LSU Takes On Ole Miss in Oxford

First Pitch for Game 1 Set for 7 p.m. CT Thursday Night

by Bill Franques | Sr. Associate Communications Director
Schedule Listen Free (6:30 p.m. CT) Live Stats Watch (ESPNU) +0
LSU Takes On Ole Miss in Oxford

LSU Fighting Tigers (22-14, 4-11) at No. 9 Ole Miss Rebels (27-10, 9-6)

DATES/TIMES
•    Thursday, April 22 @ 7 p.m. CT (ESPNU)
•    Friday, April 23 @ 6:30 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)
•    Saturday, April 22 @ 12 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)
STADIUM
•    Oxford-University Stadium, Swayze Field in Oxford, Miss.
RANKINGS
•    Ole Miss – No. 9 Collegiate Baseball, No. 10 USA Today, No. 12 Baseball America, No. 12 D1 Baseball
RADIO
•    LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates
•    Live audio at www.LSUsports.net/live; Live stats at www.LSUstats.com 
TV/ONLINE
•    Thursday’s game will be televised on ESPNU
•    All 3 games may be viewed on SEC Network +, accessible at Watch ESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app

SERIES RECORD VS. OLE MISS
LSU leads Ole Miss, 177-155, in a series that began in 1906. LSU has captured six of the past nine regular-season series with Ole Miss, though the Rebels have won the last two series versus LSU – a 2-1 series victory in 2018 at Oxford and a 2-1 series victory in 2019 at Baton Rouge. 

PITCHING MATCHUPS
Game 1
LSU – Jr. RH Landon Marceaux (4-3, 1.65 ERA, 54.2 IP, 12 BB, 67 SO)
UM – Jr. RH Gunnar Hoglund (3-2, 2.73 ERA, 56.0 IP, 16 BB, 87 SO)
Game 2
LSU – Jr. RH AJ Labas (2-0, 3.35 ERA, 51.0 IP, 9 BB, 50 SO)
UM – Jr. LH Doug Nikhazy (4-1, 1.86 ERA, 38.2 IP, 16 BB, 59 SO)
Game 3
LSU – TBA
UM – So. RH Drew McDaniel (4-0, 2.97 ERA, 36.1 IP, 12 BB, 42 SO)

QUOTING PAUL MAINIERI
“I think we’re improving; we’re not where we want to be as a team, but I do think we’re evolving and getting better. At LSU, we’re supposed to be great all the time, and I want us to be great. We’re playing a lot of young players right now, and sometimes it takes them a while to become what you want them to become. It’s hard to be patient, but we are definitely improving.”

ABOUT THE TIGERS
•    LSU is No. 29 in this week’s official NCAA RPI ratings, and the Tigers are No. 6 in strength of schedule … Ole Miss represents the fifth Top 10 team the Tigers have faced in the past six weekends.
•    LSU is No. 3 in the nation in home runs with 54 on the year (tied with Southern Illinois and Texas Tech); Arkansas leads the nation with 70, and Old Dominion is No. 2 with 62.
•    Junior right-hander Landon Marceaux defeated fifth-ranked South Carolina last Thursday, firing career-high 12 strikeouts in a 5-1 victory … Marceaux worked seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and one walk … he threw 107 pitches, 70 for strikes … his previous career-best for strikeouts was 11, set this season on March 13 versus UT San Antonio … Marceaux lowered his cumulative ERA to 1.65, and he has recorded 67 strikeouts in 54.2 innings while limiting opponents to a .185 batting average … Marceaux is No. 3 in the SEC in ERA, No. 4 in innings pitched, No. 7 in strikeouts and No. 7 in opponent batting average.
•    Junior right-hander AJ Labas provided another quality start for the Tigers in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader, limiting South Carolina to two runs on five hits in 6.1 innings with one walk and four strikeouts … six of Labas’ nine starts this season have been quality starts, which are defined as at least six innings pitched while allowing three earned runs or fewer … six of Labas’ last seven starts have been quality starts; the only exception in that span was on April 3 versus Vanderbilt, when he worked 5.1 innings and allowed just three earned runs with one walk and seven strikeouts … Labas is No. 7 in the SEC in innings pitched (51.0).
•    Junior designated hitter Cade Beloso led the Tigers in hitting during last weekend’s South Carolina series, batting .444 (4-for-9) with one homer and one RBI … freshman first baseman Tre’ Morgan hit .400 (4-for-10) against the Gamecocks while scoring two runs and recording one stolen base … Morgan is No. 2 this season in the SEC in triples (3), No. 4 in doubles (11), No. 6 in runs scored (37), No. 8 in on-base percentage (.452) and No. 8 in stolen bases (9).
•    Freshman rightfielder Dylan Crews is batting .348 this season, which ranks as the seventh-best average in the SEC … Crews is No. 5 in the league in on-base percentage (.463), No. 5 in total bases (83), No. 6 in walks (27), No. 7 in stolen bases (10) and No. 9 in base hits (47).
•    Junior leftfielder Gavin Dugas is No. 5 in the SEC in RBI (38), and he’s No. 7 in the league in home runs (10) … sophomore third baseman Cade Doughty is tied with Dugas at No. 5 in the SEC in RBI (38). 

ABOUT THE REBELS
•    The Rebels are coached by Mike Bianco, a former catcher (1988-89) and assistant coach (1993-97) at LSU … Mike’s son, Drew Bianco, is a junior infielder/outfielder at LSU … Mike Bianco is in his 21st season as the Ole Miss head coach.
•    Ole Miss is No. 2 in the SEC in team batting average, hitting .301 with 41 home runs and 24 stolen bases in 36 attempts.
•    The Ole Miss pitching staff is No. 7 in the SEC in team ERA (3.95), and the Rebels have recorded 429 strikeouts in 321 innings.
•    Junior right-hander Gunnar Hoglund leads the SEC in strikeouts with 87, and he’s No. 6 in opponent batting average (.183) and No. 8 in ERA (2.73) … junior left-hander Doug Nikhazy is No. 2 in the league in opponent batting average (.143) and No. 5 in ERA (1.86).
•    Catcher Hayden Dunhurst is batting a team-high .342 with six doubles, two triples, four homers and 29 RBI … outfielder Kevin Graham is hitting .336 with eight doubles, six homers and 33 RBI … infielder/outfielder Tim Elko leads Ole Miss in homers (9) and RBI (36), but he has been sidelined since early April with a torn ACL injury.