No. 7 Baseball Welcomes Appalachian St. to 'The Box'
Communications Sr. Associate
BATON ROUGE -- Seventh-ranked LSU (4-0) opens a three-game weekend series at 7 p.m. Friday versus Appalachian State (2-1) in Alex Box Stadium.
Game 2 of the series is set for 2 p.m. Saturday and Game 3 starts at 11 a.m. Sunday.
The LSU-Appalachian State series 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.
LSU climbed in the baseball rankings released Monday, moving up to No. 7 in the Baseball America poll and No. 9 in the Collegiate Baseball poll.
LSU opened the 2012 season last weekend with two victories over Air Force and a win over Alcorn State. The Tigers defeated McNeese State, 11-4, on Wednesday for their fourth straight victory.
"I think we've played well to start this season, and I look forward to seeing continued improvement," LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. "I know Appalachian State has a very capable ball club and I'm sure they will challenge us throughout the weekend."
LSU will employ the same starting pitching rotation it used last weekend - sophomore right-hander Kevin Gausman on Friday, sophomore right-hander Ryan Eades on Saturday and sophomore right-hander Kurt McCune on Sunday.
Gausman defeated Air Force last Friday, limiting the Falcons to one run on four hits in six innings with two walks and seven strikeouts. Eades posted a win over Alcorn State last Saturday, blanking the Braves in five innings of work while allowing one hit with one walk and a career-high eight strikeouts. McCune fired six shutout innings against Air Force last Sunday, allowing three hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
LSU is hitting .333 as a team through four games with 15 extra-base hits. The Tigers are led at the plate by sophomore outfielder Jackson Slaid, who is batting .500 with one double, one triple and three RBI. Junior first baseman Mason Katz is hitting .417 with one double, one triple and six RBI, and junior outfielder Raph Rhymes is batting .417 with five RBI.
Thirteen of the 16 LSU players that have made plate appearances this season have produced at least one RBI for the Tigers.
Appalachian State, a member of the Southern Conference, won two of three games last weekend at the Elon (N.C.) Invitational. The Mountaineers, coached by Chris Pollard, suffered a 2-1 loss to George Mason in its season opener, but rebounded to post 8-3 and 4-1 victories over Akron.
ASU will start senior right-hander Seth Grant on Friday against the Tigers. Grant pitched six shutout innings with eight strikeouts against George Mason, but was not involved in the decision of the Mountaineers' loss.
ASU is led at the plate by senior infielder Daniel Kassouf, who is hitting .333 with one triple, one homer and five RBI. The Mountaineers are hitting .250 as a team with seven extra-base hits in three games.
Appalachian State Mountaineers (2-1) at #7 LSU Fighting Tigers (4-0)
Friday, February 24 - 7 p.m. CT; Saturday, Feb. 25 - 2 p.m. CT; Sunday, Feb. 26 - 11 a.m. CT
Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. (10,326)
LSU - No. 7 by Baseball America; No. 9 by Collegiate Baseball
Appalachian State - unranked
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates
The Baton Rouge affiliate is WDGL 98.1 FM
Pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to first pitch
www.LSUsports.net - live video, audio and stats
First 2,000 fans on Saturday receive a 2012 LSU Baseball Lapel Pin
LSU - So. RHP Kevin Gausman (1-0, 1.50 ERA, 6.0 IP, 2 BB, 7 SO)
ASU -- Sr. RHP Seth Grant (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 0 BB, 8 SO)
LSU - So. RHP Ryan Eades (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5.0 IP, 1 BB, 8 SO)
ASU -- Sr. RHP Ryan Arrowood (0-0, 4.50 ERA, 4.0 IP, 3 BB, 6 SO)
LSU - So. RHP Kurt McCune (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 1 BB, 4 SO)
ASU -- Jr. LHP Rob Marcello (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5.0 IP, 0 BB, 5 SO)