LSU Baseball vs Missouri Preview
The three game SEC Series between LSU and Mizzou in Baton Rouge this weekend will be the final regular season games broadcast by the retiring Voice of the Tigers, Jim Hawthorne at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. As a special treat on Saturday, Hawthorne will sing the National Anthem.
LSU Baseball Report/William P. Franques
#21 Missouri Tigers (28-21, 14-10 SEC) at #1 LSU Fighting Tigers (40-8, 16-7 SEC)
Friday, May 8 – 7 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)
Saturday, May 9 – 7:30 p.m. CT (SEC Network)
Sunday, May 10 – 2 p.m. CT (SEC Network)
Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field (10,326) in Baton Rouge, La.
LSU – No. 1 Baseball America; No. 1 USA Today; No. 1 D1 Baseball; No. 1 Collegiate Baseball; No. 1 Perfect Game; No. 1 NCBWA
Missouri – No. 21 Baseball America; No. 21 D1 Baseball
Friday – SEC Network + (available at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app)
Saturday – SEC Network
Sunday – SEC Network
LSU leads Missouri, 5-0, in the all-time series between the schools. LSU defeated MU 5-1 in 1986 and 8-5 in 1987 – both games were played in the original Alex Box Stadium. The teams’ only previous matchup as SEC foes occurred in 2013, when LSU swept three games in Columbia by scores of 2-0, 8-0 and 6-5. LSU coach Paul Mainieri and Missouri coach Tim Jamieson were teammates in 1978 and 1979 at the University of New Orleans.
LSU – So. LHP Jared Poche’ (7-1, 2.65 ERA, 78.0 IP, 19 BB, 47 SO)
Missouri – Jr. RHP Reggie McClain (6-5, 3.69 ERA, 83.0 IP, 14 BB, 70 SO)
LSU – Fr. RHP Alex Lange (8-0, 2.22 ERA, 69.0 IP, 30 BB, 74 SO)
Missouri – Fr. RHP Tanner Houck (7-3, 3.28 ERA, 79.2 IP, 9 BB, 71 SO)
LSU – TBA
MSU – Jr. RHP Peter Fairbanks (4-4, 2.64 ERA, 64.2 IP, 21 BB, 64 SO)
The first 1,000 fans through the gates on Friday will receive a free power bank charger. The annual LSU baseball fireworks show will follow Friday night’s game.
The first 1,000 fans through the gates on Saturday will receive a messenger bag. “Voice of the Tigers” Jim Hawthorne will sing the National Anthem prior to Saturday’s game.
Sunday’s home finale will be Senior Day, as the Tigers’ senior players and equipment managers will be honored in pregame ceremonies. It is also Mother’s Day and the first 1,000 moms through the gates will receive an LSU baseball make-up mirror.
BATON ROUGE, La. – Top-ranked LSU (40-8, 16-7 SEC) begins a three-game series versus No. 21 Missouri (28-21, 14-10 SEC) at 7 p.m. CT Friday at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Game 2 of the series is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT Saturday, and first pitch for Game 3 is set for 2 p.m. CT Sunday.
The games will be carried on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, including WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge, and live audio and stats may be accessed at www.LSUsports.net.
Friday’s game may be viewed live on SEC Network +, accessible at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. The games on Saturday and Sunday will be televised by the SEC Network.
LSU is ranked No. 1 this week in all six college baseball polls, marking the eighth week this season the Tigers are No. 1 in at least one poll. LSU has won 17 of its last 20 games and 10 of its last 12.
The Tigers are in first place in the SEC Western Division, tied with Texas A&M. LSU is in second place in the overall conference race, just one-half game behind Eastern Division leader Vanderbilt.
LSU posted an SEC series victory last weekend over Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., improving to 11-2 in road games this season, including 9-2 in SEC road contests. This weekend’s series with Missouri marks LSU’s final three regular-season home games of the year. The Tigers wrap up the regular season next weekend at South Carolina.
“We’re in the heat of a pennant race, so this series certainly will have major implications upon our goal to win a championship” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Missouri has an outstanding ball club; their pitching has been tremendous all season, but they also have a very talented lineup that hit five homers in a game last weekend against Ole Miss. Our players are excited to be back home to play in the best environment in college baseball. We’re really looking forward to the challenge of facing an excellent Missouri team.”
LSU is No. 2 in the nation in hits (574), and the Tigers are No. 3 in the nation and No.1 in the SEC with a .319 team batting average.
The Tigers are paced offensively by senior catcher Kade Scivicque -- the SEC’s fifth-leading hitter – who is batting .370 on the year with 15 doubles, five homers, 35 RBI and 23 runs.
LSU junior first baseman Chris Chinea is hitting .369 with 11 doubles, seven homers and 41 RBI, and senior third baseman Conner Hale is batting .333 with 14 doubles, two triples, four homers and 44 RBI.
LSU junior shortstop Alex Bregman enters the Missouri series with hitting streak of 13 games and a reached-base streak of 45 games. Bregman leads the SEC this season in stolen bases (26), and he is No. 2 in doubles (20), No. 3 in total bases (115), No. 3 in runs scored (48), No. 8 in slugging percentage (.596) and No. 10 in home runs (8).
The LSU pitching staff is second in the SEC and 14th in the nation with a 2.89 team ERA. Freshman right-hander Alex Lange is No. 2 in the SEC in ERA (2.22) and No. 4 in the league in strikeouts (74). Freshman right-hander Jesse Stallings leads the SEC in saves with 12.
Sophomore left-hander Jared Poche’, LSU’s Game 1 starter versus Missouri on Friday night, turned in the longest outing of his career last Thursday at Mississippi State, firing nine innings and limiting the Bulldogs to two earned runs on eight hits with four strikeouts. Poche’ was not involved in the decision of LSU’s eventual 14-inning win, but the effort surpassed his previous career-long outing of 8.2 innings last season versus Georgia.
Missouri is hitting .262 as a team (13th in the SEC) with 36 homers and 61 steals in 86 attempts. Mizzou is led at the plate by freshman catcher/infielder Brett Bond, who is hitting .310 with two doubles, five homers and 23 RBI. Sophomore infielder Ryan Howard is batting .301 and has 11 doubles, three homers and 33 RBI, while junior infielder Josh Lester has a team-high six homers to go along with seven doubles, two triples and a team-best 37 RBI.
Missouri is No. 6 in the SEC with a 3.43 staff ERA and No. 5 in the league with 388 strikeouts pitched.
LSU leads Missouri, 5-0, in the all-time series between the schools. LSU defeated MU 5-1 in 1986 and 8-5 in 1987 – both games were played in the original Alex Box Stadium. The teams’ only previous matchup as SEC foes occurred in 2013, when LSU swept three games in Columbia by scores of 2-0, 8-0 and 6-5. Mainieri and Missouri coach Tim Jamieson were teammates in 1978 and 1979 at the University of New Orleans.