BATON ROUGE - No. 27 LSU (34-19, 12-15 SEC) concludes the regular season with a three-game series versus Mississippi State (22-31, 5-22 SEC) beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday in Alex Box Stadium.
Game 2 of the series starts at 7 p.m. Friday, and first pitch for Game 3 is 3 p.m. Saturday.
The games on Thursday and Friday will be televised by Cox Sports Television, and Saturday's game can be seen both on Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast and Cox Sports Television.
All three games may e heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network. Live video (Thursday and Friday), audio and stats may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.
LSU is ranked No. 27 in this week's National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll. The Tigers are in a four-way tie for seventh place in the Southeastern Conference standings. The top eight league teams qualify for the conference tournament, which begins May 26 in Hoover, Ala.
LSU will qualify for the SEC Tournament if it wins all three games versus Mississippi State. The Tigers will also earn a berth if they win two games against MSU and neither Tennessee nor Alabama posts a sweep of the Bama-UT series in Knoxville. LSU can also get in the tournament if it wins one more game than Kentucky this weekend. UK plays at Georgia beginning on Thursday.
"We've endured a rough stretch over the past month," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "but I still feel like the final chapter on this season has yet to be written. We have an opportunity this weekend to qualify for the postseason. If we can play our way into the SEC Tournament, I believe all of our goals are still in front us."
Mainieri said sophomore right-hander Joey Bourgeois (4-1, 6.28 ERA) will start Thursday's game on the mound for the Tigers, while Mississippi State coach John Cohen will counter will senior left-hander Tyler Whitney (0-3, 6.31 ERA).
LSU senior first baseman Blake Dean has 317 career hits and is No. 3 on the all-time LSU hits list. Dean has 252 career RBI, which is No. 3 on the school career RBI list. He is also No. 4 in career homers (54), No. 3 in career doubles (63) and No. 6 in career runs (213).
LSU reliever Paul Bertuccini has made 104 career appearances for LSU, and he is just four shy of tying the school record for appearances set by Mark LaRosa (108 appearances from 1988-91). Bertuccini was named on May 6 as a member of the ESPN The Magazine second-team Academic All-America squad for District VI. He has a 3.53 cumulative GPA in management and will receive his LSU diploma this weekend.
LSU is No.3 in the SEC with a 315 team batting average, and the Tigers have collected 64 homers and 72 stolen bases. LSU is No. 9 in the league in earned run average with a 5.72 team ERA.
Mississippi State is 10th in the league with a .297 batting average, and the Bulldogs have collected 63 homers and 54 stolen bases. MSU has a 6.77 team ERA, which is No. 11 in the conference.
The Bulldogs are led by senior infielder Connor Powers, who is batting .387 with 18 doubles, one triples, 15 homers and 66 RBI. Senior outfielder Ryan Duffy is hitting .363 with six doubles, one triple, nine homers and 37 RBI.
Mississippi State leads the overall series with LSU, 194-164-1, and the first meeting occurred in 1905. LSU has won seven of the last nine and 15 of the last 22 meetings between the clubs.
Most recently, LSU has posted three straight series wins over the Bulldogs. Mississippi State's last series win over LSU came in 2006, when MSU won two of three games in the original Alex Box Stadium.
Mississippi State Bulldogs (22-31, 5-22 SEC) at #27 LSU Fighting Tigers (34-19, 12-15 SEC)
Thursday, May 20 - 7 p.m.; Friday, May 21 - 7 p.m.; Saturday, May 22 - 3 p.m.
Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. (10,150)
LSU - No. 27 by NCBWA
MSU - unranked
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates/flagship station is WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge
www.LSUsports.net - live audio and stats for all three games; live video on Thursday and Friday
Thursday -- Cox Sports Television
Friday - Cox Sports Television
Saturday - Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast and Cox Sports Television
Mississippi State leads, 194-164-1, in a series that began in 1905
LSU - So. RHP Joey Bourgeois (4-1, 4.28 ERA, 53.0 IP, 27 BB, 40 SO)
MSU - Sr, LHP Tyler Whitney (0-3, 6.31 ERA, 45.2 IP, 21 BB, 43 SO)
LSU - Jr. RHP Anthony Ranaudo (2-2, 9.09 ERA, 32.2 IP, 19 BB, 31 SO)
MSU - Fr. RHP Chris Stratton (4-3, 5.80 ERA, 71.1 IP, 36 BB, 69 SO)
LSU - Jr. RHP Austin Ross (3-4, 5.27 ERA, 66.2 IP, 17 BB, 78 SO)
MSU - TBA