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.
- What: LSU (41-14-1) vs. Arkansas (37-21)
- When: 4:30 p.m. Thursday
- Where: Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, Hoover, Ala.
- Starting pitchers: LSU Jr. RHP Aaron Nola (9-1, 1.42) vs. So. LEHP Colin Poche (3-0, 2.55)
- TV: CSS
- In-game updates on Twitter: @DellengerAdv
- On deck (with loss): vs. Vanderbilt/Ole Miss, 3 p.m. Friday
- On deck (with win): TBA, noon Saturday
- SEC tournament bracket
- Links to know: Poché recovers from rocky first to toss gem in SEC tournament opening rout over Vanderbilt; Notes: Bregman continues hot streak with five-RBI day; Three Strikes; Column: Bats stay hot even against stud hurlers
What’s At Stake
- There’s a good chance the winner of the SEC tournament will come from the team that wins today’s winner bracket games (LSU-Arkansas, Mississippi State-Kentucky). Those two winners get a bye through Friday and into Saturday’s semifinals. They don’t have to get beat twice (Saturday is single-elimination), but they will have had to play one or, even, two fewer games than their opponent Saturday. That’s a whopping advantage.
What To Watch
- Aaron and the Ks: Nola throws against an Arkansas lineup that he stifled just a bit more than a month ago. The junior had a career-high 13 strikeouts in a Game 1 win over Arkansas on April 11. He allowed four hits through seven innings of that game. This could be his last start against an SEC team.
- The relievers: LSU has used one pitcher through one game of this tournament as freshman Jared Poche went the full seven innings in the run-rule shortened 11-1 win over Vanderbilt. If LSU’s going to win this event, it needs a fresh bullpen. Nola can put the Tigers in position to do that with a lengthy outing. With a win, the Tigers would have to win back-to-back games without their two best arms starting (Nola and Poche). Those others guys need to be fresh and unused.
- The hits keep coming: The Tigers have a great chance to keep their hot bats warm in this one – against a group Arkansas relievers. LSU has rolled up 76 hits and 67 runs over the last five games. They’ve won those five by a 67-5 score. That’s the largest winning margin in a five-game stretch for any LSU team since 1999.
Know Your Opponent
- The Hogs have thrown their best two arms already this week in Chris Oliver and Trey Killian. Arkansas’ No. 2 pitcher, Jalen Beeks (5-4, 2.11), did not make the trip to Hoover because of an injury. Coach Dave Van Horn plans to piece together his pitching Thursday.
- Mark Laird, RF
- Alex Bregman, SS
- Chris Chinea, DH
- Sean McMullen, LF
- Conner Hale, 1B
- Christian Ibarra, 3B
- Tyler Moore, C
- Kramer Robertson, 2B
- Andrew Stevenson, CF
- Clark Eagan, DH
- Joe Serrano, LF
- Andrew Benintendi, CF
- Brian Anderson, 2B
- Eric Fisher, 1B
- Tyler Spoon, RF
- Bobby Wernes, 3B
- Alex Gosser, C
- Michael Bernal, SS