LSU will travel to new SEC foe Missouri
BATON ROUGE — Second-ranked LSU (23-2, 5-1 SEC) travels to Columbia, Mo., for the first time this weekend as the Tigers face Missouri (9-12, 2-4 SEC) in a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Taylor Stadium.
Game 1 of the series begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Game 2 starts at 1 p.m. Saturday and first pitch for Game 3 is 1 p.m. Sunday.
The games can be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (98.1 FM in Baton Rouge). Live audio and stats may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.
Saturday’s game will be televised by Fox Sports Net.
LSU has won 17 of its past 18 games and five in a row, including a 14-1 victory at Tulane Tuesday night in New Orleans. The Tigers’ 23-2 mark matches the best 25-game record in school history. LSU’s 1986 and 1997 teams were also 23-2 through 25 games.
“We’re excited about going to Missouri for the first time; we enjoy traveling to play in a new environment, and I think our players are looking forward to that,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said in a university release. “Missouri has a tremendous baseball tradition, and I know their coach, Tim Jamieson, very well. Tim and I were teammates at the University of New Orleans in 1978 and 1979, and we have a great friendship. Tim has done a fantastic job with the Missouri program, and his team will be ready to play. We have to be prepared to play at our best in order to beat them.”
Mainieri said sophomore right-hander Aaron Nola will start Friday’s game on the mound for LSU, followed by junior right-hander Ryan Eades Saturday and sophomore left-hander Cody Glenn Sunday.
Jamieson will counter with junior left-hander Rob Zastryzny, sophomore right-hander Brett Graves and freshman right-hander Alec Rash.
Eades improved to 5-0 this season with an excellent outing against Auburn Saturday. He worked 6.2 innings, limiting Auburn to one run on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Eades lowered his cumulative earned run average to 1.63.
He has recorded 40 strikeouts (No. 4 in the SEC) in 38.2 innings this season.
Glenn worked 7.2 innings Sunday to earn a win against Auburn, allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Glenn’s 7.2 innings pitched marked the longest outing by an LSU hurler this season
LSU freshman shortstop Alex Bregman is hitting a remarkable .696 (16-for-23) in the Tigers’ last five games with two doubles, four RBIs and nine runs scored. He has collected at least three hits in each of the Tigers’ last five games, including a 4-for-4 outing at Tulane Tuesday.
Bregman, who is riding a 13-game hitting streak, batted a sizzling .692 (9-for-13) in the Auburn series last weekend and was named SEC Player of the Week. Bregman is LSU’s leading hitter this season, batting .443 with eight doubles, two triples, two homers, 23 RBIs, seven stolen bases and 29 runs scored.
Senior first baseman Mason Katz leads the nation this season in RBIs (41) and he is third in NCAA listings in home runs (10). Katz is hitting .396 on the year, and he has an .813 slugging percentage.
LSU is batting .313 as a team with 20 home runs and 26 steals in 36 attempts.
Missouri is led at the plate by junior catcher Dylan Kelly, who is hitting .368 with six doubles, one homer and 13 RBIs. Senior outfielder Dane Opel is batting .338 with three doubles, one triple, two homers and 11 RBIs.
Missouri, which defeated Nebraska-Omaha, 11-4, Wednesday, is batting .250 as a team with four home runs and 12 steals in 20 attempts.
LSU leads Missouri, 2-0, 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.