LSU’s 35-3 mark is the best 38-game record in the history of the program.
Photo by:Steve Franz, LSU Athletics Staff Photographer
Baseball Ready for Road Series at Alabama
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Published: April 18, 2013, 06:07 PM (CT)
Updated: April 19, 2013, 08:34 AM (CT)
by Bill Franques, Sr. Associate SID

BATON ROUGE, La. – Second-ranked LSU (35-3, 13-2) travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala. this weekend for a three-game SEC series versus Alabama (23-16, 8-7).

The games can be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (98.1 FM in Baton Rouge), and live audio and stats may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.

Saturday’s game will be televised on Fox Sports Net (Cable Ch. 38 in Baton Rouge), and live video of Saturday’s contest will be available at www.ESPN3.com (streaming video blacked out in Southeastern Conference states).

LSU’s 35-3 mark is the best 38-game record in the history of the Fighting Tiger program. LSU has won 17 of its last 18 games and holds a four-game lead over Arkansas in the SEC Western Division.

The Tigers are one game behind Vanderbilt in the overall SEC standings. LSU has won 11 of its last 12 SEC games, and its 13-2 league mark is the school’s best since the 1997 club was also 13-2.

“Anytime you’re playing an SEC team, especially on the road, you have to be prepared for a tremendous challenge,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Alabama has a lot of very young, talented ball players, and we have the utmost respect for (Alabama coach) Mitch Gaspard  and his program. They have an excellent starting rotation and a great closer, so we’re going to have to be focused and ready to play at our best in order to beat them .”

Mainieri said sophomore right-hander Aaron Nola will start Friday’s game on the mound for the Tigers, followed by junior right-hander Ryan Eades on Saturday. Mainieri said Sunday’s starter has yet to be determined.

Nola fired the first complete game of his career last Friday at No. 10 Arkansas, limiting the Razorbacks to two runs on four hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts. The complete game was also the first recorded by an LSU pitcher since May 18, 2012, when Kevin Gausman posted a win at South Carolina.

Nola threw 110 pitches in the victory and retired the first 11 batters he faced before allowing a single with two outs in the fourth inning. Nola moved into first place in the SEC in strikeouts with 72, and he improved to 6-0 on the year with a 2.47 ERA

The LSU pitching staff has the third-best ERA (2.48) in the SEC, and the Tigers are No. 5 in the league in strikeouts with 304.

Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard will counter this weekend with senior right-hander Charley Sullivan, sophomore left-hander Justin Kamplain and sophomore right-hander Spencer Turnbull.

The Tide is No. 6 in the league with a 3.00 ERA, and Alabama is seventh in the SEC with 274 strikeouts.

LSU freshman shortstop Alex Bregman leads the Tigers at the plate, batting .424 with 10 doubles, six triples, four homers and 38 RBI. Bregman is second in the SEC in batting average, and he leads the league in hits (67), triples and runs scored (43).

Senior first baseman Mason Katz is hitting .420, and he leads the SEC in home runs (13), RBI (60), total bases (109) and on-base percentage (.497).

LSU is second in the SEC with a .309 team batting average, and the Tigers have launched 31 home runs, which is also No. 2 in the league.

Alabama is led at the plate by freshman outfielder Georgie Salem, who is batting .289 with three doubles and 18 RBI. Sophomore outfielder/catcher Ben Moore is hitting .278 with seven doubles, four triples, two homers and 25 RBI.

Alabama is 13th in the SEC in team batting average (.250), and the Crimson Tide has hit nine homers this season.

Alabama leads LSU, 192-158-3, in a series that began in 1906. The Tigers, however, have a 34-12 overall mark against Alabama over the past 13 seasons (2000-12). LSU has won 10 of its last 13 SEC regular-season series versus the Tide. The Tigers have also won six of the last seven SEC series over Alabama, including a three-game sweep last season in Alex Box Stadium.

#2 LSU Fighting Tigers (35-3, 13-2 SEC) at Alabama Crimson Tide (23-16, 8-7 SEC)

DATES/TIMES
Friday, April 19 – 6:30 p.m. CT
Saturday, April 20 – 7 p.m. CT
Sunday,  April 21 – 1 p.m. CT

STADIUM
Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

RANKINGS
LSU – No. 2 by Collegiate Baseball; No. 2 by USA Today; No. 3 by Baseball America
UA – unranked

RADIO
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates; Baton Rouge affiliate is WDGL 98.1 FM; Pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to first pitch

TV
Friday – none
Saturday – Fox Sports Net (Cable Ch. 38 in Baton Rouge)
Sunday - none

INTERNET
www.LSUsports.net – live audio and stats of all three games
www.ESPN3.com – live video of Saturday’s game (blacked out in Southeastern Conference states)

SERIES RECORD
Alabama leads LSU, 192-158-3, in a series that began in 1906. The Tigers, however, have a 34-12 overall mark against Alabama over the past 13 seasons (2000-12). LSU has won 10 of its last 13 SEC regular-season series versus the Tide. The Tigers have also won six of the last seven SEC series over Alabama, including a three-game sweep last season in Alex Box Stadium.

PITCHING MATCHUPS
Game 1
LSU – So. RHP Aaron Nola (6-0, 2.47 ERA, 62.0 IP, 11 BB, 72 SO)
UA – Sr. RHP Charley Sullivan (3-3, 3.06 ERA, 53.0 IP, 13 BB, 48 SO)

Game 2
LSU – Jr. RHP Ryan Eades (7-1, 1.97 ERA, 59.1 IP, 16 BB, 56 SO)
UA – So. LHP Justin Kamplain (0-0, 4.07 ERA, 24.1 IP, 10 BB, 20 SO)

Game 3
LSU – TBA
UA – So. RHP Spencer Turnbull (4-1, 2.30 ERA, 54.2 IP, 21 BB, 29 SO)

 

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