LSU's Chris Matulis (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will start Thursday's opener.
Photo by:Steve Franz, LSU Athletics Staff Photographer
No. 1 Baseball Plays Host to Pepperdine, Brown
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Published: March 03, 2010, 12:00 AM (CT)
by Bill Franques, Sr. Associate SID

BATON ROUGE -- Top-ranked LSU (7-0) will play host to a three-team, six-game series beginning Thursday in Alex Box Stadium.

The series begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday when the Tigers meet the Pepperdine Waves (3-4) of the West Coast Conference. On Friday, Pepperdine will face the Brown Bears (0-0) of the Ivy League at 2 p.m. before LSU takes on Brown at 7 p.m.

The action continues on Saturday with another Brown-Pepperdine matchup at 2 p.m., followed by an LSU-Pepperdine meeting at 7 p.m.

The series concludes at Noon on Sunday when the Tigers face Brown for the second time.

Fans will be admitted free to the Brown-Pepperdine games on both Friday and Saturday, and concessions will be available during those games. The stadium will be cleared at the conclusion of each Brown-Pepperdine game.

Fans are advised that parking permits are still required in order to park in reserved lots for the two Brown-Pepperdine games.

The LSU games will be carried by the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network. The Baton Rouge affiliate is WDGL 98.1 FM. Live video, audio and stats of all LSU games may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.

None of the games this weekend will be televised.

"This weekend will provide our team with a tremendous challenge," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "Both Pepperdine and Brown have excellent clubs, and we'll certainly have to be at our best to win these games. Pepperdine is a program that has won the College World Series (1992), and they are perennially one of the best teams on the West Coast. Brown is one of the top clubs in the Ivy League; they set a school record last season with a 15-5 record in conference play."

Mainieri said that sophomore left-hander Chris Matulis (1-0) will start Thursday's game for LSU against Pepperdine. Matulis turned in an excellent relief effort versus McNeese State last Wednesday, working five shutout innings while allowing four hits, no walks and five strikeouts.

LSU junior right-hander Austin Ross (1-0) will start Friday's game versus Brown, and sophomore right-hander Joey Bourgeois (1-0) Saturday's game against Pepperdine. The LSU pitcher for Sunday's series finale versus Brown will be determined as the weekend unfolds.

Pepperdine coach Steve Rodriguez will counter with junior right-hander Cole Cook (0-1) on Thursday versus LSU and junior left-hander Matt Bywater (1-0) on Saturday against the Tigers. Bywater fired a complete-game shutout victory against Cal State Fullerton on February 20, allowing just four hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts.

Pepperdine has played a challenging schedule that has also included Long Beach State, Oregon, Cal Poly, Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine. The Waves blanked UCI, 6-0, Tuesday night in Malibu, Calif.

Brown coach Marek Drabinski has not yet announced a rotation for the Bears' games in Baton Rouge. Brown's 2 p.m. matchup on Friday versus Pepperdine will be its 2010 season opener.

LSU extended its season-opening win streak to seven games last week as the Tigers defeated McNeese State on Wednesday and swept three games from William & Mary over the weekend. LSU has won eight straight games dating back to last season's CWS Finals win over Texas.

Saturday's 10-9 victory over William & Mary featured an LSU comeback from an 8-0, sixth-inning deficit. The Tigers tied the game with an eight-run bottom of the sixth before taking the lead for good with two more runs in the seventh. The comeback was the largest for an LSU squad since April 10, 1988, when the Tigers trailed Ole Miss 13-3 through six innings in Alex Box Stadium and rebounded to win 15-13.

Junior catcher Micah Gibbs, a candidate for the 2010 Johnny Bench Award, enjoyed a fantastic week at the plate, batting .467 (7-for-15) in four games with one double, one homer, four RBI and three runs. Gibbs' solo homer in the eighth inning versus McNeese State last Wednesday broke a 1-1 tie and lifted LSU to a 2-1 victory.

Junior centerfielder Leon Landry tied an LSU single-game record with four stolen bases in Game 2 of the twin bill versus William & Mary on Sunday. Landry has stolen six bases in seven attempts this season. Sophomore leftfielder Trey Watkins also has six steals in seven attempts this season, and he was a perfect 4-for-4 in the William & Mary series. Watkins hit .500 (6-for-12) in the series with one double, two triples, three RBI and seven runs, and his on-base percentage was .600.

LSU first baseman Blake Dean increased his career RBI total to 202, moving into a tie with Trey McClure for fourth place on the all-time LSU RBI list. Dean, a senior from Crestview, Fla., also increased his career hits total to 258 and moved into 10th place on the all-time LSU hits list.

Pepperdine Waves (3-4)
Brown Bears (0-0)
# 1 LSU Fighting Tigers (7-0)

Thursday, March 4
Pepperdine at LSU, 6:30 p.m. CT

Friday, March 5
Brown vs. Pepperdine, 2 p.m. CT
Brown at LSU, 7 p.m. CT

Saturday, March 6
Brown vs. Pepperdine, 2 p.m. CT
Pepperdine at LSU, 7 p.m. CT

Sunday, March 7
Brown at LSU, Noon CT

STADIUM
Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. (10,150)

RANKINGS
LSU - No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball; No. 1 by NCBWA; No. 1 by USA Today/ESPN; No. 2 by Baseball America
Pepperdine - unranked
Brown - unranked
 
RADIO (LSU games only)
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates
The Baton Rouge affiliate is WDGL 98.1 FM

INTERNET (LSU games only)
www.LSUsports.net - live video, audio and stats for all LSU games

TV
None
 
SERIES RECORD
First Meeting for LSU vs. both Pepperdine and Brown

PITCHING MATCHUPS (LSU games)

Pepperdine at LSU, 6:30 p.m. Thursday
LSU - So. LHP Chris Matulis (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5.0 IP, 0 BB, 5 SO)
PEP - Jr. RHP Cole Cook (0-1, 2.57 ERA, 14.0 IP, 4 BB, 9 SO)

Brown at LSU, 7 p.m. Friday
LSU - Jr. RHP Austin Ross (1-0, 3.60 ERA, 10.0 IP, 1 BB, 13 SO)
BROWN - TBA

Pepperdine at LSU, 7 p.m. Saturday
LSU - So. RHP Joey Bourgeois (1-0, 3.48 ERA, 10.1 IP, 5 BB, 13 SO)
PEP - Jr. LHP Matt Bywater (1-0, 0.64 ERA, 14.0 IP, 5 BB, 14 SO)

Brown at LSU, 12 p.m. Sunday
LSU - TBA
BROWN - TBA

 

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