Tigers Open SEC Tournament Against Mississippi State
BATON ROUGE — No. 2 seed LSU (38-18, 18-12 SEC) opens SEC Tournament play at 10 a.m. Wednesday against No. 7 seed Mississippi State (36-20, 13-16) at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Ala.
The game can be heard statewide on the LSU Sports Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge). The radio broadcast and live stats are also available on the LSU Athletics web site, www.LSUsports.net.
The game will be televised regionally by Comcast Sports Southeast and the Jumbo Sports Network (Cable Ch. 13 in Baton Rouge).
LSU coach Smoke Laval said the Tigers are looking forward to beginning post-season play.
“Number one, we are pretty healthy,” he explained. “We have progressively gotten better each weekend, even in the last weekend. All in all, we really haven’t played poorly all year, and then again we haven’t clicked on all cylinders but for only a few games this season. Hopefully, we can continue to progress at the right time of the year.”
LSU won its sixth straight SEC series last weekend, capturing two of three games at Mississippi State to capture the Western Division title. The Tigers won 13 of their final 17 conference games to claim the 13th division championship — the fourth this decade — in school history.
LSU was in sixth place in the Western Division on April 15 with a 5-8 league record, but posted a 13-4 mark the rest of the way to finish at the top of the division standings with an 18-12 record.
Laval said senior left-hander Lane Mestepey (6-7, 4.71 ERA) will start Friday’s series opener for LSU. Mestepey is 2-0 in five previous appearances (three starts) against Mississippi State. In 26 career innings against the Bulldogs, Mestepey has allowed eight runs on 26 hits with one walk and 17 strikeouts.
Mestepey pitched in LSU’s 7-5 victory over the Bulldogs last Friday, allowing four runs on six hits in 5.2 innings with one walk and one strikeout. He was not involved in the decision, as the Tigers posted a three-run, eighth-inning rally to secure the win.
MSU coach Ron Polk is expected to counter Wednesday with senior right-hander Alan Johnson (3-6, 4.54 ERA).
LSU shortstop Derek Hebert produced the game-winning hit in both of the Tigers’ victories at Mississippi State last weekend. Hebert’s two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning Friday erased a 5-4 deficit and led to LSU’s 7-5 win. Hebert’s solo homer in the sixth inning Sunday broke and 2-2 tie and proved to be the difference in the Tigers’ 3-2 victory that clinched the division championship. Hebert batted .400 (6-for-15) in four games last week with one triple, one homer, four RBI and five runs.
LSU left-handed relief ace Jason Determann was named SEC Pitcher of the Week Monday as he earned a win and a save last weekend at Mississippi State. He appeared in a total of three games last week, posting a 1.17 ERA in 7.2 innings as he allowed one run on eight hits with three walks and nine strikeouts.
Determann worked six innings in the Mississippi State series, limiting the Bulldogs to one run on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts. He earned a relief win in Friday’s win at MSU, allowing one run on five hits in 3.1 innings with one walk and two strikeouts.
After throwing 47 pitches on Friday, Determann returned to the mound on Sunday to register his seventh save of the season. He pitched the final 2.2 innings, allowing no runs on two hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Determann fanned the final two MSU batters with runners at second and first and one out with LSU clinging to a 3-2 lead.
For the entire season, Determann is 4-0 in 23 relief appearances with a 1.80 ERA and seven saves — in 50 innings, he has recorded eight walks and 59 strikeouts and opponents are batting just .238 against him.
Mississippi State leads the all-time series with LSU, 189-156-1. LSU holds a 11-9 advantage over MSU in the 20 meetings this decade. The Tigers have won seven of the last ninemeetings between the clubs.
LSU has a 49-30 all-time record in the SEC Tournament, and the Tigers captured tournament titles in 1986, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 2000. LSU has played in the SEC Tournament championship game in three of the past five seasons (2000, 2001 and 2003).
Mississippi State Bulldogs (36-20, 13-16) vs. #6 LSU Fighting Tigers (38-18, 18-12)
Wednesday, May 25?– 10 a.m. CDT
STADIUM: Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Ala.
RANKINGS: LSU (#6 ESPN/Sports Weekly, #9 Baseball America, #11 Collegiate Baseball)
Mississippi State (unranked)
RADIO: statewide on LSU Sports Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge)
INTERNET: radio broadcast and live stats of all three games at www.LSUsports.net
TV: Comcast Sports Southeast (Cable Ch. 13 in Baton Rouge)
LSU — Sr. LHP Lane Mestepey (6-7, 4.71 ERA, 91.2 IP, 22 BB, 47 SO)
MSU — Sr. RHP Alan Johnson (3-6, 4.54 ERA, 75.1 IP, 30 BB, 57 SO)
LSU Baseball on Comcast Sports Southeast and the Jumbo Sports Network
Wednesday, May 25 – 10 a.m. CDT vs. Mississippi State
Thursday, May 26 – 10 a.m. CDT or 5 p.m. CDT vs. Tennessee or South Carolina
Jumbo Sports Network Affiliates
Wednesday, May 25 and Thursday, May 26
Baton Rouge KZUP (Cable Ch. 13)
New Orleans WNOL WB
Lafayette KLAF UPN
Shreveport KPXJ UPN
Lake Charles KVHP FOX
Morgan City KWBJ WB
Monroe KEJB UPN
Natchitoches KNTS Ind.
2005 SEC Baseball Tournament Schedule
Wednesday, May 25
Game 1: (7) Mississippi State vs. (2) LSU, 10 a.m.
Game 2: (6) South Carolina vs. (3) Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Game 3: (8) Arkansas vs. (1) Florida, 5 p.m.
Game 4: (5) Alabama vs. (4) Ole Miss, 8 p.m.
Thursday, May 26
Game 5: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 10 a.m.
Game 6: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 1 p.m.
Game 7: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 5 p.m.
Game 8: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 8 p.m.
Friday, May 27
Game 9: Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 7, 1:30 p.m.
Game 10: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 8, 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 28
Game 11: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 9, 10 a.m.
Game 12: Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 10, 1:30 p.m.
Game 13*: Winner Game 11 vs. Loser Game 11, 5 p.m.
Game 14*: Winner Game 12 vs. Loser Game 12, 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 29
Game 15*: Winner Game 13 vs. Winner Game 14, 3 p.m.
– Game 13 will be necessary if the winner of Game 9 also wins game 11.
– Game 14 will be necessary if the winner of Game 10 also wins Game 12. If Game 13 is not necessary, Game 14 would start at 5 p.m.
– If both bracket winners are undefeated, there will be no 5 or 8:30 p.m. games on Saturday and the championship game will be the 13th game, which will be played on Sunday.
All Times are Central