LSU's Mikie Mahtook (8) and Alex Edward (13)
Photo by:Hilary Scheinuk, LSU Athletics Student Photographer
Baseball Travels to Face Alabama
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Published: May 05, 2011, 06:12 PM (CT)
by Bill Franques, Sr. Associate SID

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU (29-17, 7-14 SEC) travels to Tuscaloosa this weekend to face Alabama (28-19, 10-11) SEC) in a three-game conference series that begins at 6:30 p.m. CT Friday in Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Game 2 starts at 3 p.m. Saturday, and Game 3 will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday.

All three games can be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network. Live audio and stats of the games may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.  

The games on Friday and Sunday will be televised by the Jumbo Sports Network, and Saturday' game will be televised by Comcast Sports Southeast. All three games can be seen live in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette on Cox Cable Channel 4.

LSU enters the series three games behind first-place Alabama and Arkansas in the SEC Western Division. With nine league games remaining, the Tigers are two games behind in the race to qualify for the eight-team SEC Tournament.

"Our season is on the line this weekend, " said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "We'll find out if we're pretenders or contenders. Our players have kept a positive attitude and given great effort throughout the year, and I believe we can still accomplish something significant this season."

Mainieri said freshman right-hander Kurt McCune will start on the mound Friday for the Tigers, followed by freshman right-hander Kevin Gausman on Saturday and senior right-hander Ben Alsup on Sunday.

Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard will counter with senior right-hander Nathan Kilcrease on Friday and junior left-hander Adam Morgan on Saturday. Alabama's starter on Sunday has not yet been determined.

The Tigers are batting .291 as a team with 77 doubles, nine triples, 30 homers and 75 steals on the year.  The LSU pitching staff has a 4.36 ERA with 323 strikeouts and a .251 opponent batting average.

LSU is ranked No. 6 in the SEC in team batting average, and the Tigers are No. 8 in the league in staff ERA.

The Tigers are led at the plate by junior centerfielder Mikie Mahtook, who is hitting .361 with 10 doubles, three triples, 12 homers and 44 RBI. Sophomore rightfielder Raph Rhymes is batting .351 with 12 doubles, two homers and 35 RBI, while freshman second baseman JaCoby Jones is hitting .312 with seven doubles, one triple, three homers and 26 RBI.

Alabama is batting .274 with 84 doubles, 12 triples, 14 homers and 40 stolen bases.  The Crimson Tide's pitching staff has a 3.62 ERA with 300 strikeouts and a .256 opponent batting average.

Alabama is No. 11 in the SEC in team batting average and the Tide is fifth in the league in team ERA.

Alabama is led at the plate by junior infielder Jared Reaves, who is hitting .357 with 15 doubles, two triples, two homers and 36 RBI. Senior catcher Brock Bennett is batting .356 with five doubles and 19 RBI, while junior outfielder Taylor Dugas is hitting .322 with 13 doubles, four triples, four homers and 21 RBI.

Alabama leads the overall series with LSU, 190-154-3, in a series that began in 1906. The Tigers, however, have a 30-10 overall mark against Alabama over the past 11 seasons (2000-10). LSU has won nine of its last 11 SEC regular-season series versus the Tide.

The Tigers have won five straight SEC series over Alabama, including a three-game sweep of the Tide last season in Baton Rouge. LSU also posted a 4-3, 11-inning victory over the Tide in the championship game of the 2010 SEC Tournament.

LSU Fighting Tigers (29-17, 7-14 SEC) at Alabama Crimson Tide (28-19, 10-11 SEC)

GAME DATES/TIMES
Friday, May 6 - 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 7 - 3 p.m.; Saturday, May 8 - 1 p.m.

STADIUM
Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

RADIO
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates/flagship station is WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge

INTERNET
www.LSUsports.net - live audio and stats

TV
All three games will air live on Cox Cable Channel 4 in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette. Saturday's game is also available regionally on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS).

SERIES RECORD
Alabama leads the overall series with LSU, 190-154-3, in a series that began in 1906. The Tigers, however, have a 30-10 overall mark against Alabama over the past 11 seasons (2000-10). LSU has won nine of its last 11 SEC regular-season series versus the Tide. The Tigers have won five straight SEC series over Alabama, including a three-game sweep of the Tide last season in Baton Rouge. LSU also posted a 4-3, 11-inning victory over the Tide in the championship game of the 2010 SEC Tournament.

PITCHING MATCHUPS
Game 1
LSU - Fr. RHP Kurt McCune (5-3, 3.34 ERA, 70.0 IP, 21 BB, 54 SO)
UA - Sr. RHP Nathan Kilcrease (5-3, 3.12 ERA, 69.1 IP, 15 BB, 58 SO)

Game 2
LSU - Fr. RHP Kevin Gausman (3-5, 4.36 ERA, 66.0 IP, 21 BB, 62 SO)
UA - Jr. LHP Adam Morgan (4-4, 4.30 ERA, 67.0 IP, 17 BB, 55 SO)

Game 3
LSU - Sr. RHP Ben Alsup (6-4, 4.17 ERA, 58.1 IP, 20 BB, 35 SO)
UA - TBA

 

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