Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field
Steve Franz

Baseball Opens Season with Military Weekend

Bill Franques
Bill Franques
Communications Sr. Associate

BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 2 LSU opens the 2017 season this weekend in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field by playing host to Air Force and Army. The Tigers will meet Air Force at 7 p.m. CT Friday prior to taking on Army at 4 p.m. CT Saturday. LSU and Air Force will conclude the weekend with a 1 p.m. CT matchup on Sunday.

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In addition, Air Force and Army will meet at noon CT on Friday in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. Admission is free to the Air Force-Army game, which will be broadcast on KLSU 91.1 FM and at www.klsuradio.fm.

The LSU games will be carried on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, including WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge on Friday and Sunday, and WTGE 100.7 FM in Baton Rouge on Saturday.

Live audio of the LSU games may be accessed for free at www.LSUsports.net/live with live stats at www.LSUstats.com

 

 

All three LSU games will be appear online live on SEC Network +, and they may be viewed at www.WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app.

Military Weekend Festivities

LSU, which posted a 45-21 record last season and advanced to an NCAA Super Regional, is ranked No. 2 in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll. LSU, the nation’s leader in wins (249) over the past five years, is also the only team in the country to have earned an NCAA Tournament National Seed in each of the last five seasons (2012-16).

LSU plays host on Friday and Sunday to Air Force, where LSU coach Paul Mainieri served as head coach from 1989-94. One of Mainieri’s former Air Force players, Major Mike Kazlausky, is now the Falcons’ head coach.

The LSU-Air Force and LSU-Army games are the centerpiece of “Military Appreciation” Weekend, which will feature several recognitions of the accomplishments of the U.S. Armed Forces.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to meet the Air Force and Army teams this weekend,” Mainieri said. “They are composed of outstanding young men who have made a commitment to sustain our way of life once they have graduated from their respective academies. We’re looking forward to some great baseball while paying tribute to these dedicated cadets and the tremendous military history of our country.”

LSU Lineup vs. Air Force
Feb. 17, 2017

1. Cole Freeman   2b
2. Antoine Duplantis cf
3. Kramer Robertson ss
4. Greg Deichmann  rf
5. Beau Jordan  lf
6. Bryce Adams  dh
7. Jake Slaughter  1b
8. Michael Papierski c
9. Josh Smith  3b
 Alex Lange  rhp

Coach Paul Mainieri unveiled on Thursday afternoon the Tigers’ starting lineup for the season opener at 7 p.m. CT Friday versus Air Force in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. Mainieri said that junior outfielder Greg Deichmann, who suffered a fractured cheekbone last Friday during practice, has been cleared by doctors to play. Deichmann will bat fourth and start in right field for LSU.

LSU returns eight of its nine starting position players from last season’s team, including senior shortstop Kramer Robertson, senior second baseman Cole Freeman, junior outfielder Greg Deichmann, sophomore infielder Chris Reid, junior catcher Michael Papierski, junior outfielder Beau Jordan, sophomore outfielder Antoine Duplantis. The eighth returning starter, junior designated hitter Bryce Jordan, suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice last week.

Senior left-hander Jared Poche' and All-American junior right-hander Alex Lange are back for their third straight season as one of the best 1-2 weekend starting combinations in the country, and the pitching staff will also feature senior right-handed closer Hunter Newman, who led the Tigers with eight saves last season.

Four Tigers that were chosen in the 2016 MLB Draft – Poche', Robertson, Freeman and Deichmann – all elected to return to school instead of beginning their pro baseball careers. The returning players are complemented by a talented 13-man class of newcomers that includes seven pitchers and six position players. The incoming class was rated as high as No. 4 in the nation in the annual recruiting rankings

LSU leads the overall series with Air Force, 2-0, as the Tigers swept two games from the Falcons on the opening weekend of the 2012 season in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. LSU has a 2-0 series lead over Army, posting an 11-8 win over the Black Knights in 1980 in Baton Rouge, and a 9-0 win in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional at the original Alex Box Stadium.

#2 LSU Fighting Tigers (0-0) vs. Air Force (0-0) and Army (0-0)

DATES/TIMES
Air Force at LSU: Friday, February 17 – 7 p.m. CT
Army at LSU: Saturday, February 18 – 4 p.m. CT
Air Force at LSU: Sunday, February 19 – 1 p.m. CT

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

RANKINGS
LSU – No. 2 by Collegiate Baseball; No. 3 by USA Today; No. 4 by Baseball America
Air Force – unranked
Army - unranked

RADIO
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates
Friday and Sunday – Baton Rouge affiliate is WDGL 98.1 FM
Saturday – Baton Rouge affiliate is WTGE 100.7 FM
Live audio and live stats at www.LSUsports.net

ONLINE
All three games will appear on SEC Network + and may be viewed at WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app

SERIES RECORD
LSU leads the overall series with Air Force, 2-0, as the Tigers swept two games from the Falcons on the opening weekend of the 2012 season in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. LSU has a 2-0 series lead over Army, posting an 11-8 win over the Black Knights in 1980 in Baton Rouge, and a 9-0 win in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional at the original Alex Box Stadium.

PITCHING MATCHUPS
Game 1
LSU – Jr. RHP Alex Lange (8-4, 3.79 ERA, 111.2 IP, 49 BB, 125 SO in 2016)
Air Force – Sr. LHP Jake DeVries (6-6, 5.09 ERA, 63.2 IP, 52 BB, 55 SO in 2016)

Game 2
LSU – Sr. LHP Jared Poche’ (9-4, 3.35 ERA, 102.0 IP, 37 BB, 87 SO in 2016)
Army – So. LHP Tyler Giovinco (1-5, 8.02 ERA, 33.2 IP, 26 BB, 20 SO in 2016)

Game 3
LSU – Fr. RHP Eric Walker (making collegiate debut)
Air Force – So. RHP Matt Hargreaves (3-2, 4.71 ERA, 42.0 IP, 14 BB, 33 SO in 2016)

SPECIAL PROMOTIONS
“Military Appreciation” Weekend at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field
Friday
Noon – Army vs. Air Force
• Pregame: Flyover by Air Force F-16s

7 p.m. – Air Force at LSU
• Pregame: Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute Team
• Ceremonial First Pitch: Brad Garafola Jr. – son of deceased East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Deputy, Brad Garafola Sr.
• National Anthem performed by the LSU Tiger Tenors

Saturday
4 p.m. – Army at LSU
• Pregame: Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute Team/Cannon Demonstration by LSU ROTC
• Ceremonial First Pitch: Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (Army West Point graduate, 1988)
• National Anthem performed by U.S. Army Sergeant Keegan Waldrop
• Top of 3rd Inning: LSU “Soldier Salute” to the cadets of the Army West Point baseball team
• 6th Inning: Recognition of Ray Reich, father of Army Major Stephen Reich, the all-time leader in pitching wins at West Point. Stephen Reich was a helicopter pilot killed during a rescue mission in Afghanistan in 2005.
• 7th Inning Stretch: Singing of God Bless America and salute to a World War II veteran

Sunday
1 p.m. – Air Force at LSU
• Pregame: Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute Team/Flyover by Air Force F-16s
• Ceremonial First Pitch: Ronnie Gerald, father of deceased Baton Rouge Police Officer, Matthew Gerald
• National Anthem: United States Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps
• Top of 3rd Inning: LSU “Soldier Salute” to the cadets of the U.S. Air Force Academy baseball team
• 7th Inning Stretch: Singing of God Bless America and salute to a 25-year Air Force veteran

 

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