LSU will host Stephen F. Austin today

Staff Report

BATON ROUGE — No. 3 LSU (10-1) host Stephen F. Austin (3-6) at 6:30 p.m. today in Alex Box Stadium.

LSU won all four of its games last week and have won five straight since dropping a 9-4 decision to BYU on Feb. 23.

“We start our SEC schedule next week at Mississippi State,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said in a university release, “and I feel our team is ready for conference play. We must continue to improve, certainly, but I like the way we’ve played up to this point. This is a very important week for us, the final week before we go to Starkville, and every game is important as we try to build a strong resume for the end of the season. The Stephen F. Austin game begins a very busy week for us against some very capable teams.”

The LSU-Stephen F. Austin game is the first of five this week for the Tigers.

LSU hosts Sacred Heart at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and the Tigers welcome Washington to Alex Box Stadium this weekend for a three-game series.

LSU starting pitchers have not allowed an earned run in 27.2 consecutive innings, dating back to Feb. 24 when junior right-hander Ryan Eades allowed a run in the sixth inning against Southeastern Louisiana.

Sophomore left-hander Cody Glenn earned two victories in two starts last week, firing 14 shutout innings while defeating Louisiana-Lafayette and Nicholls State. Glenn worked seven scoreless innings at UL-Lafayette Feb. 26, limiting the Cajuns to no runs on three hits with no walks and one strikeout while firing 69 pitches.

He defeated Nicholls Sunday with another seven shutout innings, this time allowing no runs on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts while throwing 90 pitches.

Eades was dominant in his outing Saturday against Brown, firing a career-high 11 strikeouts while limiting the Bears to no runs on five hits with no walks in six innings.

Sophomore right-hander Aaron Nola also posted a career-best strikeouts total when he fanned 11 against Brown Friday. Nola didn’t figure in the decision of the Tigers’ 4-3 win, but he limited the Bears to one unearned run on three hits in seven innings with no walks.

Freshman shortstop Alex Bregman batted .389 (7-for-18) in the Tigers’ four wins last week with one triple, one homer and six RBIs.

He drove in four runs in LSU’s 11-2 win Tuesday at Louisiana-Lafayette, blasting his first career collegiate home run, a three-run dinger.

Bregman also provided a crucial, game-tying hit in the Tigers’ 4-3 win against Brown Friday. With LSU trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning, he delivered a two-out, RBI single that tied the game and allowed the Tigers to eventually win in the bottom of the ninth.

On the year, Bregman is batting .356 (16-for-45) with two doubles, one triple, one homer and 12 RBIs.

LSU is led at the plate by senior leftfielder Raph Rhymes, who is hitting .405 with four doubles, nine RBIs and a .490 on-base percentage. Rhymes has struck out just twice in 49 plate appearances.

Freshman centerfielder Mark Laird is batting .385 for the Tigers with two doubles, two RBIs and a .489 on-base percentage, while senior first baseman Mason Katz is hitting .317 with three doubles, one triple, two homers and a team-best 14 RBIs.

Stephen F. Austin outfielder Ricardo Sanchez is hitting .400 with three doubles and two RBIs, and senior utility player Zach Benson is batting .368 with two doubles, one homer and three RBIs.

Senior second baseman Freddy Villalobos is hitting .333 with two doubles and team-highs of three homers and six RBIs.

LSU leads the all-time series with Stephen F. Austin, 9-0.

Today’s game can be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (98.1 FM in Baton Rouge). Live video, audio and stats are available in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.

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