POSTED: Monday, March 4, 2013 - 11:00pm
UPDATED: Monday, March 4, 2013 - 11:04pm
BATON ROUGE, LA — No. 3 LSU (10-1) plays to host Stephen F. Austin (3-6) at 6:30 p.m. CT Tuesday in Alex Box Stadium.
The game 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 .
LSU won all four of its games last week to improve to 10-1 this season. The Tigers have won five straight games since dropping a 9-4 decision to BYU on February 23.
“We start our SEC schedule next week at Mississippi State,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri, “and I feel our team is ready for conference play. We must to continue to improve, certainly, but I like the way we’ve played up to this point. This is a very important week for us, the final week before we go to Starkville, and every game is important as we try to build a strong resume for the end of the season. The Stephen F. Austin game begins a very busy week for us against some very capable teams.”
The LSU-SFA game is the first of five contests this week for the Tigers. LSU plays host to Sacred Heart at 6:30 p.m. CT Wednesday, and the Tigers welcome Washington to Alex Box Stadium this weekend for a three-game series.
LSU starting pitchers have not allowed an earned run in 27.2 consecutive innings of work. The Tigers starters have not given up an earned run since February 24, when junior right-hander Ryan Eades allowed a run in the sixth inning against Southeastern Louisiana.
Sophomore left-hander Cody Glenn earned two victories in two starts last week, firing 14 shutout innings while defeating Louisiana-Lafayette and Nicholls State. Glenn worked seven scoreless innings at UL-Lafayette on Tuesday, limiting the Cajuns to no runs on three hits with no walks and one strikeout while firing 69 pitches. He defeated Nicholls on Sunday with another seven shutout innings, this time allowing no runs on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts while throwing 90 pitches. Glenn has not allowed an earned run in 19 total innings this season, as he is 2-0 on the year with a 0.00 ERA, three walks, 11 strikeouts and a .141 opponent batting average.
Eades was dominant in his outing Saturday against Brown, firing career-high 11 strikeouts while limiting the Bears in six innings to no runs on five hits with no walks. Eades is 2-0 this season with a 0.49 ERA in 18.1 innings, and he has recorded two walks and 22 strikeouts.
Sophomore right-hander Aaron Nola also posted a career-best strikeouts total when he registered 11 Ks against Brown on Friday. Nola didn’t figure in the decision of the Tigers’ 4-3 win, but he limited the Bears to just one unearned run on three hits in seven innings with no walks.
Freshman shortstop Alex Bregman batted .389 (7-for-18) in the Tigers’ four wins last week with one triple, one homer and six RBI. He drove in four runs in LSU’s 11-2 win Tuesday at Louisiana-Lafayette, blasting his first career collegiate home run, a three-run dinger. Bregman also provided a crucial, game-tying hit in the Tigers’ 4-3 win over Brown on Friday. With LSU trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning, he delivered a two-out, RBI single that tied the game and allowed the Tigers to eventually win in the bottom of the ninth. On the year, Bregman is batting .356 (16-for-45) with two doubles, one triple, one homer and 12 RBI.
LSU is led at the plate by senior leftfielder Raph Rhymes, who is hitting .405 with four doubles, nine RBI and a .490 on-base percentage. Rhymes has struck out just twice in 49 plate appearances. Freshman centerfielder Mark Laird is batting .385 for the Tigers with two doubles, two RBI and a .489 on-base percentage, while senior first baseman Mason Katz is hitting .317 with three doubles, one triple, two homers and a team-best 14 RBI.
Stephen F. Austin outfielder Ricardo Sanchez is hitting .400 with three doubles and two RBI and senior utility player Zach Benson is batting .368 with two doubles, one homer and three RBI. Senior second baseman Freddy Villalobos is hitting .333 with two doubles and team-highs of three homers and six RBI.
LSU leads the all-time series with Stephen F. Austin, 9-0. The teams first met in Nacogdoches, Texas in 1986 when the Tigers defeated the Lumberjacks, 10-7. LSU beat SFA, 14-7, in 1988 in Alex Box Stadium and posted a two-game sweep of the Lumberjacks in 1989 at The Box. LSU again swept two games from SFA at Alex Box in 1990, and the Tigers recorded a three-game sweep of the Lumberjacks at The Box in 1992.