LSU's Alex Bregman
Photo by:Steve Franz, LSU Athletics Staff Photographer
Baseball to Open Series with No. 9 Mississippi St.
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Published: April 03, 2014, 10:20 PM (CT)
Updated: April 04, 2014, 08:13 AM (CT)
by Bill Franques, Sr. Associate SID

BATON ROUGE, La. – Ninth-ranked LSU (21-8-1, 3-5-1 SEC) opens a three-game Southeastern Conference series at 6:30 p.m. CT Friday versus Mississippi State (20-10, 6-3 SEC) – also ranked as high as No. 9 in one of the polls - in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

Game 2 of the series starts at 6:30 CT p.m. Saturday, and first pitch for Game 3 is 1 p.m. CT Sunday.

The games can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including Baton Rouge flagship WDGL-FM 98.1 FM. Live audio and stats of the games may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net, and live video will be available in the Geaux Zone on Sunday.

Friday's game will be televised by Cox Sports Television and Comcast Sports Southeast, Saturday's game will be televised by ESPNU, and Sunday's game can be seen on Cox Sports Television. The games may also be viewed at ESPN3/WatchESPN.

“The level of popularity for SEC baseball that we enjoy today is largely due to the rivalry between LSU and Mississippi State,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. (Former coaches) Ron Polk (of MSU) and Skip Bertman (of LSU) developed outstanding programs that flourished in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and other SEC schools began to follow the model that they established.

“This is obviously a very important series for us, and we're very glad to be back at home after playing two of the past three week on the road. Mississippi State is playing very well, they've won all three of their SEC series, and they have an excellent ball club. We're looking forward to a tremendous weekend of baseball between two great programs.”

Mainieri said LSU junior right-hander Aaron Nola will start Friday's game on the mound for the Tigers, followed by freshman left-hander Jared Poche' on Saturday. The Tigers' Game 3 starter has yet to be determined.

Mississippi State coach John Cohen will counter with junior left-hander Ross Mitchell on Friday and junior right-hander Trevor Fitts on Saturday. The Bulldogs have also not yet determined their Sunday starter.

LSU enters the series batting .274 as a team with 14 homers and 24 steals in 35 attempts. The Tigers are led by catcher Kade Scivicque, who is hitting .367 with four doubles, three homers and 18 RBI. Centerfielder Andrew Stevenson is batting .341 with four triples and 14 RBI, while second baseman Conner Hale is hitting .307 with three doubles and 11 RBI.

LSU is 21-0 this season when leading after eight innings, and the Tigers are 13-3 when scoring first. LSU has played 11 errorless games this season, and the Tigers are 10-0-1 in those contests. LSU is 17-7 when the opponent starts a right-handed pitcher, and the Tigers are 4-1-1 when the opponent starts a left-hander.

Mississippi State is hitting .270 as a team with six home runs and 45 steals in 59 attempts. The Bulldogs are led at the plate by outfielder Demarcus Henderson, who is hitting .333 with two doubles, five RBI, 13 runs and nine stolen bases. Outfielder C.T. Bradford is batting .323 with two doubles, four triples and 12 RBI, while first baseman Wes Rea is hitting .283 with three homers and 25 RBI.

Mississippi State leads the overall series with LSU, 200-172-1, and the first meeting between the teams occurred in 1905. Last year, the Tigers won two of three regular-season games over the Bulldogs in Starkville. LSU has won 15 of the last 23 meetings between the clubs. LSU has also posted seven straight SEC series wins over the Bulldogs. Mississippi State's last regular-season series win over LSU came in 2006, when the Bulldogs won two of three games in the original Alex Box Stadium.

#9 Mississippi State Bulldogs (20-10, 6-3 SEC) at #9 LSU Fighting Tigers (21-8-1, 3-5-1SEC)

DATES/TIMES
Friday, April 4 – 6:30 p.m. CT
Saturday, April 5 – 6:30 p.m. CT
Sunday, April 6 – 1 p.m. CT

STADIUM
Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field (10,326)

RANKINGS
LSU – No. 9 by USA Today; No. 16 by Collegiate Baseball; No. 20 by Baseball America
MSU – No. 9 by Baseball America; No. 10 by Collegiate Baseball; No. 12 by USA Today

RADIO
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge)

INTERNET
LSUsports.net – live audio in the Geaux Zone/live video for Sunday's game/free live stats
The games may also be viewed at ESPN3/WatchESPN

TV
Friday – Cox Sports Television/Comcast Sports Southeast
Saturday – ESPNU
Sunday – Cox Sports Television

SERIES RECORD
Mississippi State leads the overall series with LSU, 200-172-1, and the first meeting between the teams occurred in 1905. Last year, the Tigers won two of three regular-season games over the Bulldogs in Starkville. LSU has won 15 of the last 23 meetings between the clubs. LSU has also posted seven straight SEC series wins over the Bulldogs. Mississippi State's last regular-season series win over LSU came in 2006, when the Bulldogs won two of three games in the original Alex Box Stadium.

PITCHING MATCHUPS
Game 1
LSU – Jr. RHP Aaron Nola (5-1, 0.55 ERA, 49.0 IP, 9 BB, 61 SO)
MSU – Jr. LHP Ross Mitchell (5-1, 1.55 ERA, 52.1 IP, 13 BB, 27 SO)

Game 2
LSU – Fr. LHP Jared Poche' (5-2, 2.61 ERA, 38.0 IP, 12 BB, 25 SO)
MSU – Jr. RHP Trevor Fitts (2-1, 3.09 ERA, 35.0 IP, 6 BB, 40 SO)

Game 3
LSU – TBA
MSU – TBA

 

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