Pregame: LSU vs. Auburn (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.

General Info

What’s At Stake

  • The SEC West title? A top four finish in the league? These things could be on the line for LSU this week. Sure, the Tigers need help, but if they sweep/win the series at lowly Auburn, they could capture one or both of those goals. The first game is the big one. Auburn is pitching its best starter. If LSU can beat Ortman, it has a good shot of sweeping the series.

What To Watch

  • On the road: I get tired of typing this, but Poche has had some woes on the road. The numbers don’t lie. Poche in home SEC games: 27.1 IP, 6 BB, 6 ER, 19 K; Poche in road SEC games: 22.1 IP, 15 BB, 12 ER, 9 K.
  • Sleepy Bregman: Star shortstop Alex Bregman might be exhausted by the time Thursday night’s game rolls around. Bregman didn’t travel with the team to Auburn, but flew to California at 5 a.m. Wednesday to attend his grandfather’s funeral. He took the red-eye flight from LAX to Atlanta Wednesday night/Thursday morning and was set to drive from Atlanta to Auburn on Thursday morning with pitching coach Alan Dunn. Dunn will be swinging through Atlanta after leaving a recruiting trip. Bregman, you’ll remember, had eight RBIs and a grand slam in the 27-0 win over Northwestern State.

    Danny Zardon will remain the starter at first base. (CATHERINE THRELKELD | The Advocate)

    Danny Zardon will remain the starter at first base. (CATHERINE THRELKELD | The Advocate)

  • Who’s at first: We know who – Danny Zardon. The freshman from Florida is expected to remain the starter at first base for this week. He’s started the last three games there and hasn’t made an error. More importantly for this team, Zardon is 5-for-11 at the plate.

Know Your Opponent

  • Ortman is Auburn’s No. 1 pitcher. He’s struck out 58 and walked just 15 in 94 innings pitched. Auburn is 13th in the SEC standings and has lost six of its past seven SEC series, getting swept twice. AU lost its ace pitcher, Keegan Thompson, who is out for the season with a fractured bone in his foot.

Lineups

LSU

  • Mark Laird, RF
  • Alex Bregman, SS
  • Jake Fraley, LF
  • Sean McMullen, DH
  • Andrew Stevenson, CF
  • Tyler Moore, C
  • Danny Zardon, 1B
  • Conner Hale, 2B
  • Christian Ibarra, 3B

Auburn

  • Anfernee Grier, RF
  • Damon Haecker, SS
  • Jordan Ebert, LF
  • Damek Tomscha, 1B
  • Dan Glevenyak, 2B
  • Blake Logan, DH
  • Blake Austin, C
  • Ryan Tella, CF
  • Connor Short, 3B