Join us at Alex Box Stadium for a big weekend of SEC action
Photo by:Steve Franz, LSU Athletics Staff Photographer
Fireworks, Mike VI, Nola Highlight Final Home Series
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Published: May 08, 2014, 03:04 PM (CT)
Updated: May 08, 2014, 07:43 PM (CT)
by Bill Franques, Sr. Associate SID

BATON ROUGE, La. – Sixth-ranked LSU (35-13-1, 13-10-1 SEC) opens a three-game SEC series against No. 19 Alabama (31-18, 13-11 SEC) at 7 p.m. CT Friday in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

Game 2 will begin at 12 p.m. CT Saturday, and first pitch for Game 3 is set for 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 game may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live, and live video will be available in the Geaux Zone on Friday.

The games on Saturday and Sunday will be televised by Cox Sports Television/Comcast Sports Southeast, and they may be viewed live at ESPN3.com.

LSU is in third place in the SEC Western Division standings, just 1.5 games behind first-place Ole Miss and 0.5 game behind Mississippi State. Alabama is in fourth place in the West, only 0.5 game behind LSU.

LSU, ranked No. 6 this week by USA Today, has appeared in the Top 10 of a major college baseball poll for 47 consecutive weeks, and the Tigers have won 21 of their 28 SEC series over the past three seasons.

“Every game is especially critical at this point in the season with just two SEC regular-season weekends remaining,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “All of our goals for this season are still in front of us, and this weekend presents a tremendous challenge with Alabama coming to ‘The Box.’ We have great respect for their players and coaches, and they’re having an outstanding year. We’re looking forward to a very competitive weekend as we try to place ourselves in the best possible position for the postseason.”

LSU all-American right-hander Aaron Nola, the 2013 SEC Pitcher of the Year, will start Friday’s game on the mound for the Tigers. Nola leads the league this season in strikeouts (102), and he is No. 6 on the LSU career list for strikeouts with 313.

“It’s hard to believe this will probably be the last regular-season start at home for Aaron Nola,” Mainieri said. “What a phenomenal career this young man has had at LSU. He’s been a wonderful representative of our university and our baseball program for the past three seasons, and I’m going to savor every moment we have to watch him pitch over the next several weeks.”

The LSU pitching staff is fourth in the SEC with a 2.63 cumulative ERA. The Tigers will face an Alabama club that is No. 4 in the SEC in hitting with a .282 team batting average, and the Crimson Tide is second in the league in home runs with 36.

Alabama is led at the plate by senior first baseman Austen Smith, who is hitting .347 with 10 doubles, six homers and 33 RBI. Junior catcher/outfielder Ben Moore is batting .313 with 11 doubles, one triple, seven homers and 31 RBI, while sophomore infielder Mikey White is hitting .302 with seven doubles, two triples, five homers and 27 RBI.

LSU is eighth in the SEC in hitting with a .274 team batting average, and the Tigers will face an Alabama staff that is eighth in the league with a 3.11 ERA.

Sophomore centerfielder Andrew Stevenson is LSU’s top hitter, batting .351 with four doubles, five triples, seven steals and 24 RBI. Stevenson has reached base safely in 17 straight games.

Junior second baseman Conner Hale is batting .312 with six doubles, one triple, three homers and 23 RBI. Hale hit .429 (6-for-14) in LSU’s four games last week with one double, one triple, two homers, six RBI and four runs scored.

LSU sophomore all-American shortstop Alex Bregman, the 2013 National Freshman of the year, was 3-for-4 with a homer, a double, two RBI and two runs in last Friday’s win over Texas A&M. The outing marked Bregman’s third three-hit game of the season and his first since March 7 vs. Purdue. Bregman leads the Tigers in base hits (54), RBI (31) and steals (10).

Alabama leads LSU, 193-162-3, in a series that began in 1906. The Tigers, however, have a 38-13 overall mark against Alabama over the previous 14 seasons (2000-13). LSU has won 11 of its last 14 and eight of its last nine SEC regular-season series versus the Tide, including a two games to one series victory in Tuscaloosa last season. The Tigers also defeated the Crimson Tide twice in the 2013 SEC Tournament, and LSU has won seven of the eight games played between the schools over the previous two seasons.

#19 Alabama Crimson Tide (31-18, 13-11 SEC) at #6 LSU Fighting Tigers (35-13-1, 13-10-1 SEC)

DATES/TIMES
Friday, May 9 – 7 p.m. CT
Saturday, May 10 – 12 p.m. CT
Sunday, May 11 – 1 p.m. CT

STADIUM
Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field (10,326) in Baton Rouge, La.

RANKINGS
LSU – No. 6 by USA Today; No. 8 by NCBWA; No. 15 by Baseball America; No. 15 by Collegiate Baseball
UA – No. 19 by Baseball America; No. 20 by Collegiate Baseball; No. 22 by USA Today; No. 23 by NCBWA

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

INTERNET
LSUsports.net – live audio in the Geaux Zone/free live stats; also live video in the Geaux Zone on Friday
ESPN3.com – live video on Saturday and Sunday

TV
Friday – none
Saturday – Cox Sports Television/Comcast Sports Southeast
Sunday – Cox Sports Television/Comcast Sports Southeast

PROMOTIONS
Friday – Postgame fireworks show, Tiger Girls dancing during the game, Pregame appearance by Mike VI

Saturday – Giveaway (Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field Mouse Pads to first 2,000 fans); presentation of Dr. Richard Koubek as BASF Professor of Excellence

Sunday – Senior Day, Mother’s Day Giveaway (Pink Hat to first 1,500 moms), Kids run the bases postgame

SERIES RECORD
Alabama leads LSU, 193-162-3, in a series that began in 1906. The Tigers, however, have a 38-13 overall mark against Alabama over the previous 14 seasons (2000-13). LSU has won 11 of its last 14 and eight of its last nine SEC regular-season series versus the Tide, including a two games to one series victory in Tuscaloosa last season. The Tigers also defeated the Crimson Tide twice in the 2013 SEC Tournament, and LSU has won seven of the eight games played between the schools over the previous two seasons.

PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday
LSU – Jr. RHP Aaron Nola (7-1, 1.58 ERA, 85.2 IP, 22 BB, 102 SO)
UA – Jr. RHP Spencer Turnbull (5-4, 2.38 ERA, 72.0 IP, 37 BB, 54 SO)

Saturday
LSU – Fr. LHP Jared Poche' (6-3, 2.58 ERA, 69.2 IP, 23 BB, 43 SO)
UA – Jr. LHP Justin Kamplain (4-3, 3.59 ERA, 67.2 IP, 24 BB, 59 SO)

Sunday
LSU – TBA
UA – TBA

 

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