LSU's JaCoby Jones
Photo by:Steve Franz, LSU Athletics Staff Photographer
Baseball to Play Series at Arkansas; Watch Live
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Published: April 07, 2011, 12:05 PM (CT)
Updated: April 08, 2011, 10:37 AM (CT)
by Bill Franques, Sr. Associate SID

BATON ROUGE - No. 15 LSU (21-8, 3-6 SEC) travels to Fayetteville, Ark., this weekend for a three-game SEC series against Arkansas that begins at 6:30 p.m. CT Friday.

Game 2 starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, and first pitch for Game 3 is set for 1 p.m. Sunday.

Live audio and stats of the games may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live. Live video from Friday and Sunday's game will also be available to subscribers courtesy of Arkansas's razorbacks.com. Join the Geaux Zone here.

The games can also be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.

Saturday's game will be televised by ESPNU and Sunday's game will be televised by Cox Sports Television.

LSU and Arkansas are attempting this weekend to climb in the conference standings, as the teams enter the series tied for fourth in the SEC West. The Tigers have won four of their last five games, while the Razorbacks have lost four of their last six.

"We have great respect for the Arkansas program, and we know we're going to be playing in a very competitive environment," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "This weekend presents an opportunity for our players to perform at a high level, and we're looking forward to a tremendous challenge."

Mainieri said freshman right-hander Kurt McCune will start on the mound Friday for the Tigers, followed by freshman right-hander Kevin Gausman on Saturday and senior right-hander Ben Alsup on Sunday.

McCune improved to 5-0 on the year as he defeated Ole Miss in Game 1 last Friday. McCune limited the Rebels to three runs on six hits in seven innings with four walks and seven strikeouts. He won his second straight SEC start and his cumulative ERA is a staff-best 1.90. In 47.1 innings this season, McCune has limited opponents to a .176 cumulative batting average.

Alsup pitched the Tigers to a series-clinching win over Ole Miss on Sunday, limiting the Rebels to two runs on eight hits in eight innings with two walks and four strikeouts, Alsup defeated Ole Miss for the second straight time, as he blanked the Rebels in a seven-inning contest in the 2010 SEC Tournament, Alsup is now 4-3 this season with a 2.89 ERA, the second best ERA on the staff, trailing only McCune.

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn will counter with sophomore right-hander DJ Baxendale on Friday and freshman right-hander Brandon Moore on Saturday. The Razorbacks' Sunday starter has yet to be determined.

The Tigers are batting .307 as a team with 50 doubles, eight triples, 22 homers and 56 steals on the year.  The LSU pitching staff has a 4.09 ERA with 212 strikeouts and a .243 opponent batting average.

LSU is ranked No. 3 in the SEC in team batting average, and the Tigers are No. 9 in the league in staff ERA.

The Tigers are led at the plate by junior centerfielder Mikie Mahtook, who is hitting .392 with six doubles, three triples, 10 homers and 33 RBI. Mahtook leads the SEC in home runs, RBI, runs scored (38), total bases (82) and slugging percentage (.804).

LSU sophomore designated hitter Raph Rhymes is batting .357 with eight doubles, one homer and 21 RBI while freshman second baseman JaCoby Jones is hitting .350 with four doubles, one triple, three homers and 20 RBI.

Arkansas is batting .279 with 50 doubles, eight triples, 17 homers and 60 stolen bases.  The Razorbacks' pitching staff has a 3.24 ERA with 221 strikeouts and a .231 opponent batting average.

Arkansas is No. 10 in the SEC in team batting average and the Razorbacks are fifth in the league in team ERA.

The Razorbacks are led at the plate by freshman infielder Dominic Ficociello, who is hitting .340 with 12 doubles, one triple and 26 RBI. Senior outfielder Kyle Robinson is batting .327 with two doubles, three triples, five homers and 26 RBI, while junior outfielder Collin Kuhn is hitting .304 with five doubles, three homers and 20 RBI.

LSU leads the series with Arkansas, 51-23. LSU has won its last six SEC regular-season series vs. Arkansas, including a 2-1 series victory last season in Alex Box Stadium. The Razorbacks' last series win over LSU came in 2004 in Baton Rouge. The Tigers are 15-5 against Arkansas over the past six seasons, including two wins over the Razorbacks in the 2009 College World Series.

#15 LSU Fighting Tigers (21-8, 3-6 SEC) at #18 Arkansas Razorbacks (20-8, 3-6 SEC)

GAME DATES/TIMES
Friday, April 8 - 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 9 - 7 p.m.; Sunday, April 10 - 1 p.m.

STADIUM
Baum Stadium in Fayetteville, Ark.

RANKINGS
LSU - No. 15 USA Today/ESPN; No. 15 NCBWA; No. 17 Baseball America; No. 26 Collegiate Baseball
UA - No. 18 NCBWA; No. 22 USA Today/ESPN; No. 25 Collegiate Baseball

RADIO
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates/flagship station is WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge

INTERNET
www.LSUsports.net/live - live audio, video (Friday/Sunday courtesy of Arkansas) and stats

TV
No TV on Friday; ESPNU on Saturday; Cox Sports Television on Sunday

SERIES RECORD
LSU leads the series with Arkansas, 51-23. LSU has won its last six SEC regular-season series vs. Arkansas, including a 2-1 series victory last season in Alex Box Stadium. The Razorbacks' last series win over LSU came in 2004 in Baton Rouge. The Tigers are 15-5 against Arkansas over the past six seasons, including two wins over the Razorbacks in the 2009 College World Series.

PITCHING MATCHUPS
Game 1
LSU - Fr. RHP Kurt McCune (5-0, 1.90 ERA, 47.1 IP, 12 BB, 35 SO)
UA - So. RHP DJ Baxendale (5-1, 1.85 ERA, 34.0 IP, 7 BB, 33 SO)

Game 2
LSU - Fr. RHP Kevin Gausman (2-3, 5.59 ERA, 37.0 IP, 14 BB, 36 SO)
UA - Fr. RHP Brandon Moore (2-1, 3.89 ERA, 34.2 IP, 8 BB, 23 SO)

Game 3
LSU - Sr. RHP Ben Alsup (4-3, 2.89 ERA, 37.1 IP, 13 BB, 27 SO)
UA - TBA

 

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