Baseball Returns Home to Face UNO

by Bill Franques
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Baseball Returns Home to Face UNO

BATON ROUGE – Ninth-ranked LSU (32-9) plays host to the University of New Orleans (10-29) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Alex Box Stadium.

The game will be carried by the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network. Live video, audio and stats may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.

LSU is ranked No. 9 in this week’s USA Today/ESPN poll, marking the 34th consecutive week the Tigers are ranked in the Top 10 of a college baseball poll, a streak that began on May 19, 2008.

“We played a tough series last weekend at Ole Miss, but it’s time to move forward beginning with the game against UNO,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “All of our goals are still in front of us, and everything we want to accomplish is within our reach. There are only 15 games left in the regular season, so we need to be at our best during this stretch run.

Mainieri played second base at UNO for two seasons (1978-79) under former coach Ron Maestri, who later led the Privateers to the 1984 College World Series.

“Facing UNO always has a special meaning for me because of my ties to the program,” Mainieri said. “Ron Maestri is one of my mentors, and I have such great respect for the tradition he established there. We’ve had some great ball games with UNO since I’ve been at LSU, and I would expect another strong challenge from their club.”

Mainieri said junior right-hander Daniel Bradshaw (5-0, 4.71 ERA) will start Tuesday’s game on the mound for LSU while UNO coach Bruce Peddie will counter with sophomore right-hander Joe Zimmerman (0-5, 9.42 ERA).

LSU junior catcher Micah Gibbs batted .444 (8-for-18) in five games last week with two doubles, six RBI and two runs. Gibbs leads the Tigers and is ranked fourth in the SEC in cumulative batting average, hitting .413 (64-for-155) on the year with eight doubles, three triples, five homers, 40 RBI and 64 runs.

Sophomore second baseman Tyler Hanover hit .500 (10-for-20) in the Tigers’ five games last week with one double, three RBI and four runs scored.

Senior designated hitter Matt Gaudet hit .333 (4-for-12) in the Ole Miss series and launched three homers against the Rebels, increasing his SEC-leading season total to 14 dingers.

Sophomore rightfielder Mikie Mahtook hit .385 (5-for-13) at Ole Miss with one double, two homers, three RBI and four runs. Mahtook leads the SEC with 16 doubles on the year, and he his third in the league in stolen bases with 20.

LSU leads the SEC in triples this season with 23; the next-highest total of triples in the league is 13 by Auburn. LSU also leads the SEC in walks received with 214, and the Tigers are the only team in the league with more than 200 walks on the year.

UNO is led at the plate by senior infielder Nick Schwaner, who is batting .313 with 11 doubles, 14 homers and 40 RBI. The Privateers are hitting .270 as a team with 39 homers and 34 stolen bases.

LSU leads UNO, 51-33, in a series that began in 1976. The Tigers won both meetings last season – 19-3 on March 3 in New Orleans and 8-6 on April 14 in Baton Rouge.

New Orleans Privateers (10-29) at #9 LSU Fighting Tigers (32-9)

GAME DATE/TIME
Tuesday, April 27 – 6:30 p.m. CT

STADIUM
Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. (10,150)

RANKINGS
LSU – No. 9 by USA Today/ESPN; No. 11 by NCBWA; No. 15 by Baseball America; No. 17 by Collegiate Baseball
UNO —  unranked

RADIO
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates/Baton Rouge affiliate is WDGL 98.1 FM

INTERNET
www.LSUsports.net – live video, audio and stats

TV
No TV

SERIES RECORD
LSU leads, 51-33, in a series that began in 1976.

PITCHING MATCHUP
LSU – Jr. RHP Daniel Bradshaw (5-0, 4.71 ERA, 28.2 IP, 9 BB, 18 SO)
UNO – So. RHP Joe Zimmerman (0-5. 9.42 ERA, 35.1 IP, 11 BB, 15 SO)