Forrest Garrett is expected to return from surgery last April.
Photo by:Steve Franz, LSU Athletics Staff Photographer
No. 16 Baseball to Host McNeese St. Wednesday
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Published: March 29, 2011, 04:18 PM (CT)
by Bill Franques, Sr. Associate SID

BATON ROUGE - No. 16 LSU (17-7) plays host to in-state rival McNeese State (13-12) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Alex Box Stadium.

Live video, audio and stats of the games may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/HDbaseball. The games can also be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.

Wednesday's contest is the first of a four-game homestand for the Tigers, who play host to Ole Miss this weekend in an SEC series.

"We're looking forward to playing back at home this week in front of our great fans," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "McNeese has a very good program that has improved every year under (head coach) Terry Burrows. We know we have a big challenge in front of us because McNeese has demonstrated that it's a very capable club."

Mainieri said redshirt freshman left-hander Forrest Garrett will start on the mound Wednesday for the Tigers. It will make the first appearance of the season for Garrett, who had surgery on his throwing elbow last April.

"Forrest has looked good in practice, and we're hopeful that will carry over into a game," Mainieri said. "He's worked very hard to get back to the mound, and we're really excited for him. We won't let  him go very long -- he'll just need to keep his emotions in check and hopefully he'll have a good outing."

Garrett, a 41st-round selection of the Texas Rangers in the 2009 MLB Draft out of Norcross (Ga.) High School, appeared in three games for the Tigers early last season. He recorded five walks and four strikeouts in four innings of work.

Burrows will counter Wednesday with either senior left-hander Phil Parcell (2-1) or senior right-hander Jonathan Conrad (1-1).

The Tigers are batting .308 as a team with 48 doubles, five triples, 18 homers and 45 steals on the year.  The LSU pitching staff has a 3.77 ERA with 176 strikeouts and a .232 opponent batting average.

The Tigers are led at the plate by junior centerfielder Mikie Mahtook, who is hitting .365 with six doubles, one triple, eight homers and 26 RBI. Sophomore designated hitter Raph Rhymes is batting .365 with eight doubles, one homer and 20 RBI while freshman second baseman JaCoby Jones is hitting .353 with three doubles, one triple, three homers and 17 RBI.

Mahtook hit .455 (5-for-11) in the Tigers' three-game series at Georgia last weekend with two homers and four RBI. His two-run homer on Friday in Game 1 of the series broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning and proved to be the game-winning hit in the Tigers' 7-3 victory.

Junior shortstop Austin Nola batted .400 (4-for-10) in the Georgia series with one double, three RBI and two runs scored, and Rhymes batted .375 (6-for-16) in the Tigers' four games last week with one RBI and one run scored.

McNeese State is batting .290 with 50 doubles, 11 triples, five homers and 29 stolen bases. The Cowboys' pitching staff has a 5.16 ERA with 177 strikeouts and a .282 opponent batting average.

The Cowboys are led at the plate by junior outfielder Seth Granger, who is hitting .390 with eight doubles, one triple, one homer and 29 RBI. Junior infielder Renny Weber is batting .348 with five doubles and 11 RBI, while junior outfielder Lee Orr is hitting .347 with 13 doubles, two triples, one homer and 28 RBI.

LSU leads the all-time series with McNeese State, 23-9, including a 2-1 victory over the Cowboys last season in Alex Box Stadium. The Tigers have won five straight games over the Cowboys; McNeese State's last win over LSU came in 2000, a 4-3 decision in Lake Charles.

McNeese State Cowboys (13-12) at #16 LSU Fighting Tigers (17-7)

GAME DATE/TIME
Wednesday, March 30 - 6:30 p.m.

STADIUM
Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

RANKINGS
LSU -No. 16 by ESPN/USA Today; No. 17 by Baseball America; No. 25 by Collegiate Baseball
MSU - unranked

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

INTERNET
www.LSUsports.net/HDbaseball - live video, audio and stats

TV
none

SERIES RECORD
LSU leads the all-time series with McNeese State, 23-9, including a 2-1 victory over the Cowboys last season in Alex Box Stadium. The Tigers have won five straight games over the Cowboys; McNeese State's last win over LSU came in 2000, a 4-3 decision in Lake Charles.

PITCHING MATCHUP
LSU - Fr. LHP Forrest Garrett (first appearance of 2011 season - 0-0, 6.75 ERA, 4.0 IP, 5 BB, 4 SO in 2010)
MSU - Sr. RHP Jonathan Conrad (1-1, 4.57 ERA, 21.2 IP, 6 BB, 16 SO) or Sr. LHP Phil Parcell (2-1, 6.39 ERA, 31.0 IP, 6 BB, 18 SO)

 

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