LSU's Raph Rhymes (4) and Jordy Snikeris (20)
Photo by:Hilary Scheinuk, LSU Athletics Student Photographer
No. 4 Baseball Travels to Face Ole Miss
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Published: May 03, 2012, 08:18 PM (CT)
by Bill Franques, Sr. Associate SID

BATON ROUGE, La. - Fourth-ranked LSU (36-10, 14-7 SEC) begins a three-game conference series versus No. 24 Ole Miss (30-16, 10-11 SEC) at 6:30 p.m. CT Friday at Swayze Field.

Game 2 of the series starts at 2 p.m. CT Saturday, and first pitch for Game 3 is 1:30 p.m. CT 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 audio and stats of the games may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.

Saturday's game will be televised by SportSouth/Fox Sports Houston (Cox Cable Ch. 38), and it can also be viewed at www.ESPN3.com.

LSU is in a first-place tie with Kentucky and South Carolina in the overall SEC standings, and the Tigers have a three-game lead over Arkansas in the SEC Western Division race. Ole Miss is tied for third in the West, four games behind LSU.

"We know we have a tremendous challenge in front of us, playing a very talented Ole Miss team in a hostile environment," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "We only have each other to rely upon when we're on the road, and I know our players are going to perform with a lot of confidence. LSU-Ole Miss is a great rivalry, and I expect that it will bring out the best in both teams this weekend."

The LSU pitching staff is fifth in the SEC with a 3.20 ERA while Ole Miss is sixth with a 3.32 ERA. The LSU staff leads the league in strikeouts with 421.

Mainieri said that sophomore right-hander Kevin Gausman (7-1, 3.12 ERA), who is third in the nation in strikeouts with 97, will start Friday's game on the mound for LSU. Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco will counter with sophomore right-hander Bobby Wahl (5-1, 2.09 ERA).

LSU ranks fourth in the SEC with a .301 team batting average, and the Tigers have collected 27 homers and 36 steals in 58 attempts.

Junior leftfielder Raph Rhymes continues to lead the nation with a .503 (80-for-159) cumulative batting average, and he has collected 11 doubles, three homers, 46 RBI and 34 runs. Rhymes enters the Ole Miss series riding a 12-game hitting streak, and he has reached base safely in 26 consecutive games.

LSU junior rightfielder Mason Katz is hitting .348 with team-highs of 13 doubles and eight homers to go along with 37 RBI. Sophomore catcher Ty Ross is batting .305 with five doubles, one triple, two homers and 31 RBI while senior third baseman Tyler Hanover is hitting .304 with nine doubles, one homer, 22 RBI and 28 runs.

Ole Miss is hitting .307 as a team (third in the SEC) with 30 home runs and 36 steals in 49 attempts. The Rebels are led at the plate by junior second baseman Alex Yarbrough, who is hitting .417 with 16 doubles, two triples, three homers and 39 RBI. Senior first baseman Matt Snyder is batting .347 with 16 doubles, 10 homers and 48 RBI while senior outfielder Zach Kirksey is hitting .291 with six doubles, 11 homers and 42 RBI.

LSU leads Ole Miss, 163-141, in a series that began in 1906. LSU has captured nine of its last 13 regular-season series with Ole Miss, including a 2-1 series victory last season in Baton Rouge. LSU, however, has not won a series in Oxford since 2004 - the Tigers are 1-8 in their last nine games at Swayze Field. LSU was swept by the Rebels in Oxford in 2006 and 2010, and the Tigers dropped two of three to the Rebels at Swayze Field in 2008.


#4 LSU Fighting Tigers (36-10, 14-7 SEC) at #24 Ole Miss Rebels (30-16, 10-11 SEC)

DATES/TIMES
Friday, May 4 - 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 5 - 2 p.m.; Sunday, May 6 - 1:30 p.m.

STADIUM
Swayze Field in Oxford, Miss.

RANKINGS
LSU - No. 4 by Baseball America; No. 4 by USA Today/ESPN; No. 5 by Collegiate Baseball
UM - No. 24 by Baseball America; No. 25 by USA Today/ESPN

RADIO
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates
The Baton Rouge affiliate is WDGL 98.1 FM
Pregame show starts 15 minutes prior to first pitch

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

TV
Friday - No TV
Saturday - SportSouth/Fox Sports Houston (Cox Cable Ch. 38)
Sunday - No TV

SERIES RECORD
LSU leads Ole Miss, 163-141, in a series that began in 1906. LSU has captured nine of its last 13 regular-season series with Ole Miss, including a 2-1 series victory last season in Baton Rouge. LSU, however, has not won a series in Oxford since 2004 - the Tigers are 1-8 in their last nine games at Swayze Field. LSU was swept by the Rebels in Oxford in 2006 and 2010, and the Tigers dropped two of three to the Rebels at Swayze Field in 2008.

PITCHING MATCHUPS
Game 1
LSU - So. RHP Kevin Gausman (7-1, 3.12 ERA, 75.0 IP, 20 BB, 97 SO)
UM - So. RHP Bobby Wahl (5-1, 2.09 ERA, 60.1 IP, 23 BB, 67 SO)

Game 2
LSU - So. RHP Ryan Eades (5-2, 3.29 ERA, 65.2 IP, 17 BB, 47 SO)
UM - So. RHP Mike Mayers (4-2, 3.69 ERA, 63.1 IP, 19 BB, 43 SO)

Game 3
LSU - Fr. RHP Aaron Nola (5-2, 3.90 ERA, 55.1 IP, 4 BB 54 SO)
UM - TBA

 

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