LSU's Raph Rhymes is batting .497 (71 of 143) this season.
Photo by:Hilary Scheinuk, LSU Athletics Student Photographer
Baseball Takes on Georgia in Weekend Series
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Published: April 26, 2012, 11:31 PM (CT)
by Bill Franques, Sr. Associate SID

BATON ROUGE -- Third-ranked LSU (33-9, 12-6 SEC ) resumes SEC play at 7 p.m. Friday when the Tigers play host to Georgia (24-18, 8-10 SEC) in Game 1 of a three-game series in Alex Box Stadium.

Game 2 begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and first pitch for Game 3 is 1 p.m. Sunday.

The games 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 Friday's game may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net, and live audio and stats will be available in the Geaux Zone on Saturday and Sunday. Live video of the Saturday and Sunday games may be viewed at www.ESPN3.com.

Friday's game will be televised by Cox Sports Television, Saturday's game may be seen on both Cox Sports Television and Comcast Sports Southeast, and Sunday's game will be shown on ESPN2.

LSU enters this weekend's action with a 12-6 conference mark, and the Tigers lead the SEC Western Division by three games over Ole Miss and Arkansas. LSU has a 6-3 mark against teams ranked in the Top 3 in the nation at the time of their series meeting with the Tigers. In three of the past four weeks, LSU has faced No. 3 Arkansas, No.1 Florida and No. 2 Kentucky.

LSU is one game behind Kentucky (13-5 SEC) in the overall league standings.

Mainieri said that sophomore right-hander Kevin Gausman (7-1, 3.00 ERA) will start Friday's game on the mound for the Tigers, while Georgia coach David Perno will counter with sophomore left-hander Alex Wood (5-1, 2.57 ERA).

The state of Georgia annually produces some of the top high school players in the country, so Georgia is always a very talented team," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "They have a tremendous program, and we're looking forward to a great series this weekend. Alex Wood is one of the best left-handers in the nation, so Kevin Gausman will need to pitch at a very high level to give us a chance to win the first game. Kevin has been outstanding for us all season, and we're expecting a great effort from him on Friday night." 

SEC Baseball Standings
Eastern Division SEC Overall 
Kentucky 13-5 35-7
Florida 11-7 32-10
South Carolina 11-7 30-11
Georgia 8-10 24-18
Tennessee 7-11 22-19
Vanderbilt 7-11 19-22
Western Division SEC Overall 
LSU 12-6 33-9
Arkansas 9-9 29-12
Ole Miss 9-9 27-14
Mississippi St. 8-10 25-16
Auburn 7-11 22-19
Alabama 6-12 17-25
SEC Weekend Schedule

All Times Central and Subject to Change

Thursday, April 26
Alabama at South Carolina, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

Friday, April 27
Alabama at South Carolina, 6 p.m.
Arkansas at Florida, 6 p.m.
Tennessee at Auburn, 6 p.m.
Kentucky at Vanderbilt, 6:30 p.m.
Georgia at LSU, 7 p.m. (CST)
Ole Miss at Mississippi St., 7 p.m. (SportSouth)

Saturday, April 28
Alabama at South Carolina, 12:30 p.m.
Kentucky at Vanderbilt, 2 p.m.
Ole Miss at Mississippi St., 2 p.m. (SportSouth)
Tennessee at Auburn, 3 p.m.
Arkansas at Florida, 6 p.m.
Georgia at LSU, 6:30 p.m. (CSS)

Sunday, April 29
Georgia at LSU, 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
Kentucky at Vanderbilt, 1 p.m.
Tennessee at Auburn, 1 p.m.
Ole Miss at Mississippi St., 1:30 p.m. (CSS)
Arkansas at Florida, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN) 

Gausman defeated Kentucky last Friday, firing 101 pitches in seven innings in the Tigers' 5-4 victory over the Wildcats. He allowed four runs on 10 hits with one walk and 11 Ks, his second-highest strikeouts total this season. He leads the SEC with 88 strikeouts and opponents are batting just .231 against him

The LSU pitching staff has a 3.22 ERA (fifth in the SEC), while Georgia has a 3.72 ERA (10th in the SEC).

LSU enters the series batting .300 as a team, which ranks fourth in the SEC. Junior leftfielder Raph Rhymes leads the nation in hitting with a .497 (71-for-143) average, and he has 11 doubles, two homers and 45 RBI. Junior rightfielder Mason Katz is batting .342 with 11 doubles, one triple, seven homers and 31 RBI, while senior third baseman Tyler Hanover is hitting .308 with eight doubles, one homer and 21 RBI.

Georgia  is hitting .276 as a team (seventh in the SEC) with 20 home runs and 40 steals in 48 attempts. The Bulldogs are led at the plate by junior infielder Curt Powell, who is batting .353 with 10 doubles, one triple, one homer and 15 RBI. Freshman outfielder Hunter Cole is hitting .316 with nine doubles, six homers and 17 RBI, while junior shortstop Kyle Farmer is batting .288 with 16 doubles, three homers and 27 RBI.

LSU leads the overall series with Georgia, 58-21-2, though the Bulldogs posted a 2-1 series victory over the Tigers last season in Athens. LSU has won six of its last eight SEC regular-season series versus UGA. LSU has a 7-6-1 advantage over the Bulldogs in games played over the past four seasons.

Georgia Bulldogs (24-18, 8-10 SEC) at #3 LSU Fighting Tigers (33-9, 12-6 SEC)

DATES/TIMES
Friday, April 27 - 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 28 - 6:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 29 - 1 p.m.

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

RANKINGS
LSU - No. 3 by Collegiate Baseball; No. 4 by Baseball America; No. 6 by USA Today/ESPN
UGA - unranked

RADIO
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates
The Baton Rouge affiliate is WDGL 98.1 FM
Pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to first pitch

INTERNET
www.LSUsports.net - live video, audio and stats on Friday; live audio and stats on Saturday and Sunday
www.ESPN3.com  - live video on Saturday and Sunday

TV
Friday - Cox Sports Television
Saturday - Cox Sports Television/Comcast Sports Southeast
Sunday - ESPN2

SERIES RECORD
LSU leads the overall series with Georgia, 58-21-2, though the Bulldogs posted a 2-1 series victory over the Tigers last season in Athens. LSU has won six of its last eight SEC regular-season series versus UGA. LSU has a 7-6-1 advantage over the Bulldogs in games played over the past four seasons.

PITCHING MATCHUPS
Game 1
LSU - So. RHP Kevin Gausman (7-1, 3.00 ERA, 69.0 IP, 20 BB, 88 SO)
UGA - So. LHP Alex Wood (5-1, 2.57 ERA, 66.2 IP, 14 BB, 69 SO)

Game 2
LSU - So. RHP Ryan Eades (5-2, 3.26 ERA, 60.2 IP, 15 BB, 46 SO)
UGA - Sr. RHP Michael Palazzone (2-5, 5.46 ERA, 56.0 IP, 10 BB, 46 SO)

Game 3
LSU - Fr. RHP Aaron Nola (5-1, 3.55 ERA, 50.2 IP, 4 BB, 53 SO)
UGA - Fr. RHP Luke Crumley (1-2, 4.43 ERA, 22.1 IP, 9 BB, 13 SO)

  

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