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Balls And Strikes: :LSU 4, Southern 2

Collin Strall got the win over LSU, retiring three of four batters.

Collin Strall got the win over LSU, retiring three of four batters.

General Info

  • Coverage: Game story
  • Twitter:   @DellengerAdv, @BarrecaAdvocate
  • On Deck: at Arkansas, 6 p.m. Thursday
  • In The Hole: at Arkansas, 8 p.m. Friday

STRIKES

  • Stallings back: Jesse Stallings got his ninth close of the season, pitching a perfect 10th inning. It was his first appearance since blowing a 3-2 lead in the ninth against Ole Miss. He was “ready to get back out there. I knew that my last one wasn’t good enough. (Alex) Lange came out and pitched a gem and I let him down. Felt bad about it,” he said.
  • Reynolds’ start: Russell Reynolds allowed three hits in his four innings and one run. He struck out three and – here’s the big stat – walked no one. “Russell threw good,” Mainieri said. “I thought all of our pitchers threw good except for there in the one inning when we couldn’t throw strikes.” See below.

BALLS

  • Cartwright: Alden Cartwright had his first real rough inning this season because of a few consecutive high fastballs. He walked two straight batters with two outs and a man on base in a tied game in the eighth inning. With the bases loaded, Parker Bugg issued a four-pitch walk to score the go-ahead run for Southern.
  • Foster at second: Jared Foster had consecutive errors at second base. He booted a sharp but routine grounder and then, on the very next batter, he woefully threw short of first base, a ball that skipped past Chris Chinea. Foster now has three errors at second in five starts there. Foster moved to second last week mostly to keep his bat in the order. He was seen as a permanent player there before Tuesday, at least. LSU has 25 errors through 21 games. That’s nine more than the Tigers had through the same stretch to start last season.
  • Clutch hitting: LSU finished the game 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position. They began the game zero for their first 10. The clutch hitting woes again reared their ugly head. The Tigers struggled in the clutch in their last midweek loss – a 6-3 defeat to Nicholls State on Feb. 18. Alex Bregman, Chris Chinea and Jared Foster went a combined 0 for 14 in the game (though Bregman and Chinea drove in the eventual winning runs with groundouts).

Pregame: LSU vs. Southern

Conner Hale won't be playing on Tuesday night against Southern. (Angela Major)

Conner Hale won’t be playing on Tuesday night against Southern. (Angela Major)

General Info

  • What: LSU (18-2) vs. Southern (3-10)
  • When: 6 p.m. Tuesday
  • Where: Lee-Hines Field
  • Starting pitchers: LSU sophomore RHP Russell Reynolds (1-0, 5.40 ERA); SU freshman RHP Tyler Robinson (0-0, 4.61 ERA)
  • TV: CST
  • In-game updates on Twitter: @Dellenger Adv, @BarrecaAdvocate, @EastAdvocate
  • On deck: at Arkansas, 6 p.m. Thursday
  • In the hole: at Arkansas, 8 p.m. Friday

Links To Know

What’s At Stake

  • Nine of LSU’s next 12 games are on the road. Starting that road stretch with a loss to Southern would be anything but ideal. The Tigers have won 10 straight games over the Jaguars. Coach Paul Mainieri is undefeated against the cross-town SWAC school.

What To Watch

  • Who’s At Third: It’ll be freshman Grayson Byrd, Paul Byrd’s son. Byrd gets his first start at third base. He started one game at second base and one as the designated hitter this season. Mainieri is giving the kid a crack at playing in the hot corner with Conner Hale out. Hale is resting a sore shoulder. Byrd will be the fourth different player this season to start at third base, a spot Christian Ibarra vacated last year.
  • Hot Bats: Last time out, the Tigers had 19 hits and scored 18 runs in a romping over Ole Miss. Without their hottest bat in the lineup (Hale), how will LSU follow Sunday’s performance against the Rebels? The Tigers are on a hot streak. They’ve had at least eight hits in 11 straight games and had double digit hits in seven of those.
  • Russell’s outing: It’s pretty clear that coaches are giving sophomore Russell Reynolds a shot to be LSU’s No. 4 starter. Doug Norman and Kyle Bouman saw some time in the role, but Reynolds has the midweek starter keys now. He retired six of seven batters last week in a two-inning outing against McNeese. He’s on a 60-pitch limit against Southern so expect him to go beyond the second inning.

Lineups

LSU

  • Jake Fraley, LF
  • Mark Laird, RF
  • Alex Bregman, SS
  • Chris Chinea, 1B
  • Jared Foster, 2B
  • Andrew Stevenson, CF
  • Kade Scivicque, DH
  • Grayson Byrd, 3B
  • Michael Papierski, C

Southern

  • Gavin Webster, DH
  • Marcus Tomlin, 2B
  • Jose DeLa Torre, C
  • D.J. Wallace, RF
  • Tyler Kirksey, LF
  • Rivers Frederick, 3B
  • Sergio Torres, 1B
  • Robinson Mateo, SS
  • Lance Jones, CF

LSU pitcher Alex Lange named SEC Freshman of the Week

Alex Lange threw a three-hitter in eight innings and struck out 13. (Angela Major)

Alex Lange threw a three-hitter in eight innings and struck out 13. (Angela Major)

Alex Lange’s eight-inning, 13-strikeout start on Saturday got attention around the country.

Now he has an award to show for it.

Lange was named the SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday. He had those career high 13 strikeouts and allowed three hits in the longest outing of his career in a 5-3 loss to Ole Miss in 14 innings.

He didn’t walk a batter, and he threw 117 pitches, striking out the side a whopping three times. He struck out three in the eighth inning, still tossing a fastball in the mid to low 90s more than 100 pitches in.

Lange (4-0, 1.45) got a no decision in the game after closer Jesse Stallings blew his first of nine save opportunities with the Tigers leading 3-2 in the ninth inning.

Lange is expected to start Game 2 against Arkansas on Friday night. The Tigers (18-2, 2-1 SEC) and the Razorbacks (9-8, 0-3 SEC) begin a three-game set on Thursday. The first two games will be televised on the SEC Network.

Poll Speak Monday

Alex Bregman and LSU went 3-1 this week. (Patrick Dennis)

Alex Bregman and LSU went 3-1 this week. (Patrick Dennis)

Each Monday, you can track the Tigers in the polls as the rankings are released. 

LSU went 3-1 this week, taking two of three from Ole Miss and beating McNeese State.

Polls

RPI

(previous week’s ranking)

On Deck

  • Tuesday, 6 p.m. (CST): at Southern
  • Thursday, 6 p.m. (SEC Network): at Arkansas
  • Friday, 8 p.m. (SEC Network): at Arkansas
  • Saturday, 2 p.m.: at Arkansas

Balls and Strikes: LSU 18, Ole Miss 6

Kade Scivicque was one of three Tigers to have a 3-hit day on Sunday vs. Ole Miss. (Ignacio Murillo |The Advocate)

Kade Scivicque was one of three Tigers to have a 3-hit day on Sunday vs. Ole Miss. (Ignacio Murillo |The Advocate)

General Info

  • Coverage: Game Story
  • Twitter:   @DellengerAdv, @BarrecaAdvocate
  • On Deck: at Southern University, 6 p.m. Tuesday
  • In The Hole: at Arkansas, 6 p.m. Thursday

STRIKES

  • Sunday Fireworks: What’s one way to score 18 runs? Just set off a couple of fireworks during the game. Senior third baseman Conner Hale hit an opposite field homer (2) in the bottom of the third, junior shortstop Alex Bregman spanked his fifth home run of the season over the left field bleachers in the bottom of the fourth inning, and senior second baseman Jared Foster smacked his third home run in the bottom of the sixth.
  • 3-Hit Trio: Half of LSU’s hits on Sunday came from three Tigers – Conner Hale, Alex Bregman and Kade Scivicque. Bregman went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, Hale finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Scivicque ended his weekend by going 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
  • Godfrey’s SEC Debut: It wasn’t perfect, but it was more-than enough to pick up his fourth victory in five starts. LSU freshman right-hander Jake Godfrey introduced himself to the SEC, tossing 5.2 innings and allowing three runs on three hits. He also walked four and struck out two in the contest. Ole Miss didn’t pick up its first hit off of Godfrey until the top of the fifth inning.
  • Fraley Busts His Slump: Jake Fraley entered Sunday’s contest on an 0-for-14 skid. He then grounded out in his first at-bat to make it 0-for-15. Fortunately for the sophomore left fielder, he finally got the confidence boost he needed, lacing a single to center field in the bottom of the second inning. He also had a second hit, an RBI single to center, in the bottom of the fifth inning.

BALLS

  • Papierski’s Plate Struggles: LSU freshman catcher Mike Papierski was the only starter who didn’t register a hit on Sunday, finishing the day 0-for-4. The afternoon wasn’t a total loss for the rookie, though, as he lifted a sac fly in the bottom of the seventh inning.
  • Bain’s Rough Outing: Sunday wasn’t freshman right-hander Austin Bain’s best performance on the mound. In the top of the ninth, the rookie allowed three hits, including a three-run home run off the bat of Ole Miss senior first baseman Sikes Orvis.

Pregame: LSU vs. Ole Miss

Jake Godfrey will get his first SEC start on Sunday against Ole Miss. (AP)

Jake Godfrey will get his first SEC start on Sunday against Ole Miss. (AP)

General Info

  • What: LSU (17-2, 1-1 SEC) vs. Ole Miss (10-8, 1-1 SEC)
  • When: 3 p.m. Sunday
  • Where: Alex Box Stadium
  • Starting pitchers: Ole Miss, Sr. RHP  Sam Smith (1-2, 6.41) vs. LSU, Fr. RHP Jake Godfrey (3-0, 1.69 ERA)
  • TV: SEC Network
  • In-game updates on Twitter: @Dellenger Adv, @BarrecaAdvocate
  • On deck: at Southern, 6 p.m. Tuesday
  • In the hole: at Arkansas, 6 p.m. Thursday

Links To Know

What’s At Stake

  • Among LSU coach Paul Mainieri’s worst fears may be dropping his first home Southeastern Conference series of the season against an Ole Miss squad that entered the weekend with seven losses. The Tigers haven’t dropped a series to the Rebels in Baton Rouge since 1982.

What To Watch

  • Godfrey’s Conference Debut: Freshman right-hander Alex Lange proved a number of things last night in his eight-inning, 13-strikeout performance. The most notable takeaway? It’ll take more than an SEC opponent to rattle this freshman rotation. Rookie right-hander Jake Godfrey takes the hill on Sunday to try to give LSU the the series win. Godfrey is coming off his best outing of his young career, where he went seven innings and allowed two runs in a win against Nebraska at the Houston College Classic.
  • Taxed Pen: If Sunday’s game becomes another nail-biter, then Mainieri will have his hands full. The Tigers used six relievers last night and five on Friday night. Redshirt freshman closer Jesse Stallings, sophomore Collin Strall and senior setup man Zac Person pitched on both nights.
  • Slumping Sophomores: Sophomores Jake Fraley and Danny Zardon have had better weeks at the plate. Since returning from the Houston College Classic, Fraley has gone 0-for-14, and he’s only reached base once in his last 15 at-bats (via a walk). Meanwhile, Zardon has gone 2-for-11 over his last three contests, including a 1-for-5 performance last night.

Know Your Opponent

  • Ole Miss senior right-hander Sam Smith has his Louisiana ties, considering he is from Lake Charles and graduated from Barbe High School. Smith has posted a 1-2 record and a 6.41 ERA in five starts this year. Opponents have batted .250 against him.

Lineups

LSU

  1. Jake Fraley, LF
  2. Mark Laird, RF
  3. Alex Bregman, SS
  4. Conner Hale, 3B
  5. Jared Foster, 2B
  6. Andrew Stevenson, CF
  7. Kade Scivicque DH
  8. Chris Chinea, 1B
  9. Michael Papierski, C

Ole Miss

  1. Kyle Watson, LF
  2. Will Golsan, 3B
  3. J.B. Woodman, CF
  4. Sikes Orvis, 1B
  5. Tate Blackman, 2B
  6. Henri Lartigue, C
  7. Errol Robinson, SS
  8. Josh Watkins, DH
  9. Cameron Dishon, RF

Balls and Strikes: Ole Miss 5, LSU 3

Alex Lange recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts on Saturday night. (Patrick Dennis)

Alex Lange recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts on Saturday night. (Patrick Dennis)

General Info

  • Coverage: Game Story
  • Twitter:   @DellengerAdv, @BarrecaAdvocate
  • On Deck: vs. Ole Miss, 3 p.m. Sunday
  • In The Hole: at Southern University, 6 p.m. Tuesday

STRIKES

  • The Strikeout Extraordinaire:  Whatever pitch LSU freshman Alex Lange considers to be his “out-pitch” was working well tonight. Saturday evening proved to be a career night for the rookie, who went eight innings and surrendered only two runs while striking out 13. He became the first LSU pitcher to strike out 13 batters in a contest since former Tiger Aaron Nola did so against Arkansas last season.
  • Extra Bases For Foster: Most of the Tigers’ lineup couldn’t find a way to connect at the plate on Saturday evening. Fortunately for LSU, senior second baseman Jared Foster was the exception. Foster laced two extra-base hits, a two-RBI triple in the bottom of the fourth and a one-out double in the bottom of the 12th.
  • Bugg, Person & Strall Dominate: LSU closer Jesse Stallings has a handful members of the bullpen he may be buying dinner for soon enough. After Stallings blew the one-run lead in the ninth inning, Person, Bugg and Strall came in and tossed five scoreless innings to keep the contest tied at 3-3.

BALLS

  • Stallings Finally Struggles: For the first time in his LSU career, redshirt freshman closer Jesse Stallings didn’t secure a win for the Tigers. The Colfax, Louisiana, native entered Saturday’s contest in the top of the ninth with a one-run lead, but Ole Miss drew a walk and surrendered two hits to tie the game at 3-3. Stallings is now 8-for-9 this season in save attempts.
  •  Bouman’s Blunder: Kyle Bouman hasn’t had much success coming out of the bullpen this season. Bouman entered Saturday’s contest in the top of the 14th inning in a 3-3 game and proceeded to walk the leadoff hitter and allow an RBI double to give Ole Miss the lead. Bouman was charged with both runs that scored in the frame.
  • Eggs In The Order: The top of the LSU batting order had a day it might want to forget for a long, long time. Jake Fraley, Mark Laird and Alex Bregman combined to bat 0-for-19 on Saturday night.

Pregame: LSU vs. Ole Miss

Jared Foster has gotten two consecutive starts at second base. (Angela Major)

Jared Foster has gotten two consecutive starts at second base. (Angela Major)

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.

General Info

  • What: LSU (17-1, 1-0 SEC) vs. Ole Miss (9-8, 0-1 SEC)
  • When: 7 p.m. Saturday
  • Where: Alex Box Stadium
  • Starting pitchers: Ole Miss, So. RHP Brady Bramlett (2-1, 2.05) vs. LSU, Fr. RHP Alex Lange (4-0, 1.57)
  • TV: SEC Network
  • In-game updates on Twitter: @Dellenger Adv, @BarrecaAdvocate
  • On deck: vs. Ole Miss, 3 p.m. Sunday
  • In the hole: at Southern, 6 p.m. Tuesday

Links To Know

What’s At Stake

  • After taking game one on Friday night behind sophomore starter Jared Poche’, LSU has a chance to win its first Southeastern Conference series of the season on Saturday behind freshman right-hander Alex Lange. Lange, who has gone 4-0 through his first four career starts,  will look to become the first Tigers’ rookie starter to begin his career 5-0 since Kurt McCune in 2011.

What To Watch

  • Lange Doesn’t Lose: Alex Lange has been stellar in his first four starts of the regular season, going 4-0 with a rotation-best 1.57 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 23 innings pitched. The rookie is coming off of his best outing of the season, where he tossed seven shutout innings against Baylor in the second game of the Houston College Classic. He should have more than enough momentum heading into his first SEC start.
  • Who’s At Second?: It seems to be the question everyone is asking before seeing the pregame lineups. LSU has had four players start at the position this season – Kramer Robertson, Conner Hale, Grayson Byrd and Jared Foster. Recently, though, it seems like it has become Foster’s spot to lose. The senior has played clean defense at the position while maintaining a .317 batting average.
  • Saves For Stallings: LSU redshirt freshman closer Jesse Stallings was fired up after picking up his eighth save of the season against Ole Miss last night, and rightfully so. The Colfax, Louisiana, native was consistently hitting 95 mph last night against the Rebels, a velocity fans haven’t seen from the right-hander. Also, with one more save, Stallings will have passed former LSU closer Joe Broussard’s total save number (8) from all of last season.

Know Your Opponent

  • Ole Miss redshirt sophomore right-hander Brady Bramlett has been efficient in four starts for the Rebels, going 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA. In 22 innings pitched, Bramlett has allowed five earned runs and has held opponents to a .173 batting average.

Lineups

LSU

  1. Jake Fraley, LF
  2. Mark Laird, RF
  3. Alex Bregman, SS
  4. Chris Chinea, 1B
  5. Conner Hale, DH
  6. Andrew Stevenson, CF
  7. Kade Scivicque, C
  8. Jared Foster, 2B
  9. Danny Zardon, 3B

Ole Miss

  1. Kyle Watson, LF
  2. Will Golsan, 3B
  3. J.B. Woodman, CF
  4. Sikes Orvis, 1B
  5. Holt Perdzock, DH
  6. Henri Lartigue, C
  7. Errol Robinson, SS
  8. Tate Blackman, 2B
  9. Cameron Dishon, RF

Balls and Strikes: LSU 6, Ole Miss 4

Jared Poche' earned his fifth win of the season on Friday night. (ANGELA MAJOR)

Jared Poche’ earned his fifth win of the season on Friday night. (ANGELA MAJOR)

General Info

  • Coverage: Game Story
  • Twitter:   @BarrecaAdvocate
  • On Deck: vs. Ole Miss, 7 p.m. Saturday
  • In The Hole: vs. Ole Miss, 3 p.m. Sunday

STRIKES

  • Bregman’s Bomb Pt. 4: Alex Bregman is feeling it. Well, that’s the safe assumption. On a 1-0 count in the bottom of the sixth, the junior shortstop took a high fastball and jolted it over the left-center field wall. The solo shot was Bregman’s fourth homer of the season, and it gave LSU a comfortable lead heading to the final innings of the contest.
  • Poché Gets Redemption: The last time Jared Poché and Christian Trent went toe-to-toe on the rubber, Trent came away with a 5-1 victory in Oxford, Mississippi. Poché wasn’t going to let that happen a second time. The Tigers’ sophomore southpaw shut down the Rebels for the first four innings on Friday evening, recording five strikeouts. Though Ole Miss got to Poché in the top of the fifth, the Tigers’ bullpen held on to give the left-hander his fifth victory of the 2015 season.
  • Stellar Stallings: Most LSU fans know by this point that redshirt freshman closer Jesse Stallings can throw heat. But Stallings cranked up the velocity for SEC play, hitting 94-95 mph consistently and retiring three of the four Ole Miss hitters he faced in a two-run game in the ninth. With his eighth save of the season, Stallings has already tied former LSU closer Joe Broussard’s save total from all of last season.
  • Hale Rebounds: It’s safe to say Conner Hale shook off his 0-for-4 performance against McNeese State on Wednesday night. After watching his 16-game hitting streak snap against the Cowboys, Hale went 3-for-3 in the SEC opener against Ole Miss. In the bottom of the fourth inning, he laced a two-RBI double down the right field line to give LSU an early 4-0 lead.

BALLS

  • Devall Struggles: Friday evening was a contest that junior southpaw would likely want to forget. The left-hander didn’t record an out after coming into the game in the top of the seventh, serving up a two-run home run to the first batter he faced to cut LSU’s lead in half.
  •  Laying Eggs: A number of LSU batters found themselves without a hit on Friday evening. Sophomore left fielder Jake Fraley and junior designated hitter Chris Chinea both finished 0-for-4, while sophomore first baseman Danny Zar

Pregame: LSU vs. Ole Miss

Alex Bregman had five hits in three games in Houston. (AP)

Alex Bregman had five hits in three games in Houston. (AP)

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.

General Info

  • What: LSU (16-1) vs. Ole Miss (9-7)
  • When: 7 p.m. Friday
  • Where: Alex Box Stadium
  • Starting pitchers: LSU sophomore LHP Jared Poché (4-0, 2.08) vs. OM junior LHP Christian Trent (3-0, 2.96)
  • TV: None
  • In-game updates on Twitter: @Dellenger Adv, @BarrecaAdvocate
  • On deck: vs. Ole Miss, 7 p.m. Saturday
  • In the hole: vs. Ole Miss, 3 p.m. Sunday

Links To Know

What’s At Stake

  • Excellent temperatures. Ole Miss is in town. LSU is 16-1 and on a 13-game win streak. Yeah, you can bet there will be a good amount of people at Alex Box Stadium for this SEC opener. The Tigers have a shot to start conference play 1-0 in front of a rowdy crowd.

What To Watch

  • Second base: Who’s at second (not first)? LSU has started four different players at the position this season. Jared Foster was the latest to do it in the Tigers’ 7-0 win over McNeese State on Wednesday. Coach Paul Mainieri suggested on Thursday that Foster could remain at second. He’s trying to find the best way to keep hot hitters Foster and Jake Fraley, both left fielders, in the order.
  • Bregman’s bat: It has arrived. The shortstop started the season 14-for-48 (.291), but he’s hit safely now in five straight games, including jacking a three-run homer against McNeese State and piling up five hits in the three games in Houston. His batting average is now .343.
  • Bullpen success: Look, Ole Miss is not hitting the ball real well right now (team is batting .255) so Jared Poché could go a while on the mound, but, if he doesn’t, can the bullpen continue its streak? Relievers have pitched 23 straight innings of shutout ball. Expect Zac Person, Parker Bugg, Collin Strall, Alden Cartwright and Jesse Stallings to be guys Mainieri and pitching coach Alan Dunn might turn to today.

Know Your Opponent

  • The Rebels are struggling at the plate, as mentioned above. They’ve scored the 12th-fewest runs in the league at 83. LSU, for instance, has scored 119 in one more game. Trent, though, is a solid starter. In fact, the former LSU signee from Madisonville has not lost a game in his two-year Ole Miss career. He’s 12-0.

Lineups

LSU

  • Jake Fraley, LF
  • Mark Laird, RF
  • Alex Bregman, SS
  • Chris Chinea, DH
  • Conner Hale, 3B
  • Kade Scivicque, C
  • Andrew Stevenson, CF
  • Jared Foster, 2B
  • Danny Zardon, 1B

Ole Miss

  • Kyle Watson, LF
  • Will Golsan, DH
  • J.B. Woodman, CF
  • Colby Bortles, 3B
  • Sikes Orvis, 1B
  • Austin Knight, C
  • Errol Robinson, SS
  • Tate Blackman, 2B
  • Cameron Dishon, RF