No. 1 Baseball to Welcome Lamar to Alex Box
Communications Sr. Associate
BATON ROUGE -- Top-ranked LSU (30-7) plays host to Lamar (13-21) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Alex Box Stadium.
The game will be carried by the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, with Baton Rouge affiliate WDGL 98.1 FM serving as the flagship station. Live video, audio and stats of the game may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live.
LSU is ranked No. 1 in the Collegiate Baseball newspaper poll released Monday. The Tigers have won 13 of their last 14 games, including the last six in a row, and are tied for first place in the SEC standings with No. 2 Kentucky.
The 2012 club is the third LSU team to be ranked No. 1 during the six-season tenure of coach Paul Mainieri. The 2009 team, which won the national championship, was ranked No. 1 in seven different weeks. The 2010 Fighting Tiger squad held a No. 1 ranking for three weeks.
"We're certainly very proud of the No. 1 ranking," Mainieri said. "It brings a lot of notoriety, but it also brings a lot of responsibility. We are not going to ask our players to do anything more than what they've been doing. We want them to continue to play relaxed and aggressive, and have fun. It's a great honor, but it's most important to be No. 1 at the end of the year.
"Lamar certainly has our attention," Mainieri continued, "because they've won two games at Baylor this season, and they've won a game at Rice. They are a very capable, well-coached team, and we need to be prepared for a strong challenge."
Lamar is coached by Jim Gilligan, who has 1,218 career victories in 36 seasons as a collegiate head coach. Gilligan and Mainieri (1,105 wins in 30 seasons) are two of only 11 active NCAA Division I coaches with at least 1,100 wins.
Mainieri said that sophomore right-hander Joe Broussard (4-0, 3.75 ERA) will start Wednesday's game on the mound for LSU. Lamar will counter with senior right-hander Andrew Beasley (0-0, 3.60 ERA).
The Tigers have outscored the opposition, 45-16, during their six-game win streak and are batting .290 in that span with 10 doubles, two triples, four homers and nine steals. The LSU pitching staff has a 2.17 ERA over the past six games, and opponents are hitting just .186 against the Tigers during the win streak.
LSU committed just one error in last weekend's three-game sweep of Alabama - the Tigers have a .978 cumulative fielding percentage (No. 2 in the SEC) and have played nearly half of their games (18 out of 37) without making an error.
The Tigers' pitching staff limited Alabama to just four run on 13 hits in last weekend's series, and the Crimson Tide had just two extra-base hits. LSU lowered its cumulative ERA to 2.96, which is second in the SEC.
Junior centerfielder Arby Fields helped lead LSU to a perfect 5-0 record last week, batting .444 (8-for-18) with one double, five RBI, five runs scored, two stolen bases and a .476 on-base percentage. Fields batted .500 (6-for-12) in the Alabama series with one double, three RBI, three runs and a .636 on-base percentage.
Junior outfielder Raph Rhymes, the SEC's leading hitter with a .476 average, batted .600 (6-for-10) in the Alabama series with one double, three RBI and three runs. Sophomore catcher Ty Ross hit .333 (4-for-12) in the series with one double, his first career triple, three RBI and two runs.
Senior shortstop Austin Nola collected six RBI in the Alabama series, with four of them coming on a grand slam in Friday's 10-2 victory. The grand slam was the second of Nola's career - he also hit one on April 10, 2011 at Arkansas.
Lamar is led at the plate by junior outfielder Darian Johnson, who is hitting .287 with nine doubles, two homers and 13 RBI. Senior outfielder Jeff Abt is batting .266 with 11 doubles, one triple, one homer and 15 RBI.
The Cardinals are batting .249 as a team with 12 homers and 30 stolen bases in 42 attempts.
Lamar leads the overall series with LSU, 5-1 - the teams first met in 1984 and the most recent game between the schools was on February 17, 1995 at the Winn-Dixie Showdown in the Louisiana Superdome. That game marks LSU's only victory in the series as the Tigers posted a 10-6 win in their '95 season opener. Another notable meeting between the schools came at the 1985 NCAA Central Regional in Austin, Texas when the Cardinals eliminated the Tigers from the regional with a 4-3 victory.
Lamar Cardinals (13-21) at #1 LSU Fighting Tigers (30-7)
Wednesday, April 18 - 6:30 p.m. CT
Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. (10,326)
LSU - No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball; No. 4 by Baseball America; No. 4 by USA Today/ESPN
LU - unranked
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates
The Baton Rouge affiliate is WDGL 98.1 FM
Pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to first pitch
www.LSUsports.net - live video, audio and stats
Lamar leads the overall series with LSU, 5-1 - the teams first met in 1984 and the most recent game between the schools was on February 17, 1995, at the Winn-Dixie Showdown in the Louisiana Superdome. That game marks LSU's only victory in the series as the Tigers posted a 10-6 win in their '95 season opener. Another notable meeting between the schools came at the 1985 NCAA Central Regional in Austin, Texas, when the Cardinals eliminated the Tigers from the regional with a 4-3 victory.
LSU - So. RHP Joe Broussard (4-0, 3.75 ERA, 24.0 IP, 7 BB, 24 SO)
LU - Sr. RHP Andrew Beasley (0-0, 3.60 ERA, 10.0 IP, 5 BB, 5 SO)