LSU Faces Louisiana Tech on Tuesday Night

by Bill Franques
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LSU Faces Louisiana Tech on Tuesday Night

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (29-19) at #15 LSU Fighting Tigers (30-18)

Tuesday, May 7 – 6:30 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)

Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field (10,326)

LSU – No. 15 D1 Baseball, No. 16 Baseball America, No. 17 USA Today, No. 18 Collegiate Baseball
La. Tech – unranked

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The game may be viewed via SEC Network +

LSU first met Louisiana Tech in 1902, and the Tigers lead the series, 42-18, including a 2-0 win over the Bulldogs last season in Baton Rouge. LSU has won 12 straight meetings with the Bulldogs; Louisiana Tech’s last win over the Tigers came on April 16, 1987, a 5-4 victory in Ruston. Tuesday’s game will mark just the third meeting between the schools in the last 21 seasons. LSU and Louisiana Tech met on March 8, 2016, when the Tigers posted a 6-3 win over the Bulldogs in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. That 2016 contest marked the first meeting between LSU and Louisiana Tech since March 10, 1998, when the Tigers posted an 8-1 win over the Bulldogs in the original Alex Box Stadium.

LSU – Fr. RH Chase Costello (0-0, 10.80 ERA, 13.1 IP, 11 BB, 9 SO)
La. Tech – Sr. LH Logan Robbins (3-3, 5.30 ERA, 54.1 IP, 25 BB, 45 SO)

“We’ve got a lot of work to do over these final eight games of the regular season, beginning with a very good Louisiana Tech ball club. We’re going to get our minds set and put a lot of emphasis on this game because it will have significant NCAA Tournament bid implications. We’re going to play as hard as we can and hopefully get a victory.”

• LSU is 14-10 in the Southeastern Conference, and the Tigers are three games behind first-place Arkansas in the SEC Western Division standings … LSU plays at Arkansas this week in a three-game SEC series that begins on Thursday night
• The Tigers hit .331 (39-for-118) in last weekend’s Ole Miss series with six doubles, seven homers and 24 runs … the Tigers collected season-highs of 22 hits and five home runs in Sunday’s game against the Rebels
• Sunday’s game against Ole Miss featured a six-run LSU rally in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game at 15-15 … the uprising featured three home runs in three straight at-bats by rightfielder Antoine Duplantis, first baseman Cade Beloso and shortstop Josh Smith … the inning marked the first time LSU hit back-to-back-to-back homers since June 9, 2008, when the Tigers accomplished the feat in the first inning versus UC Irvine in Game 3 of the NCAA Super Regional … the consecutive ’08 homers were hit by DH Blake Dean, catcher Micah Gibbs and first baseman Matt Clark
• Senior rightfielder Antoine Duplantis hit . 538 (7-for-13) in the Ole Miss series with one double , one homer, six RBI and three runs … Duplantis raised his LSU career hits total to 330, and he is now No. 3 on the all-time LSU hits list … Duplantis needs just three hits to surpass Blake Dean (332 hits, 2007-10 for second place on the career hits chart, and he needs 23 hits to become LSU’s all-time leader … former first baseman Eddy Furniss (1995-98) currently holds the LSU career hits record (352)
Antoine Duplantis became LSU’s all-time leader in at-bats during the Ole Miss series, as he now has 1,028 at-bats in his four-year career .. the previous at-bats record of 1,019 was held by former LSU shortstop Jason Williams (1993-96) … Duplantis tied the LSU career triples record earlier this season – he and former second baseman Todd Walker (1992-94) are currently tied at the top of the school list with 15 triples
• Junior shortstop Josh Smith hit .583 (7-for-12) in the Ole Miss series with one homer, four RBI and three runs … senior third baseman Chris Reid batted .462 (6-for-13) in the series with two doubles, one RBI and two runs
• Freshman first baseman Cade Beloso launched two homers in Sunday’s game against Ole Miss, marking the second multi-homer game of his career … Beloso also blasted two dingers on March 9 against California
• Junior right-hander Zack Hess, the Tigers’ No. 1 weekend starter throughout the past two seasons, was moved to the bullpen prior to the Ole Miss series, and he delivered a brilliant performance in Friday’s win over the Rebels … Hess worked four innings (55 pitches), allowing one run on three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts
• Sophomore catcher Saul Garza launched a three-run homer in Sunday’s game against Ole Miss, marking the third straight weekend he has homered in an SEC series (vs. Florida, at Alabama, vs. Ole Miss) … Garza had not homered this season prior to the April 18-20 Florida series

• Louisiana Tech is 29-19 overall and 13-11 in Conference USA … the Bulldogs are in fourth place in the C-USA league standings behind Southern Miss, Florida Atlantic and Western Kentucky
• The Bulldogs are hitting .278 as a team with 47 home runs and 54 steals in 74 attempts … the Louisiana Tech pitching staff has a 4.58 team ERA
• Louisiana Tech is led at the plate by senior outfielder Mason Mallard, who is hitting .361 on the year with seven doubles, one triple, seven homers and 28 RBI … sophomore outfielder Steele Netterville has 16 doubles, one triple, seven homers and 36 RBI, and junior outfielder Parker Bates has 11 doubles, six homers and 44 RBI
• Louisiana Tech senior right-hander Braxton Smith is the Bulldogs’ closer, and he has nine saves and 50 strikeouts in 33 innings