No. 5 National Seed LSU Tigers (52-16) vs. No. 2 National Seed Florida Gators (53-15)
• Saturday, June 24 @ 6 p.m. CT (ESPN)
• Sunday, June 25 @ 2 p.m. CT (ESPN)
• Monday, June 26 @ 6 p.m. CT (ESPN – if necessary)
• Charles Schwab Field Omaha (24,000)
• LSU – No. 5 NCAA National Seed
• UF – No. 2 NCAA National Seed
• LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates, including 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge
• Live audio at www.LSUsports.net/live
LSU SERIES RECORD VS. FLORIDA
• LSU leads the all-time series versus Florida, 66-52-1, as the series began in 1971 … this weekend’s CWS championship series marks the first meeting between the teams since March 25-27, 2022, when the Tigers won two of three games over the Gators in Gainesville, Fla. …. Florida holds a 9-7 lead in the 16 meetings between the teams since 2016 … LSU holds a 4-2 advantage over Florida in College World Series games – the Tigers won two CWS games over the Gators in both 1991 and in 1996 en route to national championships … LSU and Florida met in the 2017 College World Series Championship Series in which UF posted two straight wins over LSU to claim the national championship.
LSU IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
• LSU is in the NCAA Tournament for the 11th straight season and for the 35th time overall …. LSU has six national championships (1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2009), the second-most in NCAA history … the Tigers were an NCAA Tournament Top 8 National Seed for an NCAA-record six straight seasons (2012-17) … LSU is a Top 8 National Seed this season (No. 5) for the first time since the 2017 Tigers were the No. 4 National Seed … LSU has the second-highest all-time NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.708, 172-71).
• LSU is participating in its 19th College World Series, and its first since 2017, when the Tigers finished as the national runners-up to Florida … LSU is 44-28 (.611) all-time in CWS games, including a 7-3 mark in CWS championship games/series … the Tigers’ 2023 CWS championship series berth is the eighth championship game/series appearance in school history … LSU won CWS championship games over Wichita State in 1991, Wichita State in 1993, Miami (Fla.) in 1996, Alabama in 1997 and Stanford in 2000, and the Tigers won the 2009 CWS championship series over Texas, two games to one … LSU lost the 2017 CWS championship series to Florida, two games to none.
• LSU opened its 2023 CWS appearance with a 6-3 win over Tennessee last Saturday… right-hander Paul Skenes limited the Volunteers to two runs on five hits in 7.2 innings with one walk and 12 strikeouts … Skenes fired the second-highest total of strikeouts by an LSU pitcher in an CWS game, second only to Brett Laxton’s 16 strikeouts versus Wichita State in the 1993 CWS National Championship Game.
• The Tigers dropped a 3-2 decision to Wake Forest on Monday night, but then posted three straight wins over Tennessee and Wake Forest (twice) to reach the CWS Finals vs. Florida … LSU has won three straight elimination games to advance to the Finals in its last two CWS appearances; the Tigers also accomplished the feat in 2017, when they also met Florida in the championship series.
• LSU third baseman Tommy White’s two-run homer to defeat Wake Forest Thursday night marked the fifth walk-off hit in LSU’s College World Series history … the others were Todd Walker’s single in a 1993 semifinal win over Long Beach State; Warren Morris’ homer in the 1996 national championship game vs. Miami; Brad Cresse’s single in the 2000 national championship game vs. Stanford; and Blake Dean’s double in a 2008 elimination game vs. Rice.
• LSU’s 2-0 shutout of Wake Forest Thursday night was the Tigers’ second shutout in their past three games in Omaha, and the third in LSU’s CWS history … LSU blanked Tennessee, 5-0, on Tuesday night, and the Tigers shut out Wichita State, 8-0, in the 1993 national championship game.
QUOTING LSU COACH JAY JOHNSON
“I’m obviously excited to be here as a college baseball coach. This is where you want to be this time of year. Very proud of the team, especially coming through the losers’ bracket after a tough loss Monday night to, again, one of the best teams that I’ve seen in recent times, in Wake Forest, particularly on the pitching side of things. We’ve had a really good week that we put together to get back to this point. And now it’s about moving forward. We wanted the players to feel good about what they accomplished. And something we’ve talked about all year is mastering moving forward, moving on to the next step, whether that’s through success or adversity. They’ve shown a lot of maturity in doing that throughout the year, and I expect us to do that moving into tomorrow night.”
ABOUT THE TIGERS
• LSU enters Monday’s game with a 52-16 record, its best mark through 68 games since the 2013 Tigers were 57-11… the Tigers this season have recorded their 14th 50-win season and their first since the 2017 club finished 52-20.
• The Tigers won the NCAA Baton Rouge Super Regional with 14-0 and 8-3 victories over Kentucky … LSU won the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional with consecutive victories over Tulane and Oregon State (twice) … the Tigers were 1-2 in the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. … LSU was the No. 3 SEC Tournament seed, its highest since the 2017 Tigers were the No. 1 seed in the event.
• The Tigers completed the 2023 regular season 42-13 overall and 19-10 in conference play … LSU recorded its most SEC regular-season wins since the 2017 club won 21 SEC games, and the Tigers posted their most overall regular-season wins since the 2015 squad ended the regular season with 46 victories.
• LSU enters the CWS Championship Series at or near the top of several NCAA statistical categories … the Tigers are No. 1 in the nation in shutouts pitched (12); No. 1 in runs scored (608); No. 2 in home runs (138); No. 2 in hit-by-pitch (135); No. 3 in walks received (389); No. 3 in strikeouts pitched per nine innings (11.6); No. 4 in on-base percentage (.430); No. 5 in slugging percentage (.556); No. 5 in hits allowed per nine innings (7.53); and
No. 8 in scoring average (8.9 runs per game).
• The LSU pitching staff has established the school single-season record for strikeouts with 755; the previous school mark was 682 set in 1997 … LSU has 138 home runs this season, the third-highest total in school history … LSU hit an NCAA-record 188 homers in 1997 and 157 homers in 1998.
• LSU centerfielder Dylan Crews is No. 1 in the nation in runs scored (94); No. 2 in on-base percentage (.563); No. 4 in walks (68) and No. 5 in batting average (.423) … third baseman Tommy White is No. 2 in the nation in RBI (100), and he is No. 4 in the nation in RBI per game (1.59)
• LSU right-hander Paul Skenes is No. 1 in the nation in strikeouts (209), strikeouts per nine innings (15.33) and WHIP (0.75), and he is No. 2 in the nation in ERA (1.69) … he is No. 3 in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio (10.45), and No. 5 in hits allowed per nine innings (5.28) … LSU second baseman Gavin Dugas is No. 2 in the nation in hit-by-pitch (31).
• Paul Skenes has established the Southeastern Conference single-season record for strikeouts with 209; the previous record of 202 strikeouts was held by Ben McDonald of LSU (1989).
ABOUT THE GATORS
• Florida shared the 2023 Southeastern Conference regular-season title with Arkansas … the Gators are 3-0 in the College World Series with one-run victories over Virginia, Oral Roberts and TCU.
• The Gators are batting .291 on the season with 136 homers and 69 steals in 85 attempts … centerfielder Wyatt Langford is hitting .363 with 19 homers and 49 RBI; shortstop Josh Rivera is batting .361 with 19 homers and 71 RBI, and first baseman/DH Jac Caglianone is hitting .325 with 31 homers and 84 RBI.
• Florida’s pitching staff has a 4.48 cumulative ERA with 697 strikeouts in 584 innings, and the Gators are allowing a .235 opponents’ batting average.