No. 2 Baseball Takes on Texas Southern to Open NCAA's
LSU Sports Interactive
BATON ROUGE -- LSU (43-16-1) begins NCAA Tournament play at 1 p.m. CT Friday when the Tigers meet Texas Southern in the first game of the Baton Rouge Regional at Alex Box Stadium.
LSU is the top seed in the Baton Rouge Regional, and Texas Southern is the No. 4 seed. The second game of the regional Friday features third-seeded New Orleans vs. second-seeded Southern Miss at 6 p.m. CT.
The tournament continues through Sunday night, with an “if necessary” game set for Monday afternoon.
The winner of the Baton Rouge Regional will meet the winner of the Lincoln, Neb. Regional next weekend in an NCAA Super Regional series. LSU, the NCAA Tournament No. 7 national seed, will play host to the super regional if the Tigers win this weekend’s regional.
All LSU games in the Baton Rouge Regional will be carried by the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network. The Baton Rouge affiliate is WDGL 98.1 FM.
Live audio of LSU’s games in the regional may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.
All of the games in the Baton Rouge Regional will be televised by Cox Sports Television (Cable Ch. 37 in Baton Rouge).
The Tigers, riding a 20-game win streak, moved up to No. 2 in this week’s Collegiate Baseball poll and to No. 5 in the Baseball America rankings. LSU is No. 7 in this week’s USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll.
LSU enters Friday’s NCAA Regional opener riding a 20-game winning streak, the longest single-season streak in school history. Sixteen wins in the Tigers' 20-0 run have come against SEC teams. LSU finished the regular season with 12 straight SEC wins, and the Tigers posted victories over South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Alabama and Ole Miss to win the SEC Tournament championship last week in Hoover, Ala.
LSU has won 28 times this season after facing a deficit, including all four wins in the SEC Tournament.
The Tigers have rallied to overcome a deficit in 16 of its 20 victories during the current win streak.
The Tigers are hitting .325 (246-for-757) as a team during their 20-game win streak with 57 doubles, seven triples and 33 home runs, and LSU has outscored its opponents, 183-92, in the past 20 contests.
The Tigers' pitching staff has been superb during the streak as well, recording a 3.65 ERA in 190 innings of work with 62 walks and 181 strikeouts.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri said he is extremely proud of the Tigers’ accomplishments this season.
“All throughout the fall practice, our players had a great attitude and I could see the talent.” Mainieri said. “I felt like it was going to be very important to get the pieces of the puzzle to fit together in the right way to find the right position for everyone. Then, it took about 20 to 30 games.
“It takes time in those 20 to 30 games to find the right pieces of the puzzle. Then, the kids continuously have to embrace their role. I think now, every kid on this team understands his role, knows what is expected of him and doesn’t want to let his teammates down. I think we have had a phenomenal season, but we are certainly not done yet.”
Mainieri said junior right-hander Jordan Brown (3-0, 5.61 ERA) will start Friday’s game on the mound for LSU. Texas Southern coach Candy Robinson, who directed his squad to the SWAC Tournament title earlier this month, will counter with junior left-hander Ehern Moreno (2-4, 8.03 ERA).
LSU sophomore outfielder/DH Blake Dean, the MVP of the SEC Tournament, is hitting a sizzling .420 (34-for-81) during the Tigers’ 20-game win streak with eight doubles, eight homers and 25 RBI.
Junior first baseman Matt Clark is hitting .368 (25-for-68) during the streak with eight doubles, nine homers and 23 RBI, and freshman shortstop DJ LeMahieu is hitting .367 (29-for-79) over the past 20 games with eight doubles, one triple, one homer and 13 RBI.
Texas Southern is hitting .302 on the year with 35 home runs. Junior infielder Earnest Rhone is hitting .410 with 11 doubles, eight homers and 39 RBI. Senior infielder Jordan Bush is batting .358 with seven doubles, two triples, nine homers and 48 RBI.
Friday’s game marks the first meeting between LSU and Texas Southern.
LSU has a 106-41 (.721) record in the NCAA Tournament, marking the highest all-time winning percentage in NCAA baseball competition. LSU is making its 22nd appearance in an NCAA Regional and its first appearance since 2005. LSU is playing host to a regional in Alex Box Stadium for the 18th time.
The Tigers have won 16 regional titles and have appeared in the College World Series 13 times. LSU has claimed national championships in 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 2000.
Texas Southern Tigers (16-32) vs. #2 LSU Fighting Tigers (43-16-1)
Friday, May 30 – 1 p. m. CT
Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. (7,760)
LSU is ranked No. 2 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 5 by Baseball America and No. 7 by USA Today/ESPN.
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates
The Baton Rouge affiliate is WDGL 98.1 FM
www.LSUsports.net – live audio and stats
Cox Sports Television (Cable Ch. 37 in Baton Rouge)
LSU – Jr. RHP Jordan Brown (3-0, 5.61 ERA, 59.1 IP, 26 BB, 52 SO)
TSU – Jr. LHP Ehern Moreno (2-4, 8.03 ERA, 49.1 IP, 37 BB, 57 SO)