POSTED: Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 10:00pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 10:04pm
BATON ROUGE, LA — Fourth-ranked LSU (7-1) plays host to Brown (0-0) and Nicholls State (6-3) this weekend in Alex Box Stadium. The Tigers meet Brown at 7 p.m. Friday and at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, and LSU faces Nicholls State at 3 p.m. Sunday.
The games can be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (98.1 FM in Baton Rouge). Live video, audio and stats of the game may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net .
The games on Friday and Sunday will be televised by Cox Sports Television.
In addition to their games against LSU, Brown and Nicholls State will also play two games against each other – the teams meet at 2 p.m. Saturday and at 11 a.m. Sunday. Fans must present a ticket for the LSU games on Saturday and Sunday in order to be admitted to the Brown-Nicholls State games.
“We’re expecting a real challenge this weekend against Brown and Nicholls,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We traditionally play a school from the Ivy League every year, and Brown has a veteran club that will compete hard with every pitch. We also have a lot of respect for (Nicholls coach) Seth Thibodeaux and his program. They’re off to a strong start, and they will bring a very capable team into ‘The Box’ this weekend.”
Brown, which posted a 9-35 overall record in 2012 (6-14 in the Ivy League), is playing its 2013 season opener Friday versus LSU. Nicholls has split two games this week, defeating Tulane, 5-3, on Tuesday before dropping a 5-1 decision at Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday.
LSU has produced 24 runs on 33 hits in its last two outings, a 13-1 victory over Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday and an 11-2 win at Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday.
Senior outfielder Raph Rhymes leads LSU with a .433 (13-for-30) batting average, and he has collected three doubles and six RBI. Rhymes recorded the fourth four-hit game of his career on Sunday in LSU’s win over Southeastern Louisiana, going 4-for-5 at the plate with two doubles, five RBI and three runs scored.
LSU freshman shortstop Alex Bregman is batting .344 with two doubles, one triple, one homer and 10 RBI, and senior first baseman Mason Katz is hitting .321 with two doubles, two homers and 11 RBI.
Brown’s top returning hitter is sophomore infielder Nick Fornaca, who batted .328 in 2012 with nine doubles, three triples and 18 RBI. Senior infielder Cody Slaughter hit .318 last season with eight doubles, five homers and 32 RBI, and sophomore outfielder Will Marcal batted .311 in 2012 with 11 doubles, one triple, five homers and 26 RBI.
Nicholls is led at the plate by junior infielder Philip Lyons, who is batting .400 with six doubles, one homer and six RBI. Junior infielder Leo Vargas is hitting .333 with one double, one triple and two RBI, and junior outfielder Keith Cormier is batting .308 with one double and four RBI
LSU leads the all-time series with Brown, 2-0, as the Tigers swept two games from the Bears in Alex Box Stadium in 2010. LSU has a 48-22 all-time mark against Nicholls State, and the Tigers have won 21 of the last 22 meetings with the Colonels. NSU’s only win in that span was a 3-1 victory over the Tigers on April 15, 2009 in Alex Box Stadium. LSU defeated the Colonels, 9-6, last season (May 15) in Alex Box Stadium.