2/24/17 5:45 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of LSU baseball and I’m ready to see the No. 2 Tigers (4-1) in action tonight when they take on Maryland (1-2) in the first game of this weekend’s series at Alex Box Stadium. Tonight’s contest is set to begin at 7 p.m. with LSU junior RHP Alex Lange on the mound. Look for the Tigers to use the same pitching rotation that worked so well last week in the sweep of Military Appreciation weekend with senior LHP Jared Poché starting tomorrow’s 2 p.m. game and freshman RHP Eric Walker starting Sunday’s 11 a.m. game. See below for the complete pitching matchup. All three LSU-Maryland games can be viewed online on SEC Network +, accessible at WatchESPN.com and via the WatchESPN app. The games can also be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge) and online at lsusports.net/live.
Maryland hasn’t played since last weekend, when it lost two of three games at the Clearwater Tournament in Clearwater, Fla. The Terrapins lost to Ball State and Louisville before recording a 9-7 win over Alabama State to conclude the tournament. LSU leads the all-time series with Maryland, 3-0, as the only prior series meeting between the schools came in 2013, when the Tigers opened the season with a three-game sweep of the Terrapins by scores of 1-0, 5-1 and 14-3 in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Don’t let the above fool you into thinking that this will be a cakewalk for the Tigers. Maryland has advanced to an NCAA Super Regional in two of the past three seasons, making back-to-back appearances in 2014 and 2015, and should provide a good test for the Tigers this weekend.
Here are a few more baseball tidbits from the notes sent out by LSU’s sports information department last night:
• The Tigers are hitting .340 as a team with eight home runs and only 14 strikeouts in five games. Senior shortstop Kramer Robertson is hitting .500 with three doubles, one triple, one homer and six RBI to lead the Tigers’ offense.
• Senior second baseman Cole Freeman is batting .471 with two doubles and four RBI, and freshman first baseman Jake Slaughter is hitting .438 with one homer and four RBI. Junior rightfielder Greg Deichmann has team-highs of three homers and eight RBI. For what it’s worth, if Deichmann keeps up his remarkable pace he’ll hit 34 homers this season.
• Maryland is hitting .294 as a team through its first three games with four doubles, one triple, one homer and eight stolen bases in 11 attempts.
• The Terrapins are led at the plate by sophomore outfielder Marty Costes, who is hitting .500 with one triple and two RBI. Senior infielder Brandon Gum is hitting .500 with one double and two RBI, and sophomore infielder Nick Dunn has team-highs of one homer and three RBI.
In softball news, No. 7 LSU won its double header in sunny California yesterday with a 9-0 run win over the New Mexico State Aggies and a 12-1 win over Bethune-Cookman.
In the first game, LSU scored a pair of runs in the second and exploded for seven more in the very next frame to put the game out of reach. Offensively, the Tigers plated nine runs on nine hits from seven players and were led by Emily Griggs and Amber Serrett who each ended the game with a pair of hits. Serrett was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Griggs was 2-for-3 with an RBI, run scored and stolen base. Sahvanna Jaquish cranked her first home run of the season, a three-run shot in the seven-run third, while Constance Quinn drove in two on her only hit of the game. On the mound, sophomore Sydney Smith (4-0) held the Aggies to a pair of hits in the complete-game shutout.
In the second game, the Tigers produced 12 runs on 14 hits, scoring 10 of those runs in the first two innings alone. Nine different LSU (11-1) players earned hits in the contest, with five earning two. Sydney Springfield finished the game 2-for-2 with a double and three RBI, while Constance Quinn was 2-for-3 with two triples and two RBI. Amber Serrett hit her third home run of the season and roped a double on a 2-for-3 afternoon with three runs scored, while Bailey Landry was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Amanda Doyle rounded out the multi-hit Tigers by going 2-for-3. Of LSU’s 14 hits, six were for extra bases with the doubles from Serrett and Springfield, the triples from Quinn and home runs from Serrett and Shemiah Sanchez, who hit the first of her LSU career on a two-run shot. Freshman Maribeth Gorsuch (1-1) earned her first LSU win in the circle with a complete-game victory by striking out five with no walks and allowing just one run on three hits
Turning to football, yesterday I spent some time updating a few pages, including our Way Too Early Unofficial LSU Football Depth Chart. Give it a look and share your feedback. One thing you’ll probably notice is that I’ve placed Michael Divinity at inside linebacker because I have a suspicion that he might be moved there this spring, especially in light of the fact that Donnie Alexander and Devin Voorhies will be limited in their availability this spring after undergoing offseason shoulder procedures. Another thing you’ll notice is that I’ve placed the veteran players above the newcomers and used italics for the incoming signees’ names. The other page I updated is our LSU Football Schedule, which I’ve changed to reflect the special dates LSU announced on Wednesday (Homecoming, Gold Game, etc.)
Today’s closing tidbits:
• Just like last week, the LSU football program released a new video showing what’s going on in offseason training. Here’s the 1:25 clip for your enjoyment.
• For fellow “recruitniks,” here’s an interesting read by The Advocate’s Ross Dellenger titled, “Has LSU lost control of recruits in north Louisiana? Answers might surprise you.”
• As I’m watching the baseball game tonight, my wife and at least one of my daughters (my nine year old gymnast) will be watching the LSU gym team as it continues its quest for the program’s first SEC regular season championship. The team is set to battle Auburn tonight at 7:30 p.m. in a nationally televised meet inside Auburn Arena. With a win tonight, the purple and gold Tigers (10-1, 5-0) would hold at least a share of the regular season championship with the chance to win it outright in the final conference meet on March 5 against Florida.
• The LSU women’s basketball team saw a seven-point lead slip away late in the fourth quarter last night as Auburn rallied for a 54-49 win over LSU at Auburn Arena. With the loss, LSU fell to 18-10 overall; 7-8 in the SEC. More on that game can be found here.
• Now, lastly, I don’t play golf and I really don’t follow it, but I was asked by several readers to share the good news of the 3rd-ranked LSU golf team’s recent big victory in California. Here’s an excerpt from LSU’s press release: “Led by a 4-under par 67 in Wednesday’s final round and a second-place individual finish by sophomore All-American Sam Burns, No. 3-ranked LSU kept its crown at The Prestige at PGA West while defending its team title with a four-shot victory over Pepperdine in the event held at the Greg Norman Course. The Tigers broke par for the second-straight day as they posted a team score of 1-under par 283 to take the trophy back to Baton Rouge with a final 54-hole score of even-par 852 in the 17th-annual event.”
That’s it for today, folks. Enjoy your Friday and tune in tomorrow for your daily dose of Tiger news including a recap of tonight’s baseball game and gym meet.