LSU

Baseball Takes Streak to Tennessee

May 12, 2016

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – No. 11 LSU (33-16,14-10 SEC) opens a three-game series against Tennessee (26-23, 7-17 SEC) at 5 p.m. CT Friday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Game 2 of the series will start at 12 p.m. CT Saturday, and first pitch for Game 3 is set for 1 p.m. CT Sunday.

The games will be carried on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, including WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge, Live audio of the games may be accessed at www.LSUsports.net/live with live stats at www.LSUstats.com.

The games on Friday and Sunday may be viewed online on SEC Network +, accessible at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. Saturday’s game will be televised on the SEC Network.

LSU is ranked No. 11 this week in the Baseball America poll, and the Tigers are No. 13 in the RPI rankings after a doubleheader sweep at Notre Dame on Wednesday. LSU enters the Tennessee series riding a five-game win streak, as the Tigers swept a three-game series last weekend versus Arkansas before capturing the two games at Notre Dame.

LSU is in a third place tie with Ole Miss in the SEC Western Division, one game behind second-place Mississippi State and two games behind first-place Texas A&M.

“This is obviously a very important series for our team,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri, “and our players understand the significance of playing at a high level down the stretch of the regular season. We have a lot of significant goals that are within reach, but we will have to be at our best against a very talented Tennessee team. They have several wins this season against highly-ranked teams, and we know that every team in the SEC presents a huge challenge.”

LSU completed the three-game SEC series sweep of Arkansas last weekend with a 7-1 win on Sunday. LSU’s 10-9 win in 10 innings on Saturday over Arkansas featured a furious comeback. LSU trailed Arkansas, 9-1, heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, but the Tigers erased the eight-run deficit to earn the victory.

LSU also recovered from eight-run deficits to post wins in 2010 versus William and Mary and in 1999 at Georgia.

The last LSU comeback of more than eight runs to win a game came on April 10, 1988, when the Tigers overcame a 13-3 deficit against Ole Miss to post a 15-13 victory in 10 innings.

LSU averaged just under 11 hits per game in the Arkansas series, batting .308 (32-for-104) in three games with 22 runs, four doubles and one home run. LSU’s pitching staff was extremely effective in the doubleheader sweep at Notre Dame, limiting the Irish to just two runs on 11 hits through 18 innings of work.

LSU is fourth in the SEC with a .296 team batting average, and the Tigers are second in the league in hitting in SEC games only with a .304 average. The Tigers will face a Tennessee pitching staff that ranks No. 9 in the league with a 3.91 staff ERA.

The Tigers are led at the plate by junior centerfielder Jake Fraley, who is hitting .328 with eight doubles, five triples, two homers, 25 RBI, 48 runs and 22 stolen bases. Junior catcher Jordan Romero is batting .327 with eight doubles and team-highs of eight homers and 37 RBI, and sophomore leftfielder Beau Jordan is hitting .324 with eight doubles, four homers, 35 RBI and 25 runs.

Tennessee is batting .291 as a team, which ranks fifth in the SEC, and the Vols have 77 stolen bases, which is second in the league behind LSU’s 80 steals.

Senior outfielder Vincent Jackson is Tennessee’s leading hitter, batting .348 with eight doubles, one triple, seven homers and 50 RBI. Junior infielder Nick Senzel is hitting .343 with 19 doubles, one triple, eight homers and 53 RBI, and junior infielder Jordan Rodgers is batting ..289 with 12 doubles, five triples, four homers and 53 RBI.

Senzel and Rodgers are tied for second in the SEC in RBI, and Jackson is tied for fourth in the league in that category. The Vols will face an LSU pitching staff that is No. 10 in the SEC with a 4.05 ERA.

LSU leads the all-time series with Tennessee, 52-22, and this weekend’s series marks the first meeting between the clubs since 2014, when the Tigers won two of three games over the Vols in Baton Rouge. The Tigers have won eight of their last nine games over UT, including a three-game sweep in 2010, which is the last time LSU played in Knoxville.

#11 LSU Fighting Tigers (33-16, 14-10 SEC) at Tennessee Volunteers (26-23, 7-17 SEC)

DATES/TIMES
Friday, May 13 – 5 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)
Saturday, May 14 – 12 p.m. CT (SEC Network)
Sunday, May 15 – 1 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)

STADIUM
Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.

RANKINGS
LSU – No. 11 by Baseball America; No. 13 by USA Today; No. 16 by D1 Baseball
UT – unranked

RADIO
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge); live audio and live stats at www.LSUsports.net

TV/ONLINE
Friday– SEC Network + (online only; accessible at WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app)
Saturday – SEC Network
Sunday – SEC Network + (online only; accessible at WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app)

SERIES RECORD
LSU leads the all-time series with Tennessee, 52-22, and this weekend’s series marks the first meeting between the clubs since 2014, when the Tigers won two of three games over the Vols in Baton Rouge. The Tigers have won eight of their last nine games over UT, including a three-game sweep in 2010, which is the last time LSU played in Knoxville.

PITCHING MATCHUPS
Game 1
LSU – So. RHP Alex Lange (6-3, 4.02 ERA, 80.2 IP, 35 BB, 88 SO)
UT – Fr. RHP Will Neely (1-2, 4.46 ERA, 36.1 IP, 15 BB, 22 SO)

Game 2
LSU – Jr. LHP Jared Poche’ (5-4, 4.05 ERA, 66.2 IP, 27 BB, 57 SO)
UT – So. LHP Zach Warren (5-4, 3.15 ERA, 71.1 IP, 26 BB, 56 SO)

Game 3
LSU – TBA
ND – So. LHP Aaron Soto (4-2, 4.10 ERA, 48.1 IP, 14 BB, 32 SO)

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