LSU and Tulane ready for showdown

LSU and Tulane ready for showdown
LSU

POSTED: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - 4:04am

UPDATED: Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 9:19pm

Fourth-ranked LSU (35-10) plays host to Tulane (29-15) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Alex Box Stadium.

The game will be carried by the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, with Baton Rouge affiliate WDGL 98.1 FM serving as the flagship station. Live video, audio and stats of the game may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.

Tuesday’s game will be televised by Cox Sports Television.

LSU is in a first-place tie with Kentucky and South Carolina in the overall SEC standings, and the Tigers have a three-game lead over Arkansas in the SEC Western Division race. LSU posted a series victory over Georgia last weekend, improving its home record on the year to 28-5; the Tigers have won 14 of their last 15 games home contests.

The LSU bullpen worked a total of 11.1 innings in the Georgia series, limiting the Bulldogs to one run on six hits with one walk and nine strikeouts. LSU is 12-4 in one-run games this season, including a 9-3 mark in SEC games decided by one run.

“Every game down the stretch is pivotal in determining how the story of this season will be written,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Tulane has an excellent club with a lot of very talented ball players. We know a lot of their players very well, and we root for them to succeed, except when they play us. Our focus is on continuing to do the things we’ve been doing to put us in the position we’re in right now.”

Tuesday’s game marks the second meeting between the teams this season. LSU posted a 5-0 win over Wave on March 6 at Turchin Stadium in New Orleans.

Mainieri said that sophomore right-hander Joe Broussard (4-0, 4.03 ERA) would start the game on the mound for LSU. Tulane will counter with junior right-hander Alex Byo (6-3, 3.59 ERA).

Junior rightfielder Mason Katz was named LSWA Hitter of the Week Monday after leading LSU to the series victory over Georgia, batting .455 (5-for-11) in the three games with one double, one homer, five RBI, four runs, an .818 slugging percentage and a .538 on-base percentage. Katz lifted LSU to a dramatic win in Game 2 on Saturday, launching a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning to erase a 4-2 deficit and give the Tigers a 6-4 lead. The grand slam was the first of Katz’s career, and it was his team-high eighth homer of the season. Katz is hitting .350 on the year with 12 doubles, one triple, eight homers, 36 RBI, 50 runs and eight stolen bases.

Junior leftfielder Raph Rhymes continues to lead the nation with a .500 (78-for-156) cumulative batting average, and he has collected 11 doubles, three homers, 46 RBI and 32 runs. Rhymes hit .538 (7-for-13) in the Georgia series with one homer, one RBI and two runs scored. For the entire four-game week, he batted .500 (8-for-16) with one double, one homer, two RBI and two runs. Rhymes is batting .521 (38-for-73) in SEC games this season with three doubles, three homers, 16 RBI and 11 runs.

Senior designated hitter Jordy Snikeris hit .364 (4-for-11) in the Georgia series with one double, one homer, five RBI and four runs scored. Snikeris’ lead-off double in the bottom of the eighth inning ignited a six-run LSU rally as the Tigers overcame a 4-2 deficit and posted an 8-4 victory.

Tulane is hitting .313 as a team with 36 home runs and 46 steals in 63 attempts. The Wave is led at the plate by senior Nick Schneeburger, who is hitting .382 with 10 doubles, three triples, four homers and 41 RBI. Junior Sean Potkay is batting .346 with nine doubles, four homers and 27 RBI, while senior catcher Jeremy Schaffer is hitting .331 with 12 doubles, nine homers and 39 RBI.

LSU leads Tulane, 174-125-3 , in a series that began with the first intercollegiate athletic event in LSU history, a 10-8 victory for the Fighting Tiger baseball squad over Tulane in 1893. LSU has won seven of its nine meetings with Tulane over the past five seasons, and the Tigers currently hold a three-game win streak in the series.

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