Pregame: LSU vs. Vanderbilt (Game 1)

Pregame will be posted a few hours before each game this baseball season. About an hour before first pitch, lineups will be added to the bottom of this post. Return after the game for our Postgame blog with video.

BREAKING

NASHVILLE – Lead-off man Sean McMullen is not starting Friday night’s game against Vanderbilt because of a leg injury, a team spokesman said.

Chris Sciambra, a junior from Baton Rouge, will replace him in left field. Center fielder Andrew Stevenson moves into the lead-off spot in the batting order.

McMullen’s injury remains uncertain and it’s something Mainieri hinted at Thursday, saying that a starter was “nicked up.” Mainieri said on the radio Friday afternoon that McMullen was suffering from a “mysterious ailment.”

McMullen awoke “not feeling well” two days ago, Mainieri said. He would not have been able to play the last two days, the coach said.

General Info

  • What: LSU (16-2) at Vanderbilt (16-2)
  • When:  6:30 p.m. Friday
  • Where: Hawkins Field
  • Starting pitchers: LSU Jr. RHP Aaron Nola (4-0, 0.00), VU Jr. RHP Tyler Beede (4-0, 1.08)
  • In-game updates on Twitter: @DellengerAdv
  • On deck: at Vanderbilt, 2:15 p.m. Saturday, Hawkins Field
  • In the hole: at Vanderbilt, 1 p.m. Sunday, Hawkins Field
  • Links to knowNola and Beede have an off-the-field bondNotes: Glenn has a plan in the pen, injury news

What’s At Stake

  • Coach Paul Mainieri made it a point during his meeting with reporters on Thursday afternoon to remind everyone that the SEC season is a whopping 30 games and that the result of this weekend’s series is not a make-or-break deal. But a series win on the road against Vandy to start the season? Yeah, that’d be nice feather in the cap in the early going.

What To Watch

Aaron Nola hasn't allowed a run this season. (The Advocate)

Aaron Nola hasn’t allowed a run this season. (The Advocate)

  • Beede vs. Nola: There’s nothing bigger to watch in this one than the two starting pitchers. Beede and Nola, friends, are two of the top five pitchers nationally, most rankings agree. They’ll likely be first-round MLB draft picks. Beede, out of high school, was a first-rounder. In what most expect to be a tight, low-scoring game, the weight of the series-opening result rests with these fellas. Here’s a fantastic piece from Baseball America’s Aaron Fitt about the matchup. It includes this line: “Vanderbilt has received more than 100 requests for seats from scouts and executives,  including major league general managers.”
  • Injury watch: Third baseman Christian Ibarra missed the last three games with a hamstring injury, but told us Thursday that he’d start Friday. Mainieri said the decision had not been made and that another everyday starter was “nicked up.” The staff was expected to make decision on the lineup Thursday night.
  • The streaks: Several LSU players have nice hitting streaks going. Against Beede, it’ll be a chore to keep them alive. Andrew Stevenson is at 15 games and Alex Bregman is at 10.  Jake Fraley and Sean McMullen both have five-game streaks.

Know Your Opponent

  • The Commodores entered the season as one of the favorites to win the league, joining LSU, South Carolina and Mississippi State. Their team ERA is one of the best in the nation at 1.33. Beede is a hoss on the mound. He’s allowed 13 hits in 24 innings and has struck out 33.

Lineups

LSU

  • Andrew Stevenson, CF
  • Mark Laird, RF
  • Alex Bregman, SS
  • Conner Hale, 2B
  • Kade Scivicque, DH
  • Christian Ibarra, 3B
  • Tyler Moore, 1B
  • Chris Sciambra, LF
  • Chris Chinea, C

Vanderbilt

  • Dansby Swanson, 2B
  • Bryan Reynolds, LF
  • Zander Wiel, 1B
  • Xavier Turner, 3B
  • Rhett Wiseman, RF
  • Vince Conde, SS
  • Chris Harvey, C
  • Jared Miller, DH
  • John Norwood, CF