Pregame: LSU vs. Southeastern Louisiana (NCAA regional)

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 first two games of these four-team regionals are critical. Win the first two and a team must win just one more (of a possible two games) to win the regional. Lose the first game and a team must win four straight. Lose the second game and a team must win three straight. It’s imperative that LSU not waste a start from its No. 2 pitcher. The Tigers need to win to set up Aaron Nola’s outing Saturday night. None of the 32 teams last year that lost the first game of a regional won it.

What To Watch

Jared Poche will start Friday afternoon against Southeastern Louisiana. (Travis Spradling | The Advocate)

Jared Poche will start Friday afternoon against Southeastern Louisiana. (Travis Spradling | The Advocate)

  • First-timer: Poche, a freshman from Lutcher, has passed tougher tests this season than Southeastern Louisiana. He shut down Vanderbilt at the SEC tournament, for instance. But Poche is a first-timer when it comes to NCAA postseason games. Alex Box is expected to be packed for an all-important regional opener. The pressure couldn’t be much higher on the young guy.
  • The bats: LSU’s hot bats cooled a bit against Florida in the SEC tournament title game. Still, the Tigers hit a few balls hard and had enough hits – six – to win the game. Against Southeastern Louisiana’s ace, how will LSU’s offense fair? The Tigers have 110 hits in the last eight games, the most in an eight-game stretch since 2010.
  • Better start: In the first two games of last season’s regional, LSU allowed 12 runs and 19 hits. The Tigers made five errors in a Saturday win over Sam Houston State, and Alex Bregman and Raph Rhymes collided while chasing a foul ball in Game 1 Friday. Coach Paul Mainieri is hoping a disastrous start to last year’s regional won’t appear this weekend.

Know Your Opponent

  • Cutura is a solid No. 1 pitcher and one Mainieri calls “SEC caliber.” He’s struck out 95 and walked just 19. Southeastern finished fifth in the Southland Conference regular season but ran through the league tournament to claim the automatic bid. The Lions have won six straight games.

Lineups

LSU

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

Southeastern Louisiana

  • Jacob Seward, CF
  • Jameson Fisher, C
  • Andrew Godbold, RF
  • Brett Hoffman, 3B
  • Daniel Midyett, DH
  • Sam Roberson, 1B
  • Kennon Menard, SS
  • Kyle Cedotal, LF
  • Jacob Williams, 2B