Baseball's SEC Tourney Opener vs. Missouri Pushed Back

by Bill Franques
Bracket +0
Baseball's SEC Tourney Opener vs. Missouri Pushed Back

HOOVER, Ala. — Following a four-hour game 1 and a 1:46 rain delay during game 2 on Tuesday, the Southeastern Conference was forced to adjust the LSU Baseball team’s opening game Wednesday against Missouri.

LSU (39-17), which shared the regular-season title at 21-9 in league play, will face No. 10-seed Missouri in the third game of Wednesday’s action, estimated to be at 4:30 p.m. CT.  The game was originally scheduled to be the second game of the day.

Missouri defeated Texas A&M, 12-7, to advance through the single-elimination first round.

The LSU-Missouri 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,

Wednesday’s game will be televised by the SEC Network, and it is accessible online at WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app.

LSU won its 17th Southeastern Conference championship Saturday night with an 11-7 victory over Mississippi State at Dudy Noble Field. LSU, which claimed the SEC Western Division championship on Friday night with a win over MSU, shares the overall title with SEC Eastern Division champion Florida. The SEC title is the fourth for LSU in the past nine seasons under coach Paul Mainieri.

The Tigers, who posted victories in 11 of their final 12 SEC games, won 21 league contests, marking LSU’s 11th 20-win season in SEC games, the most 20-win seasons in league history.

LSU is 27-6 in SEC Tournament games under Mainieri, winning tournament titles in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014. The Tigers have advanced to the tournament semifinals in each of the last four seasons.

“We really enjoy the SEC Tournament,” Mainieri said. “Playing the 56-game regular-season schedule and the 30-game SEC schedule is such a grind that we almost look at the SEC Tournament at a reward for our kids, especially after winning the SEC regular-season championship.

“We know that our season won’t end in Hoover, so knowing that we’re still going to be playing next week in the NCAA Tournament allows us to go to Hoover, have some fun and play some great competition. It’s a wonderful venue with big crowds, our kids love going there, and they play very loose, very aggressive and very confident.”

Mainieri said that sophomore right-hander Caleb Gilbert, a Hoover, Ala., native, will start Wednesday’s game on the mound in place of freshman right-hander Todd Peterson, who is suspended for the LSU-Missouri game due to a violation of team rules.

Gilbert pitched brilliantly in a relief win at Mississippi State on Saturday to clinch a share of the SEC regular-season title. He worked 1.2 scoreless innings against the Bulldogs with no hits, no walks and four strikeouts

LSU is No.2 in the SEC in team batting average, hitting .291 on the year, and the Tiger hitters have the fewest strikeouts in the league (327). LSU will face a Missouri pitching staff that entered the tournament second in the league with a 3.45 ERA.

The Tigers’ offense is led by first-team All-SEC rightfielder Greg Deichmann, who is hitting. 320 this season, and he is No. 2 in the SEC in home runs with 17. Deichmann is also third in the league in RBI (63), second in walks (43), fourth in slugging percentage (.617) and fifth in total bases (127).

LSU shortstop Kramer Robertson, a second-team All-SEC selection, has been instrumental in LSU’s late-season surge, batting a team-best .367 (22-for-60) in the Tigers’ last 14 games (12 wins) with three doubles,  one triple, two homers, eight RBI, 20 runs and a .435 on-base percentage.

The LSU pitching staff is No. 8 in the SEC with a 3.76 ERA. In the Tigers’ last 12 SEC games of the regular season, the pitching staff was 11-1 with a 2.76 ERA and a .213 opponent batting average.

The LSU staff will face a Missouri club that entered the tournament 10th in the SEC in batting average (.264), and Mizzou collected 46 home runs and a league-high 72 stolen bases during the regular season.

Missouri is led at the plate by junior catcher/infielder Brett Bond, who entered the tournament batting .313 with 12 doubles, 10 homers and 44 RBI. Freshman outfielder Kameron Misner entered the tournament with 11 doubles, six homers and 32 RBI, and junior infielder/outfielder Trey Harris had collected a team-high 12 homers.

Missouri (36-21) vs. LSU (39-17) in SEC Tournament

DATE/TIME
Wednesday, May 24 – 4:30 p.m. CT (time approximate based upon lengths of the two games prior to LSU-Missouri game)

STADIUM
Hoover Metropolitan Stadium (Hoover, Ala.)

RANKINGS
LSU – No. 3 Collegiate Baseball; No. 6 USA Today; No. 8 Baseball America (#2 seed in SEC Tournament)
MU – unranked (#10 seed in SEC Tournament)

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

TV/ONLINE
TV– SEC Network
Online – accessible at WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app

LSU IN THE SEC TOURNAMENT
LSU has a league-best 77-40 (.658) all-time record in the SEC Tournament, and the Tigers own a conference-high 11 tournament titles. Alabama and Mississippi State are second behind LSU with seven tournament titles, and Ole Miss is third with five championships. LSU has won five of the past nine  SEC Tournament crowns, claiming the title in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014. The Tigers are 27-6 under 11th-year coach Paul Mainieri in SEC Tournament games.

PITCHING MATCHUP
LSU – So. RHP Caleb Gilbert (3-1, 3.09 ERA, 35.0 IP, 7 BB, 41 SO)
MU – Fr. LHP TJ Sikkema (8-1, 2.28 ERA, 75.0 IP, 16 BB, 79 SO)

 

2017 SEC Baseball Tournament
May 23-28, 2017
Hoover Met Stadium – Hoover, Ala.
As of 8 pm CT – May 23, 2017

Revised due to postponement of Game 4 on Tuesday

Tuesday, May 23

MATCHUP (SINGLE ELIMINATION), TIME, TV
Game 1: #11 South Carolina def. #6 Vanderbilt, 7-4 (11) – #6 Vanderbilt eliminated
Game 2: #10 Missouri def. #7 Texas A&M, 12-7 – #7 Texas A&M eliminated
Game 3: #8 Auburn def. #9 Ole Miss, 5-4 – #9 Ole Miss eliminated

Wednesday, May 24
MATCHUP (DOUBLE ELIMINATION EXCEPT GAME 4), TIME, TV
Game 4: #5 Mississippi State def. #12 Georgia, 3-0 – #12 Georgia eliminated 
Game 5: #3 Kentucky def. #11 South Carolina, 7-2
Game 6: #2 LSU vs. #10 Missouri, 4:30 p.m., SEC Network
Game 7: #1 Florida vs. #8 Auburn, ~8 p.m., SEC Network

Thursday, May 25
MATCHUP (DOUBLE ELIMINATION), TIME, TV
Game 8: #4 Arkansas vs. #5 Mississippi State, 9:30 a.m., SEC Network
Game 9: #11 South Carolina vs. Loser Game 6, ~1 p.m., SEC Network
Game 10: Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8, 4:30 p.m., SEC Network
Game 11: #3 Kentucky vs. Winner Game 6, ~8 p.m., SEC Network

Friday, May 26
MATCHUP (DOUBLE ELIMINATION), TIME, TV
Game 12: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, TBD, SEC Network
Game 13: Winner Game 9 vs. Loser Game 11, 3 p.m., SEC Network
Game 14: Winner Game 10 vs. Loser Game 12, ~6:30 p.m., SEC Network

Saturday, May 27
MATCHUP (SINGLE ELIMINATION), TIME, TV
Game 15: Winner Game 13 vs. Winner Game 11, 12 p.m., SEC Network
Game 16: Winner Game 14 vs. Winner Game 12, ~3:30 p.m., SEC Network

Sunday, May 28
MATCHUP, TIME, TV
Championship Game: Winner Game 15 vs. Winner Game 16, 2 p.m., ESPN2

All Times Central
The second game of each session will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.