LSU starter Kevin Gausman (4-0, 1.54 ERA)
Photo by:Hilary Scheinuk, LSU Athletics Student Photographer
Baseball to Face No. 3 Arkansas in Weekend Series
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Published: March 29, 2012, 01:36 PM (CT)
Updated: March 30, 2012, 09:33 AM (CT)
by Bill Franques, Sr. Associate SID

BATON ROUGE -- No. 12 LSU (19-6, 3-3) resumes Southeastern Conference action this weekend as the Tigers play host to third-ranked Arkansas (22-3, 5-1) in Alex Box Stadium.

Game 1 starts at 7 p.m. CT Friday, Game 2 begins at 7 p.m. CT Saturday, and first pitch for Game 3 is 1 p.m. CT Sunday.

The games will be carried by the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, with Baton Rouge affiliate WDGL 98.1 FM serving as the flagship station. Live audio and stats of the games may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.

Live video of Friday's game may be viewed at www.ESPN3.com and live video of Sunday's game will be available in the Geaux Zone at www.lsusports.net/live.

All three games will be televised - Friday by Comcast Sports Southeast and Cox Sports Television, Saturday by ESPNU and Sunday by Cox Sports Television.

"We're expecting an outstanding series with Arkansas this weekend," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "Our teams really enjoy competing against one another, and (Arkansas coach) Dave Van Horn and I share a lot of the same philosophies in managing a game. They have an excellent ball club again this season, and our players are looking forward to a great challenge."

Mainieri said that sophomore right-hander Kevin Gausman (4-0, 1.54 ERA) will start Friday's game on the mound for the Tigers, followed by sophomore right-hander Ryan Eades (4-1, 2.04 ERA) on Saturday. Sunday's starting pitcher has yet to be determined.

Gausman is No. 2 in the SEC in strikeouts (50) and No. 4 in the league in ERA.

Van Horn will counter with junior right-hander DJ Baxendale (5-1, 4.15 ERA) on Friday and sophomore right-hander Ryne Stanek (6-0, 1.25 ERA) on Saturday. Arkansas' Sunday starter has not yet been determined.

LSU has a team cumulative batting average of .302, which ranks fourth in the SEC. The Tigers have collected 12 homers and 18 stolen bases in 26 attempts. LSU is No. 8 in the league with a 3.07 team ERA and the Tigers' pitching staff is fourth in strikeouts with 223.

LSU junior leftfielder Raph Rhymes leads the Southeastern Conference in batting average (.479), on-base percentage (.519) and hits (46). Rhymes is complimented by junior first baseman/outfielder Mason Katz, who is batting .360 with nine doubles, a team-high five homers and 24 RBI.

LSU catcher Ty Ross is hitting .333 with three doubles and 19 RBI, and third baseman Tyler Hanover is batting .326 with seven doubles and 16 RBI.

The Arkansas pitching staff has a cumulative 2.53 team ERA, which ranks first in the SEC. Stanek leads the league in the individual ERA category (1.25).

Arkansas is hitting .296 as a team (No. 5 in the SEC) with 19 homers and 36 steals in 49 attempts. The Razorbacks are led at the plate by junior infielder Matt Reynolds, who is batting .361 with eight doubles, three homers and 19 RBI.

Arkansas sophomore infielder Dominic Ficociello is hitting .326 with six doubles, two homers and 16 RBI, while senior outfielder Sam Bates is batting .318 with three doubles, a team-high five homers and 18 RBI.

LSU leads the series with Arkansas, 51-26, though the Razorbacks posted a three-game sweep of the Tigers last season in Fayetteville. LSU has won six of its last seven SEC regular-season series vs. Arkansas, including three straight series wins over the Razorbacks in Alex Box Stadium. Arkansas' last series win in Baton Rouge came in 2004. The Tigers are 15-8 against Arkansas over the past seven seasons, including two wins over the Razorbacks in the 2009 College World Series.

#3 Arkansas Razorbacks (22-3, 5-1 SEC) at #12 LSU Fighting Tigers (19-6, 3-3 SEC)

DATES/TIMES
Friday, March 30 - 7 p.m. CT; Saturday, March 31 - 7 p.m. CT; Sunday, April 1 - 1 p.m. CT

STADIUM
Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. (10,326)

RANKINGS
LSU - No. 12 by Collegiate Baseball; No. 14 by USA Today/ESPN; No. 15 by Baseball America
UA - No. 3 by Baseball America; No. 3 by USA Today/ESPN; No. 4 by Collegiate Baseball
 
RADIO
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates
The Baton Rouge affiliate is WDGL 98.1 FM
Pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to first pitch

INTERNET
www.LSUsports.net/live - live audio and stats for all three games; live video on Sunday
www.ESPN3.com  - live video on Friday

TV
Friday - Comcast Sports Southeast and Cox Sports Television
Saturday - ESPNU
Sunday - Cox Sports Television

SERIES RECORD
LSU leads the series with Arkansas, 51-26, though the Razorbacks posted a three-game sweep of the Tigers last season in Fayetteville. LSU has won six of its last seven SEC regular-season series vs. Arkansas, including three straight series wins over the Razorbacks in Alex Box Stadium. Arkansas' last series win in Baton Rouge came in 2004. The Tigers are 15-8 against Arkansas over the past seven seasons, including two wins over the Razorbacks in the 2009 College World Series.

PITCHING MATCHUP
Game 1

LSU - So. RHP Kevin Gausman (4-0, 1.54 ERA, 41.0 IP, 11 BB, 50 SO)
UA - Jr. RHP DJ Baxendale (5-1, 4.15 ERA, 30.1 IP, 9 BB 23 SO)

Game 2
LSU - So. RHP Ryan Eades (4-1, 2.04 ERA, 39.2 IP, 8 BB, 31 SO)
UA - So. RHP Ryne Stanek (6-0, 1.25 ERA, 36.0 IP, 13 BB, 31 SO)

Game 3
LSU - TBA
UA - TBA

 

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