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Pregame: LSU vs. Arkansas (Game 3)

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

  • A second straight SEC series sweep. LSU has a shot to win an eighth straight game and surge, maybe, into the SEC lead two weeks after being in 11th place.

What To Watch

Can Kyle Bouman be LSU's No. 3 starter? (HILARY SCHEINUK | The Advocate)

Can Kyle Bouman be LSU’s No. 3 starter? (HILARY SCHEINUK | The Advocate)

  • Bouman’s time: Kyle Bouman has a shot to establish himself as LSU’s No. 3 starter. Bouman is nearly a month removed from that badly sprained ankle so there’s no excuses. If there’s one thing LSU needs, it’s a reliable third starting pitcher. The  junior college transfer from Missouri gets a chance to slide into that role.
  • Sunday bats: The Tigers know Aaron Nola and Jared Poche won’t be on the mound Sunday. And that means runs probably need to be scored. LSU hopes Bouman can give the Tigers at least 3-4 innings. The bullpen will piecemeal the rest. LSU had 20 hits and scored 17 runs in a Sunday win over Mississippi State last weekend. Can that be replicated? Or can they even get to half of those totals?

Know Your Opponent

  • Chris Oliver isn’t your normal No. 3 starter. He’s Arkansas’ best pro prospect, coach Paul Mainieri said. The coach expects a slew of pro scouts to be on hand to watch him hurl. The hard-throwing righty had his best outing of his career last week in a 7-0 win over South Carolina. He struck out 10 and allowed four hits in the game.

Lineups

LSU

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

Arkansas

  • Tyler Spoon, CF
  • Andrew Benintendi, RF
  • Joe Serrano, LF
  • Brian Anderson, 2B
  • Blake Baxendale, DH
  • Eric Fisher, 1B
  • Bobby Wernes, 3B
  • Jake Wise, C
  • Michael Bernal, SS

Postgame: LSU 5, Arkansas 4

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Postgame will be posted a few hours after each game during this baseball season. 

General Info

  • BoxClick here
  • Coverage: Game story
  • Twitter: @DellengerAdv
  • On deck: vs. Arkansas, 1 p.m. Sunday, Alex Box
  • In the hole: vs. Southern Miss, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Zephyr Field, Metarie

The Studs

Mark Laird mid-swing of his ninth-inning walk-off single. (Travis Spradling | The Advocate)

Mark Laird mid-swing of his ninth-inning walk-off single. (Travis Spradling | The Advocate)

  • Mark Laird, LSU RF: Laird was 0 for 10 before he smacked a walk-off, RBI single to left field. He took a high fastball the opposite direction for his first game-winning hit since he was a senior in high school two years ago.
  • Joe Broussard, LSU RHP: Broussard, for a second straight game, showed he can be clutch in late-inning situations. He retired two of the three batters he faced to close out the ninth (the other was an intentional walk). He got his first decision, claiming the win. He got his eighth save in a 5-3 win Friday night.
  • Andrew Stevenson, LSU CF: Stevenson scored a run after walking in the fourth inning. He also went 2 for 2 at the plate and his sac-bunt in the ninth inning moved Jake Fraley in scoring position, setting up Laird’s game-winner.

The Duds

  • Michael Gunn, Arkansas LHP: Gunn entered the game to start the ninth inning having not allowed an earned run this season. He seemed to be just off with his fastball, missing high. He walked Chinea and allowed that game-winning single from Laird on another high pitch.

The Turning Point

  • Chris Chinea led of the ninth inning by walking. That was the undoing for Gunn and the Razorbacks. It turned the game, indeed,

The Quote

  • “It was a thing of beauty.” – LSU coach Paul Mainieri on Mark Laird’s game-winning single

Pregame: LSU vs. Arkansas (Game 2)

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: LSU (26-8-1, 7-5-1) vs. Arkansas (21-14, 6-7)
  • When: noon Saturday
  • Where: Alex Box Stadium
  • Starting pitchers: LSU Fr. LHP Jared Poché (6-2, 2.25) vs. UA Jr. LHP Jalen Beeks (5-2, 1.05)
  • TV: ESPN2
  • In-game updates on Twitter: @DellengerAdv
  • On deck: vs. Arkansas, 1 p.m. Sunday, Alex Box
  • In the hole: vs. Southern Miss, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Metarie, La., Zephyr Field
  • Links to know: Behind Nola’s 13 strikeouts, Tigers win sixth straight; Postgame blog

What’s At Stake

  • In the jumbled conference standings, LSU could actually lead the SEC West if it beats Arkansas on Saturday. More important, the Tigers will have a second straight series win.

What To Watch

Jared Poche is 2-0 in SEC starts at home. (HILARY SCHEINUK | The Advocate)

Jared Poche has been successful in home starts. (HILARY SCHEINUK | The Advocate)

  • Poche at home: Poche, the true freshman from Lutcher, has been impressive in his previous two home SEC starts. He’s allowed six hits and two runs, while striking out 12 and walking four in 14.2 innings against Georgia and Mississippi State.
  • Where are the hits: LSU has had just five hits in each of the last two games. They’ve been timely pops, yes. But the Tigers bats might need to do more as the weekend stretches on. There’ll be no Aaron Nola on the mound the rest of the weekend.

Know Your Opponent

  • Beeks has allowed just six earned runs in 51 innings pitches. He was named one of three SEC Pitchers of the Week last week after he beat South Carolina, throwing a complete-game four-hitter. Beeks did not allow an earned run in Arkansas’ 4-1 win over the Gamecocks.

Lineups

LSU

  • Sean McMullen, LF
  • Mark Laird, RF
  • Alex Bregman, SS
  • Kade Scivicque, DH
  • Christian Ibarra, 3B
  • Conner Hale, 1B
  • Chris Chinea, C
  • Andrew Stevenson, CF
  • Kramer Robertson, 2B

Arkansas

  • Tyler Spoon, CF
  • Andrew Benintendi, RF
  • Joe Serrano, LF
  • Brian Anderson, 2B
  •  Blake Baxendale, DH
  • Jake Wise, C
  • Bobby Wernes, 3B
  • Eric Fisher, 1B
  • Michael Bernal, SS

Postgame: LSU 5, Arkansas 3

brightcove

Postgame will be posted a few hours after each game during this baseball season. 

General Info

  • Box: Click here
  • Coverage: Game story
  • Twitter: @DellengerAdv
  • On deck: vs. Arkansas, noon Saturday, Alex Box
  • In the hole: vs. Arkansas, 1 p.m. Sunday, Alex Box

The Studs

  • Aaron Nola, LSU RHP: Nola had 13 strikeouts, a career-high, and allowed just four hits in a full seven innings on the mound. He moved to 7-1 on the season, and his ERA, despite allowing two runs, is still below 1 (0.70).
  • Joe Broussard, LSU RHP: Broussard walked his first batter. And then the guy retired the final five of the game. He threw nine strikes in a 10-pitch ninth inning, striking out two. He got his eighth save.
  • Sean McMullen, LSU LF: McMullen hit his fourth homer, doubling his 2013 total. He also walked to start LSU’s at-bat, the fifth straight game in which he reached base in the first inning.
Joe Broussard got his eighth save Friday. (HILARY SCHEINUK | The Advocate)

Joe Broussard got his eighth save Friday. (HILARY SCHEINUK | The Advocate)

The Duds

  • Michael Bernal, Arkansas SS: Bernal made two errors in the first two innings. He botched a double play ball and then whiffed on a hard grounder from Christian Ibarra.

The Turning Point

  • The game came down to the wire, but when Joe Broussard retired the final two in the eighth inning to strand a pair, it felt as if LSU had a tight grip on the W. Broussard then retired the side in the ninth for the save.

The Quote

  • “This is the SEC. Teams don’t lay down and die in the SEC.” – coach Paul Mainieri on Arkansas’ late rally

Pregame: LSU vs. Arkansas (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 At Stake

  • LSU hasn’t lost at home in SEC play, and Aaron Nola is undefeated at home on the mound. The streaks are on the line tonight against a solid Arkansas team. More important: The Tigers have won five straight games after their four-game skid.

What To Watch

  • The ace: Nola is doing record things. He’s allowed just three runs and 27 hits in 57 innings pitched. He has struck out 71 and walked just 11 batters. His ERA of 0.47 is currently the second best in LSU history and the best in more than 40 years.

    Sean McMullen has 12 doubles this season. (Heather McClelland | The Advocate)

    Sean McMullen has 12 doubles this season. (Heather McClelland | The Advocate)

  • McMullen’s streak: Sean McMullen has started LSU’s at-bat by reaching base the last four games. Can the lead-off man keep up the streak? It’s an impressive one. Overall, McMullen has help drive LSU’s offense. He has 12 doubles, six more than any other player, and 22 RBIs, second-most on the team.
  • More Moore: Tyler Moore has been somewhat hot at the plate. He was the only Tiger to have more than one hit Wednesday in a win over Lamar, and he’s had a hit in five of his last six starts. Mainieri’s most potent lineup might be Moore at first and Conner Hale at second, leaving out Kramer Robertson. Will we see more Moore this weekend and, maybe, tonight?

Know Your Opponent

  • Killian is hittable. He’s allowed 33 hits in 40 innings. He’s 1-3 in SEC games. Arkansas dropped a three-game series to South Alabama, but the Hogs are the only team win a series over Alabama, and they won two of three from South Carolina last week.

Lineups

LSU

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

Arkansas

  • Tyler Spoon, CF
  • Andrew Benintendi, RF
  • Joe Serrano, LF
  • Brian Anderson, 2B
  • Krisjon Wilkerson, DH
  • Eric Fisher, 1B
  • Bobby Wernes, 3B
  • Jake Wise, C
  • Michael Bernal, SS

Postgame: LSU 5, Lamar 0

brightcove

Postgame will be posted a few hours after each game during this baseball season. 

General Info

  • BoxClick here
  • CoverageGame story
  • Twitter: @DellengerAdv
  • On deck: vs. Arkansas, 7 p.m. Friday, Alex Box
  • In the hole: vs. Arkansas, noon Saturday, Alex Box

The Studs

Tyler Moore went 2 for 4 Wednesday. (HILARY SCHEINUK | The Advocate)

Tyler Moore went 2 for 4 Wednesday. (HILARY SCHEINUK | The Advocate)

  • Tyler Moore, LSU 1B: Moore, in and out of the starting lineup, was the only player to have multiple hits in the game. In fact, LSU had just four hits as a team. Moore had a pair of single, one that scored a run.
  • Parker Bugg, LSU RHP: Bugg was one of a whopping nine pitchers coach Paul Mainieri trotted out to the mound. He went one inning, striking out two. Mainieri said he thought “every one” of his pitchers did well.
  • Andrew Stevenson, LSU CF: Stevenson had a double off the right field wall that scored a run, and he drew a walk to lead off the second inning. He eventually scored in the second.

The Turning Point

  • LSU took a 3-0 lead after the second inning. That’s a mighty cushion against a bullpen going against Lamar hitters. Thirteen of the last 14 Cardinals were retired.

The Quote

  • “Isn’t that unbelievable.” – LSU coach Paul Mainieri on the Tigers breaking the school record for shuouts with 11 (halfway through the year)

Pregame: LSU vs. Lamar

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

  • Don’t ruin the momentum. The Tigers haven’t had this kind of positive energy this year. That’s what a series sweep over a top-15 team and the defending NCAA runner-up will do. The Tigers don’t need to let that slip away with a loss Wednesday.

What To Watch

  • Faucheux: The LaPlace native gets the first start of his LSU career. It’s nothing new though. Faucheux served as a starter in junior college last season. Does he have a shot to move into a starting role? Well, sure. The Tigers are looking for another guy. He’ll need a better outing than he had last time out – when he walked multiple batters at Florida.

    Sean McMullen and LSU had the hot bats Sunday. Are they still warm? (HILARY SCHEINUK | The Advocate)

    Sean McMullen and LSU had the hot bats Sunday. Are they still warm? (HILARY SCHEINUK | The Advocate)

  • Hot bats: Will LSU’s bats stay warm? The Tigers had 20 hits in the Sunday win over Mississippi State. Hitting like that could take this team a long way.

Know Your Opponent

  • Autrey has thrown 27.2 innings, walked 12 and struck out 31. Lamar lost a three-game series earlier this season at Southeastern Louisiana. The Cardinals have not gotten blown out this season. Their biggest loss is by five runs. Nine of their losses have come by two runs or less.

Lineups

LSU 

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

Lamar

  • Jude Vidrine, CF
  • Reed Seeley, 3B
  • Sam Bumpers, SS
  • Brandon Provost, 1B
  • Jacoby Middleton, RF
  • Kyle Markum, DH
  • Mason Salazar, 2B
  • Justin Eckols, C
  • Jake Sutton LF

Emptying The Notebook: Mainieri talks losing-winning, Faucheux starting, Bouman, SEC parity

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Video: Mainieri talks bouncing back from an 0-4 week to go 4-0.

Paul Mainieri and LSU followed an 0-4 week with a 4-0 one.

Oh, the roller coaster of emotions, right? Mainieri chats about that in the video above. He later discussed it more during a 25-minute meeting with reporters on Monday.

Mainieri even had a conversation a few weeks ago with new Georgia coach Scott Stricklin about the lows of losing and the highs of winning. The Bulldogs visited Alex Box last month for a three-game series.

“I used to really, really enjoy victories until I started to realize how painful the losses were,” Mainieri said he told Stricklin. “When I happen to be on the winning side, there’s a portion of me that feels so bad for the coach in the other dugout that it’s hard for me to really gloat too much because I know what it does for him and his family.”

Continued Mainieri, whose team recently swept State and coach John Cohen: “The coach from Mississippi State. I thought about him trying to drive back on that bus for six hours last night after losing three games. I had to do it last week and I knew how miserable I was.”

So how did LSU do it? You know, go from losing to Tulane and being swept at Florida to beating McNeese State convincingly and sweeping Mississippi State.

“When we finally started playing better against McNeese, I felt that we carried it all of the way through the weekend. Played, really, three pretty good games,” Mainieri said. “Everybody’s feeling a lot better today. ”

Other notes from Monday’s session with Mainieri:

  • Henri Faucheux, a junior college transfer from LaPlace, will start Wednesday against Lamar. Faucheux has allowed just six hits in 14 innings of relief. He had issues with walks in his last appearance against Florida. “He’s still going to be a very vital player for us, a very vital pitcher,” Mainieri said. “I wouldn’t expect him to go a large distance. If he’s pitching well enough, I think we’d be happy to get three innings out of him.”

    Kyle Bouman could start against this Sunday against Arkansas. (HILARY SCHEINUK | The Advocate)

    Kyle Bouman could start against this Sunday against Arkansas. (HILARY SCHEINUK | The Advocate)

  • If Kyle Bouman’s ankle feels OK leading up to Sunday, Bouman will likely start Sunday against Arkansas, Mainieri said. But that determination won’t be made until the weekend, the coach said. Bouman’s injured ankle was sore Monday after pitching in a win over State on Sunday. He went 3.1 innings, a “courageous” outing, Mainieri called it. Mainieri said the ankle soreness is no concern. “It’s not like it’s back to Square 1,” Mainieri said.
  • Reliever Alden Cartwright has returned to 100 percent from a shoulder strain that knocked him out for a couple of week, Mainieri said. He’s made two brief appearances over the last week.
  • Ace Aaron Nola was named the SEC Pitcher of the Week. He’s started the year with a 6-1 record and a 0.47 ERA. Asked about Nola, Mainieri said this when referencing the junior’s command and control: “He could knock a gnat off of a bull from 60 feet.”

Lastly, we give you a rundown of Mainieri discussing the parity in the SEC this season. The bottom team (Missouri) is 4-8 and the league leader (Alabama) is 8-4.

We’re playing a team next weekend (Arkansas) that just held the No. 1 team in the country, South Carolina, to a total of one run in their last two games.

There’s just never any let-up in this league. You know every weekend you’re going to run up against great pitching.

I thought about it this morning, about this league.

Think about it … Florida swept us, went to Kentucky, lost two out of three. Ole Miss got swept at Bama and turns around and sweeps Auburn. We get swept at Florida and we turn around and sweep MississippiState, and MississippiState had won two out of three against Arkansas. Arkansas turns around and beats South Carolina two out of three. Could go through the whole league.

It’s what I’ve always said about this league: You can never get down because the team that beat you this weekend is going to turn around and get beat by somebody next weekend.

The teams are so evenly matched. The personnel from team to team is almost non-discernable. It really comes down to who plays better on a given day.

Four games separate 14 teams. We’re four weeks in. This is not like after one or two weeks. We’re four weeks into the season and that’s happened.

Got to keep fighting every game.

This year the league could be won with 17 or 18 (SEC) wins. Might be won by a team barely over .500 (in the SEC). You just never know.

Poll Speak Monday

Sean McMullen and LSU went 4-0 last week. (HILARY SCHEINUK | The Advocate)

Sean McMullen and LSU went 4-0 last week. (HILARY SCHEINUK | The Advocate)

Each Monday, you can track the Tigers in the polls as the rankings are released. Click on the poll name to be taken to the full rankings.

LSU’s record last week: 4-0