BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU baseball team held its annual Media Day activities and opened preseason practice Friday in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU, which captured the 2023 College World Series title, opens the 2024 season at 2 p.m. CT on Friday, February 16, when the Tigers play host to VMI, in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU is ranked No. 4 in the D1 Baseball 2024 Preseason Top 25 poll. The Tigers will hold 18 practice sessions over the next 21 days in preparation for the season opener.
Jay Johnson, the 2023 National Coach of the Year, enters his third season at LSU with more championship aspirations. He addressed the assembled media Friday in the Champions Club of Alex Box Stadium and said the Tigers “aren’t defending the 2023 title”; instead, they are “attacking” the 2024 season.
“Playing in the SEC, we’re going to face significant challenges this season,” Johnson said, “but how our players are going about attacking those challenges is really positive. There’s no complacency within the team, just the thought that there’s a need to accomplish something and create their own legacy. It’s a task that requires our full attention.”
LSU has 21 players returning from its 2023 National Championship team, along with a class of new Tigers listed as high as No. 3 in recruiting rankings.
The Tigers’ returning position players include 2023 All-American third baseman Tommy White, 2023 Freshman All-American first baseman Jared Jones, catcher/DH Hayden Travinski, catcher Alex Milazzo, infielder/outfielder Josh Pearson and outfielder Paxton Kling.
Newcomers who should make an immediate impact upon the LSU lineup include outfielder Mac Bingham, shortstop Michael Braswell III and outfielder Jake Brown.
The LSU pitching staff features exceptional depth and is led by veterans like right-hander Thatcher Hurd, left-hander Nate Ackenhausen, right-hander Gavin Guidry and left-hander Griffin Herring.
The staff will be bolstered by the addition of several new arms, including right-hander Luke Holman, left-hander Gage Jump, left-hander Cam Johnson and left-hander Justin Loer.
“I’m very proud of our players for the work they’ve put in over the past seven months,” Johnson said. “We have a lot of really good player development stories that will come to light as we get into the 2024 season. I’m really pleased with the way they’ve operated on and off the field as the season approaches.
“We treat the season like a 56-game playoff, and the goal is to have our team as ready as we can for Opening Day. It’s really an exciting time in terms of attacking the challenges that 2024 presents.”