relationship. I’m a huge fan of that and it makes you want to go to battle with him.

“Mix that with the development. It’s a huge circle of people that are all about helping you become the best baseball pitcher you can be. The head coach is in lock step with the pitching coach, the trainer and strength coach. They all watch every one of your bullpens. It all correlates together. A triangle of development and I was blown away by what I got the chance to experience and see. “

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