Baseball Opens SEC Play vs. Georgia
Communications Sr. Associate
BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 6 LSU (13-5. 0-0 SEC) begins Southeastern Conference play at 7 p.m. CT Friday, when the Tigers open a three-game series versus Georgia (8-10, 0-0 SEC) in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Game 2 of the series begins at 6:30 p.m. CT Saturday, and first pitch for Game 3 is 1 p.m. CT Sunday.
The games will be carried on the LSU Sports Radio Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge), and the radio broadcast may be heard at www.LSUsports.net/live.
The games may be viewed on SEC Network +, accessible at WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app.
LSU leads the all-time series with Georgia, 64-22-3, and this is the first meeting between the teams since 2015, when LSU swept a two-game series over Georgia in Athens (Game 3 of the series was canceled due to rain). LSU has won nine of its last 11 SEC regular-season series versus UGA, and the Tigers have an 13-7-2 advantage over the Bulldogs in games played over the past nine seasons.
LSU has won the last three series meetings in 2012, 2014 and 2015 – Georgia’s last series win over Tigers came in Athens in 2011, when the Bulldogs won two of three games.
The Tigers have split two games this week, defeating Louisiana College, 13-0, on Tuesday before dropping a 5-4, 15-inning decision to New Orleans on Wednesday. Georgia is also 1-1 this week, with a 4-3, 12-inning loss to Mercer on Tuesday and an 8-7 win over Presbyterian on Wednesday.
“The 30-game grind that we call the SEC schedule begins on Friday night,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “I know Georgia is coming off a one-run win on Wednesday, so they’ll be coming in here fired up and ready to play. Every team in the SEC is capable of beating every other team. We’ve got a lot of tough games ahead, beginning with this Friday, and we’ll be ready to go.”
LSU is 5-5 in its 10 SEC season-opening games during Mainieri’s tenure. The Tigers are also 5-5 in their 10 SEC season-opening series during the Mainieri era.
Last weekend versus Wichita State, LSU’s starting rotation of junior right-hander Alex Lange, senior left-hander Jared Poche' and freshman right-hander Eric Walker combined to allow no runs on nine hits in 21 innings with two walks and 15 strikeouts.
Lange turned in a dominating effort on Friday against Wichita State, limiting the Shockers to just two hits in eight scoreless innings with no walks and nine strikeouts. Walker limited the Shockers to just three hits while recording three strikeouts as LSU completed a three-game sweep of WSU.
Poche’ extended his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 29 last Saturday, as he blanked Wichita State in a seven-inning outing. Poche’ limited the Shockers to just four hits with no walks and three strikeouts, firing 91 pitches and leaving the game after the seventh inning with a 12-0 lead.
Poche’s streak of 29 straight scoreless innings in a single season is the second-longest in LSU history – Ben McDonald tossed 44.2 straight scoreless frames in 1989. Poche’ has given up just eight hits all season, and opponents are batting only .086 against him.
The LSU pitching staff ranks seventh in the SEC with a 2.95 ERA, while Georgia is 14th in the league with a 4.55 ERA.
LSU enters the series fourth in the SEC in hitting with a .315 team average. Second baseman Cole Freeman is the league’s second-leading hitter, batting .444 with five doubles and 11 RBI. Rightfielder Greg Deichmann leads the SEC in homers with seven, and he’s second in the league in RBI with 24.
Georgia is batting .259 on the year, which ranks12th in the SEC. The Bulldogs are led at the plate by catcher Michael Curry, who is hitting .294 with two doubles, five homers and 22 RBI. Curry in second in the SEC in homers and fourth in the league in RBI.
Georgia Bulldogs (8-10, 0-0 SEC) at #6 LSU Fighting Tigers (13-5, 0-0 SEC)
Friday, March 17 – 7 p.m. CT
Saturday, March 18 – 6:30 p.m. CT
Sunday, March 19 – 1 p.m. CT
Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge, La.
LSU – No. 6 by Baseball America; No. 7 by Collegiate Baseball; No. 7 by D1 Baseball; No. 7 by USA Today
UGA – unranked
LSU Sports Radio Network; in Baton Rouge on WDGL 98.1 FM
Radio broadcast and live stats for all LSU baseball games are available at www.LSUsports.net
SEC Network +, accessible at WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app
LSU leads the all-time series with Georgia, 64-22-3; this is the first meeting between the teams since 2015, when LSU swept a two-game series over Georgia in Athens (Game 3 of the series was canceled due to rain). LSU has won nine of its last 11 SEC regular-season series versus UGA, and the Tigers have an 13-7-2 advantage over the Bulldogs in games played over the past eight seasons. LSU has won the last three series meetings in 2012, 2014 and 2015 – Georgia’s last series win over Tigers came in Athens in 2011, when the Bulldogs won two of three games.
LSU – Jr. RHP Alex Lange (3-1, 3.05 ERA, 20.2 IP, 5 BB, 29 SO)
UGA – Sr. LHP Andrew Gist (0-0, 2.20 ERA, 16.1 IP, 2 BB, 21 SO)
LSU – Sr. LHP Jared Poche' (4-0, 0.00 ERA, 29.0 IP, 2 BB, 18 SO)
UGA – Fr. RHP Tony Locey (2-2, 7.47 ERA, 15.2 IP, 12 BB, 15 SO)
LSU – Fr. RHP Eric Walker (2-0, 2.14 ERA, 21.0 IP, 5 BB, 22 SO)
UGA – Jr. RHP Chase Adkins (3-0, 2.08 ERA, 26.0 IP, 8 BB, 20 SO)