LSU baseball in SEC Tournament semifinal at 12 p.m. Saturday
POSTED: Friday, May 23, 2014 - 6:52pm
UPDATED: Friday, May 23, 2014 - 6:53pm
HOOVER, ALABAMA — Eighth-ranked LSU (42-14-1) will face Arkansas in an SEC Tournament semifinal at 12 p.m. CT Saturday at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. Arkansas and Ole Miss meet at 3 p.m. CT Friday in an elimination game.
The semifinal round of the tournament is a single-elimination format - if the Tigers defeat Arkansas or Ole Miss on Saturday, they advance to Sunday's 3:30 p.m. CT championship game; if LSU loses Saturday's game, it is eliminated from the tournament.
Saturday's game can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including Baton Rouge flagship WDGL-FM 98.1 FM. Live audio and stats of the game may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net, and live video will be available at ESPN3.com.
The game will be televised on ESPNEWS, which is Cox Cable Ch. 244 in Baton Rouge.
LSU, ranked No. 8 this week by USA Today, has appeared in the Top 10 of a major college baseball poll for 49 consecutive weeks. The Tigers finished the regular season as the No. 3 team in the 2014 Southeastern Conference standings.
The Tigers enter Saturday's SEC Tournament semifinal riding a six-game win streak in which LSU has outscored its opposition, 74-7, while posting an 88-30 advantage hits. The Tigers are hitting .384 as a team over their past six games, and the LSU pitching staff has a 1.29 ERA during that stretch.
LSU advanced to the semifinal round by defeating sixth-ranked Vanderbilt, 11-1, on Wednesday and No. 20 Arkansas, 7-2, on Thursday. The Tigers are hitting .375 (27-for-72) in their SEC Tournament games with seven doubles, one triple and two homers.
LSU earned a day off by winning its first two games, and the Tigers engaged in a two-hour practice Friday morning at Samford University in nearby Birmingham, Ala.
"We've continued to play with a lot of confidence since we've been in Hoover, and we're hoping to keep it going for two more games here," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri after the workout at Samford. "The SEC Tournament presents a tremendous challenge because you're guaranteed to face another great team every day. We've played well in our first two games, and I think we've certainly enhanced our NCAA postseason resume'. Our players realize what's at stake this weekend, and they're motivated to continue to perform at high level."
Junior left-hander Kyle Bouman (4-2) will start Saturday's game on the mound for the Tigers. Bouman defeated Auburn in his last outing on May 17, limiting AU to one run on four hits in five innings with one walk and two strikeouts.
Junior catcher/first baseman Tyler Moore has spearheaded LSU's offensive surge, batting .500 (11-for-22) during the six-game win streak with four doubles, two homers and 16 RBI. Sophomore shortstop Alex Bregman is hitting .464 (13-for-28) with four doubles, three homers and 13 RBI in the last six games, and freshman outfielder Jake Fraley is batting .579 (11-for-19) during the six-game period with one double, one homer and five RBI.
LSU has a league-best 70-38 (.648) all-time record in the SEC Tournament, and the Tigers own a conference-high 10 tournament titles. Alabama and Mississippi State are second behind LSU with seven tournament titles, and Ole Miss is third with five championships. LSU has won four of the past six SEC Tournament crowns, claiming the title in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013. LSU posted a 4-1 tournament mark en route to the title last season, defeating Vanderbilt, 5-4 in 11 innings, in the championship game. The Tigers are 18-4 under Mainieri, in his eighth season at LSU, in SEC Tournament games.