LSU Continues Homestand vs. South Alabama Tuesday

by Bill Franques
The Paul Mainieri Show - Week 7 +0
LSU Continues Homestand vs. South Alabama Tuesday

BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 10 LSU (32-16) plays host to South Alabama (30-18) at 6:30 p.m. CT Tuesday) in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

The game will be carried on the LSU Sports Radio Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge), and the radio broadcast may be heard at www.LSUsports.net/live, Tuesday’s game may be viewed on SEC Network +, accessible at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app.

Tuesday’s game marks the 40th meeting between LSU and South Alabama in a series that began in 1971 and USA leads, 24-15. The teams last met on March 19, 2014, in Baton Rouge when LSU posted a 9-0 win over the Jaguars.

The 2014 contest was the first meeting between the schools since the 1997 NCAA South I Regional in Baton Rouge, when the Tigers defeated the Jaguars twice on the regional’s final day to advance to the College World Series. The schools met seven times in NCAA Regional games from 1989 through 1997, and LSU posted a 5-2 mark in those contests.

“South Alabama has an outstanding ball club,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “They hit nearly .300 as a team and they’re approaching 60 home runs on the season. They have tremendous history and tradition in their baseball program, and (USA coach) Mark Calvi is an excellent coach who is doing a fantastic job. I guarantee you South Alabama will come here with an intensity because this game means a lot to them.

LSU won two of three SEC series games last weekend over South Carolina, and the Tigers are one game out of first place in the SEC standings with six league games remaining. The Tigers return to conference play at 6:30 p.m. CT Thursday when they play host to Auburn in Game 1 of a three-game SEC series.

LSU sophomore leftfielder Antoine Duplantis batted .500 (6-for-12) in LSU’s series victory over South Carolina with one double, two RBI, a .500 on-base percentage, two stolen bases and an outfield assist. Duplantis turned in a brilliant effort in Sunday’s 10-inning victory over South Carolina, going 5-for-6 at the plate with a double and the game-winning RBI, a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning.

Centerfielder Zach Watson was named SEC Freshman of the Week Monday after he batted .500 (5-for-10) with four RBI, two runs scored and a .583 on-base percentage to help lead LSU to the series victory over South Carolina.

In LSU’s 10-inning win over South Carolina on Sunday to clinch the series, Watson was 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run. His two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning tied the game at 5-5, and he led off the bottom of the 10th inning with a single and later scored the game-winning run on leftfielder Duplantis’ walk-off base hit.

Junior rightfielder Greg Deichmann enters Tuesday’s game as the Tigers’ leading hitter, batting .335 with 10 doubles, 15 homers and 55 RBI. Senior second baseman Cole Freeman is batting .331 with 10 doubles, one triple, one homer, 26 RBI and .436 on-base percentage.

South Alabama is hitting .297 on the year with 53 home runs and 59 steals in 83 attempts. The Jaguars are led at the plate by sophomore outfielder Travis Swaggerty, who his batting .371 with nine doubles, one triple, eight homers and 45 RBI. Junior catcher Jared Barnes has a team-high 10 homers, and he has collected 37 RBI.

South Alabama Jaguars (30-18) at #10 LSU Fighting Tigers (32-16)

DATE/TIME
Tuesday, May 9 – 6:30 p.m. CT

STADIUM
Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge, La.

RANKINGS
LSU – No. 11 USA Today; No. 10 Collegiate Baseball; No. 15 Baseball America
USA – unranked

RADIO
LSU Sports Radio Network; in Baton Rouge on WDGL 98.1 FM
Radio broadcast and live stats for all LSU baseball games are available at www.LSUsports.net

ONLINE
SEC Network +, accessible at WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app

SERIES RECORD
Tuesday’s game marks the 40th meeting between LSU and South Alabama in a series that began in 1971 and USA leads, 24-15. The teams last met on March 19, 2014, in Baton Rouge when LSU posted a 9-0 win over the Jaguars. The 2014 contest was the first meeting between the schools since the 1997 NCAA South I Regional in Baton Rouge, when the Tigers defeated the Jaguars twice on the regional’s final day to advance to the College World Series. The schools met seven times in NCAA Regional games from 1989 through 1997, and LSU posted a 5-2 mark in those contests.

PITCHING MATCHUP
LSU – So. RHP Caleb Gilbert (2-1, 3.34 ERA, 29.2 IP, 6 BB, 33 SO)
USA – So. RHP Sean Trimble (2-1, 4.30 ERA, 23.0 IP, 14 BB, 21 SO)