Baseball Fights for Tournament Berth at UK

LSU shortstop Austin Nola
LSU shortstop Austin Nola
Steve Franz
Bill Franques
Bill Franques
Communications Sr. Associate

BATON ROUGE -- No. 20 LSU (34-15, 12-12 SEC)  travels to Kentucky (26-23, 9-15 SEC) this weekend for a three-game series against the Wildcats in Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Game 1 starts at 6:30 p.m. ET Friday, Game 2 at 3 p.m. ET Saturday, and Game 3 at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.

The games will be carried by the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network. Live audio and stats may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at Live video of Saturday's game may be viewed at

Saturday's game will be televised by SportSouth, and it can be seen on Fox Sports Houston, Fox Sports Southwest and Sun Sports.

LSU is ranked No. 20 in this week's USA Today/ESPN and NCBWA polls. The Tigers are in fourth place in the SEC West, four games behind division leader Arkansas (16-8).

Kentucky is in fifth place in the SEC East, eight games behind league leaders South Carolina  and Florida (both 17-7).

LSU is in seventh place in the overall SEC standings, while Kentucky is 10th. The top eight teams at the end of the regular season advance to the SEC Tournament May 26-30 in Hoover, Ala. There are six conference games remaining the in the regular season, which concludes on May 22.

"This is a very important series for both teams, so we are preparing for a great challenge at Kentucky this weekend," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "Our first goal is to qualify for the SEC Tournament, and we'll certainly have to play well against Kentucky to put ourselves in a position to get to Hoover."

Mainieri said junior right-hander Anthony Ranaudo (2-2, 8.26 ERA) will start Friday's game on the mound for the Tigers. Kentucky coach Gary Henderson will counter with freshman left-hander Taylor Rogers (4-7, 5.59 ERA).

LSU is No. 3 in the SEC with a .320 team batting average, and the Tigers have collected 58 homers and 69 stolen bases.

LSU catcher Micah Gibbs is No. 3 in the SEC this season with a .424 batting average. Gibbs, a 2010 preseason All-America selection, has 12 doubles, three triples, six homers, 48 RBI and seven steals on the year.

LSU sophomore rightfielder Mikie Mahtook leads the SEC in doubles this season with 18, and he is No. 4 in the league in steals (22), No. 5 in total bases (125) and No. 5 in slugging percentage (.683).

LSU senior first baseman Blake Dean has 312 career hits and is No. 3 on the all-time LSU hits list. Dean has 249 career RBI, which is No. 3 on the school career RBI list; he is also No. 4 in career homers (53), No. 3 in career doubles (63) and No. 7 in career runs (210).

Reliever Paul Bertuccini has made 102 career appearances for LSU, and he is just six shy of tying the school record for appearances set by Mark LaRosa (108 appearances from 1988-91).

Kentucky is ninth in the SEC with .300 team batting average, but the Wildcats are No. 1 in the league in stolen bases with 108 and No.2 in home runs with 74. 

Junior outfielder/first baseman Lance Ray is batting .370 for the Wildcats with 11 doubles, eight homers and 26 RBI, while senior infielder Gunner Glad is hitting .353 with 10 doubles, 11 homers and 41 RBI.

LSU leads the overall series with Kentucky, 39-20-1, and the Tigers have won nine of their last 11 SEC series with the Wildcats.

LSU has won the last two series with UK, capturing two of three games last season in Baton Rouge and sweeping three games in 2008 in Lexington.

#20 LSU Fighting Tigers (34-15, 12-12 SEC) at Kentucky Wildcats (26-23, 9-15 SEC)

Friday, May 14 - 5:30 p.m. CT; Saturday, May 15 - 2 p.m. CT; Sunday, May 16 - Noon CT

Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Ky.

LSU - No. 20 by USA Today/ESPN; No. 20 by NCBWA
UK - unranked
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates/Baton Rouge affiliate is WDGL 98.1 FM

INTERNET - live audio and stats for all three games - live video Saturday

Friday - No TV
Saturday -- SportSouth
Sunday - No TV

LSU leads, 39-20-1, in a series that began in 1975

Game 1
LSU - Jr. RHP Anthony Ranaudo (2-2, 8.26 ERA, 28.1 IP, 16 BB, 27 SO)
UK - Fr. LHP Taylor Rogers (4-7, 5.59 ERA, 75.2 IP, 11 BB, 35 SO)

Game 2
UK - Fr. RHP Jordan Cooper (3-4, 5.11 ERA, 49.1 IP, 24 BB, 30 SO)

Game 3
LSU - Jr. RHP Austin Ross (3-4, 5.43 ERA, 59.2 IP, 15 BB, 68 SO)
UK- So. RHP Alex Meyer (5-2, 6.23 ERA, 47.2 IP, 28 BB, 58 SO)





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