BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU is ranked No. 4 in the 2022 Perfect Game preseason Top 25, marking the Tigers’ second Top 5 appearance in a preseason poll. LSU is No. 3 in the Collegiate Baseball preseason ranking that was released last month.
LSU wrapped up fall practice prior to Thanksgiving, and the Tigers will report back to campus next week to begin preseason workouts. The 2022 season begins on February 18, when LSU plays host to Maine in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU’s 2022 roster includes nine position players that started in a significant number of the Tigers’ 63 games last season, including outfielder Dylan Crews, the 2021 Perfect Game National Freshman of the Year; Freshman All-America first baseman Tre’ Morgan; outfielder Gavin Dugas, the 2021 SEC leader in RBI; infielder Cade Doughty, shortstop Jordan Thompson, designated hitter Cade Beloso, catcher Alex Milazzo, outfielder Giovanni DiGiacomo and outfielder/infielder Drew Bianco.
Other players with starting experience include outfielder Brody Drost, infielders Collier Cranford and Will Safford, and catcher Hayden Travinski.
The veterans are joined by several talented newcomers, including impact transfers like infielder Jacob Berry – the 2021 Collegiate Baseball National Freshman of the Year at Arizona – catcher Tyler McManus (Samford) and first baseman/outfielder Brayden Jobert (Delgado CC).
Infielder Jack Merrifield is an accomplished transfer from LSU-Eunice, and a group of skilled true freshmen features outfielders Josh Pearson and Josh Stevenson, and infielders Luke Leto and Brennan Holt.
The LSU pitching staff includes 10 hurlers that recorded innings last season, including graduate right-hander Devin Fontenot, senior right-hander Ma’Khail Hilliard and graduate right-hander Trent Vietmeier.
Other returners on the mound include redshirt sophomore left-hander Jacob Hasty, sophomore left-hander Javen Coleman, and sophomore right-handers Ty Floyd, Will Hellmers, Garrett Edwards, Michael Fowler and Blake Money.
Right-hander Eric Reyzelman, a transfer from the University of San Francisco, is expected to impact the staff, as are a pair of transfers from Arizona – right-hander Bryce Collins and left-hander Riley Cooper.
The staff is bolstered by left-hander Trey Shaffer, a graduate transfer from Southeastern Louisiana, JUCO transfer right-handers Paul Gervase and Jason Bollman, and by a gifted crew of true freshmen pitchers that includes right-handers Cale Lansville, Grant Taylor, Grant Fontenot and Samuel Dutton.
LSU is one of seven Southeastern Conference teams appearing in the Perfect Game 2022 preseason Top 25, along with No. 1 Vanderbilt, No. 6 Mississippi State, No. 9 Arkansas, No. 10 Ole Miss, No. 21 Tennessee and No. 23 Florida.
Texas, who the Tigers will face on March 5 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, is No. 2 in the Perfect Game ranking.
2022 Perfect Game Preseason Top 25
- Notre Dame
- Mississippi State
- North Carolina State
- Georgia Tech
- Texas Tech
- East Carolina
- Florida State
- Oklahoma State
- UC Irvine
- Long Beach State