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Pregame: LSU vs. Mississippi State, Game Two

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Bryce Jordan celebrates Chris Reid's RBI single during Friday's 12-8 loss

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK — Bryce Jordan celebrates Chris Reid’s RBI single during Friday’s 12-8 loss

The pregame blog will post a few hours before first pitch of each ballgame. Lineups will be added at the bottom when they’re made available. Check back for any additional updates.

  • When: 6:00 p.m. Saturday
  • Where: Alex Box Stadium
  • Rankings: LSU is ranked as high as No. 5 and as low as No. 15. Mississippi State is ranked as high as No. 5 and as low as No. 13.
  • Projected Starters: LSU So. RHP Alex Lange (4-2, 4.88 ERA) vs. Mississippi State Jr. RHP Austin Sexton (3-2, 3.96 ERA)
  • TV: ESPNU
  • Streaming: Accessible on ESPN3.com
  • Radio: LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates; 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge
  • Pre- and postgame coverage: blogs.theadvocate.com/linedrives;theadvocate.com/sports
  • In-game Updates: @Chandler_Rome

About Last Night

What to Watch

Getting Defensive: After 27 innings of error-free baseball during its sweep of Missouri, LSU’s committed four errors in its last 18 innings, not including the passed ball strike three that began Mississippi State’s eighth-inning rally last night. Two of the four were baffling mental lapses — Cole Freeman’s drop of an easy flip on a 6-4-3 double play ball and Mike Papierski overthrowing Jared Poche while tossing the ball back after a pitch. To this point in its SEC schedule, LSU’s played with inordinate poise for such a young team. It can’t afford to stray away from that.

Lange on the Line: Alex Lange will pitch with a series on the line for the second time this SEC season. His first was a 6.1-inning, two-run masterpiece in College Station that ended with his middle infielders hugging him as he exited the mound. LSU won that game, 3-2, and hopes to replicate that feat tonight. As has been detailed endlessly, Lange will need to throw his curveball for strikes early in counts and, more importantly, command his fastball better than he’s been doing.

Sexton’s Start: Austin Sexton was questionable at the beginning of the week with a hamstring injury, but he’ll make his regularly scheduled start tonight. Sexton’s been hit around a bit this season — opponents are batting .283 against him in 52.1 innings — but he’s only allowed 16 extra-base hits.

Championship Coronation: LSU will honor the 1996 national championship team prior to the game. The team memorably defeated Miami 9-8 in the College World Series finals on Warren Morris’ walk-off home run.

LINEUPS

LSU

  1. Antoine Duplantis (RF)
  2. Jake Fraley (CF)
  3. Jordan Romero (C)
  4. Greg Deichmann (1B)
  5. Kramer Robertson (SS)
  6. Bryce Jordan (DH)
  7. Chris Reid (3B)
  8. Brennan Breaux (LF)
  9. Cole Freeman (2B)

Alex Lange (RHP)

MISSISSIPPI STATE

  1. Jake Magnum (CF)
  2. Jack Kruger (DH)
  3. Nathaniel Lowe (1B)
  4. Reid Humphreys (LF)
  5. Brent Rooker (RF)
  6. Elih Marrero (C)
  7. Gavin Collins (3B)
  8. Ryan Gridley (SS)
  9. Hunter Stovall (2B)

Austin Sexton (RHP)

Pregame: LSU vs. Mississippi State, Game One

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Eddy Furniss, modeling the gold jersey LSU will wear all weekend, will have his number retired this evening. (Advocate file photo)

The pregame blog will post a few hours before first pitch of each ballgame. Lineups will be added at the bottom when they’re made available. Check back for any additional updates.

  • When: 7:00 p.m. Friday
  • Where: Alex Box Stadium
  • Rankings: LSU is ranked as high as No. 5 and as low as No. 15. Mississippi State is ranked as high as No. 5 and as low as No. 13.
  • Projected Starters: LSU Jr. LHP Jared Poche’ (5-3, 2.63 ERA) vs. Mississippi State Jr. RHP Dakota Hudson (4-3, 2.08 ERA)
  • TV: None
  • Streaming: SEC Network-Plus, accessible on ESPN3.com
  • Radio: LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates; 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge
  • Pre- and postgame coverage: blogs.theadvocate.com/linedrives;theadvocate.com/sports
  • In-game Updates: @Chandler_Rome

Pregame Reading

What to Watch

Another Ace: Eight SEC pitchers are on the Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list released this week. LSU has faced three of them and gets a fourth tonight in Mississippi State ace Dakota Hudson. LSU lost to Alabama’s Geoffrey Bramblett in its conference opener but has since beaten Missouri ace Tanner Houck and Vanderbilt’s Kyle Wright, employing the same tactic each time. Andy Cannizaro instructs hitters to hunt the fastball, which the Tigers will likely do tonight against Hudson, who will sit 92-96 mph with the fastball and around 90 with a cutter that’s gotten him 67 strikeouts in 60.2 innings. LSU hasn’t been daunted by velocity or prestige in the last two weeks and it’s conceivable to think tonight would be no different.

Saving the Strikeouts: LSU’s lack of strikeouts has been detailed in other pregame blogs, but Mississippi State enters Baton Rouge with the second-fewest in the conference (229), trailing only the Tigers (168).

All Gold Everything: Usually reserved for Sundays, the gold jerseys will be worn all weekend in Alex Box Stadium, an ode to the 1996 national championship team that’s celebrating a 20-year reunion this weekend. That 1996 team wore the gold throughout its postseason run, which ended with Warren Morris’ walk-off home run in the national championship game.

Furniss Honored: Eddy Furniss — a ‘big guy who stood over at first base and waited his turn to hit — will have his jersey will be retired prior to tonight’s game.

LINEUPS

LSU

  1. Antoine Duplantis (RF)
  2. Jake Fraley (CF)
  3. Greg Deichmann (1B)
  4. Kramer Robertson (SS)
  5. Beau Jordan (LF)
  6. Bryce Jordan (DH)
  7. Chris Reid (3B)
  8. Mike Papierski (C)
  9. Cole Freeman (2B)

Jared Poche (LHP)

MISSISSIPPI STATE

  1. Jake Mangum (CF)
  2. Gavin Collins (3B)
  3. Reid Humphreys (LF)
  4. Brent Rooker (RF)
  5. Nathaniel Lowe (1B)
  6. Jack Kruger (DH)
  7. Ryan Gridley (SS)
  8. Elih Marrero (C)
  9. Hunter Stovall (2B)

Dakota Hudson (RHP)

 

 

Pregame: LSU vs. Southeastern

Jameson Fisher enters Wednesday's game with the nation's highest batting average.

Jameson Fisher enters Wednesday’s game with the nation’s highest batting average.

 The pregame blog will post a few hours before first pitch of each ballgame. Lineups will be added at the bottom when they’re made available. Check back for any additional updates.

  • When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday
  • Where: Alex Box Stadium
  • Rankings: LSU is ranked as high as No. 5 and as low as No. 15. Southeastern is not ranked.
  • Projected Starters: LSU So. RHP Doug Norman (0-0, 3.86 ERA) vs. Southeastern Sr. RHP Pat Cashman (3-2, 4.91 ERA)
  • TV: None
  • Streaming: SEC Network-Plus, accessible on ESPN3.com
  • Radio: LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates; 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge
  • Pre- and postgame coverage: blogs.theadvocate.com/linedrives;theadvocate.com/sports
  • In-game Updates: @Chandler_Rome

Pregame Reading

What to Watch

Don’t Overlook: The pitfalls of being young have been detailed at length with this LSU baseball team. A new one’s emerged recently — the Tigers overlooking midweek opponents after huge SEC weekends. LSU’s been “embarrassed” in two losses to Tulane and McNeese State where it was outscored 14-1. A loud, energetic team meeting was held following the McNeese loss where hitting coach Andy Cannizaro — not normally a yeller — “lit into” the team, Kramer Robertson said. Paul Mainieri’s changed up the practice style leading into this game, too, in hopes of breaking these midweek blues.

Wholestaff on Jameson: LSU will piece together the game much like it does with all its midweek tussles. This time, though, it will face the Jameson Fisher — the nation’s leading hitter and Southeastern’s first baseman. Giving him a variety of looks could be advantageous, but Fisher hits .462 for a reason. He’ll find a way on base (his on-base percentage is .587, also first in the country) but limiting what those around him do is crucial.

LINEUPS

LSU

  1. Antoine Duplantis (RF)
  2. Jake Fraley (CF)
  3. Jordan Romero (C)
  4. Greg Deichmann (1B)
  5. Kramer Robertson (SS)
  6. Beau Jordan (LF)
  7. Bryce Jordan (DH)
  8. Chris Reid (3B)
  9. Cole Freeman (2B)

Doug Norman (RHP)

SOUTHEASTERN

  1. Brennan Breaud (SS)
  2. Daniel Midyett (DH)
  3. Jameson Fisher (1B)
  4. Carson Crites (2B)
  5. Drew Avans (LF)
  6. Ryan Byers (RF)
  7. Chris Eades (C)
  8. Jacob Seward (CF)
  9. Taylor Schwaner (3B)

Pat Cashman (RHP)

 

LSU baseball Twitter mailbag: you asked about hosting a regional and nine-out saves

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Jordan Romero’s been a power source of the resurgent LSU offense

The Twitter mailbag will run every Tuesday morning during baseball season, but questions are welcomed throughout the week @Chandler_Rome. Follow along for analysis and coverage throughout the season and, if you feel so inclined, ask away.

The short answer — yes. LSU, with an RPI of 13,  has played itself squarely onto the bubble to host a regional. Ultimately, only the Tigers themselves control whether or not postseason baseball comes to Baton Rouge, but other SEC teams and the national landscape also play a factor.

If history is any indication, the SEC will likely get a maximum of five host sites, but an intriguing scenario develops when national seeds are discussed. In each of the past three seasons, two SEC teams have received top-8 national seeds (guaranteed home-field advantage through the regional and super regional, should it advance). A total of four SEC teams hosted in each of those three years, including the two national seeds.

LSU celebrated Monday with a victory lap. (HILARY SCHEINUK)

After playing its way onto the hosting bubble, LSU could take a victory lap at home this season. (HILARY SCHEINUK)

So, if this season plays out like the previous three and two SEC teams are awarded national seeds, there are conceivably two other host slots to obtain. Halfway through the season, Florida, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Mississippi State and LSU can all make cases to either be a national seed or host. That’s six teams for four spots.

Paul Mainieri said Monday he believes it’ll be his team’s midweek games that could be the difference between hosting and traveling. LSU’s midweek schedule is unusually strong this season — its three losses have come to teams with RPIs greater than 65 — and it has wins over RPI No. 15 (UL-Lafayette) and 57 (UNO).

Remember, though, LSU and those five other teams still have 15 SEC  games (some head-to-head). There’s still a lot to sort out, but LSU has given itself a viable chance to be a host.

Prior to getting on the bus for the Missouri series, Paul Mainieri was asked if he switched the two in order to create an Alex Lange-Tanner Houck matchup in Columbia. He said that was not his reasoning and added later “we’ll probably keep it how it is now.” So, yes, Jared Poche will remain on Friday and Lange on Saturday. Mainieri reiterated the obvious — Poche’s been in a consistent, nice groove in the last three weeks (all series-opening starts) and LSU is 7-2 in SEC games in that span. He did not want to interrupt that.

These are some quality numbers that reinforce what Jordan Romero said after the series finale against Auburn.

“Quite frankly, I think I hit better when I’m catching,” said Romero, who caught every inning of the Auburn series but the first four. “You’re locked into the game; you can’t slip up on anything. I’m just really locked in.”

 Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU catcher Jordan Romero (28) looks for the sign as the Tigers take on Ball State, Friday, March 11, 2016, at LSU's Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge, La.


Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK — LSU catcher Jordan Romero (28) looks for the sign as the Tigers take on Ball State, Friday, March 11, 2016, at LSU’s Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge, La.

Romero caught a game against Missouri and had a four-hit day. This came after he made adjustments with his swing following perhaps his poorest offensive stretch of the season — a stretch where Mainieri gave him some starting nods.

We’ve detailed this at length, but Mike Papierski remains a bit more seasoned in catching’s intricacies than Romero. Mainieri likes how Papierski catches both Jared Poche and Alex Lange — both guys he’s has had an extra year to work with and get acclimated to. Papierski’s also seemed to recover from his benching against Auburn for what Mainieri termed a “lack of effort” and has impressed the coaching staff defensively in the last three weeks.

Romero, though, has gotten at least one game behind the plate in two of the last three SEC series and that may continue going forward.

Let’s remember that these are two juniors whose tendencies, limitations and repertoires Paul Mainieri knows very well. Bugg had an 11-out, 62-pitch save against Auburn two weeks prior to his Missouri outing. He’s a veteran and Mainieri’s trusted him to go long before. That was not a surprise.

Newman, on the other hand, was supposed to be given ‘strong consideration’ for a ninth-inning look after Caleb Gilbert’s rocky Vanderbilt series. It was a tad surprising to see Mainieri go to Newman that early in the game, but it’s abundantly clear he’s emerged as one of the select relievers the coach trusts with a game on the line. Mainieri was blunt — he felt that if LSU scored six runs against Missouri Friday night starter Reggie McClain, it should win the game. He said he went “all in” with the pitcher who gave him the best chance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poll Speak Monday

LSU celebrates its 15-2 victory against Missouri, which clinched its first SEC sweep of the season.

LSU celebrates its 15-2 victory against Missouri, which clinched its first SEC sweep of the season.

Each Monday, you can track LSU’s movement in college baseball’s major polls here. Check back for frequent updates as polls are released throughout the day.

After a lifeless 7-0 loss to McNeese State on Tuesday, LSU rattled off four straight wins — including its first SEC sweep of the season against Missouri — to cap a 4-1 week.

Polls (Last week’s rankings in parenthesis)

Baseball America 5 (9)

Perfect Game 13 (17)

D1Baseball.com 10 (11)

USA Today Coaches Poll 7 (12)

Collegiate Baseball 15 (20)

NCBWA 8 (12)

RPI

WarrenNolan.com 12

D1Baseball.com 13

The Week That Was:

On Deck

  • LSU vs. Southeastern Louisiana, 6:30 p.m., Wednesday (SEC Network-Plus)
  • LSU vs. Mississippi State, 7:00 p.m., Friday (SEC Network-Plus)
  • LSU vs. Mississippi State, 6:00 p.m., Saturday (ESPNU)
  • LSU vs. Mississippi State, 12:00 p.m., Sunday (ESPN2)

Pregame: LSU at Missouri, Game Three

(PATRICK DENNIS)

John Valek gets a second straight shot at a sweep today. (PATRICK DENNIS)

COLUMBIA, Missouri — The pregame blog will post a few hours before first pitch of each ballgame. Lineups will be added at the bottom when they’re made available. Check back for any additional updates.

  • When: 1:00 p.m. Sunday
  • Where: Taylor Stadium
  • Rankings: LSU is ranked as high as No. 9 and as low as No. 15. Missouri is not ranked.
  • Projected Starters: LSU Sr. LHP John Valek (5-1, 3.48 ERA) vs. Missouri Fr. LHP Michael Plassmeyer (3-2, 4.22 ERA)
  • TV: ESPNU
  • Streaming: Accessible on ESPN3.com
  • Radio: LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates; 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge
  • Pre- and postgame coverage: blogs.theadvocate.com/linedrives;theadvocate.com/sports
  • In-game Updates: @Chandler_Rome

Series Update

Sensing Sweep: John Valek gets the ball with a sweep opportunity for the second straight week. His command was off last weekend against Vanderbilt, where he lasted just four innings and uncharacteristically walked two batters. LSU has a stocked bullpen thanks to two nine-out saves from Hunter Newman and Parker Bugg, but Paul Mainieri still requests a quality start against a Missouri team that’s made some loud outs and hit better than its .254 average coming into the series.

In the Middle: Mainieri attempted to inject life into the middle of his order on Saturday, moving Greg Deichmann to the cleanup spot and sending Cole Freeman into the two-hole. Neither panned out well and LSU’s cleanup hitters are now 2-for-30 in its last seven games. Mainieri said he’ll likely move Freeman back into his customary spot in the nine-hole, leaving perhaps another spot open for someone to take control of cleaning up.

LINEUPS

LSU

  1. Antoine Duplantis (RF)
  2. Jake Fraley (CF)
  3. Jordan Romero (C)
  4. Greg Deichmann (1B)
  5. Kramer Robertson (SS)
  6. Beau Jordan (LF)
  7. Bryce Jordan (DH)
  8. Chris Reid (3B)
  9. Cole Freeman (2B)

John Valek III (LHP)

MISSOURI

  1. Connor Brumfield (RF)
  2. Jake Ring (CF)
  3. Ryan Howard (SS)
  4. Zach Lavy (1B)
  5. Trey Harris (LF)
  6. Brett Bond (C)
  7. Brian Sharp (3B)
  8. Marquise Doherty (DH)
  9. Ian Nelson (2B)

Michael Plassmeyer (LHP)

 

‘Will you sign my leg?’ LSU’s Kramer Robertson, Paul Mainieri fulfill odd request for diehard college baseball fan

COLUMBIA, Missouri — Kramer Robertson ran in from his usual infield practice prior to Saturday’s game against Missouri to an unusual request.

“Will you sign my leg,” Brian Garner asked from the Taylor Stadium bleachers.

Brian Garner, a self-proclaimed die-hard college baseball fan, has been collecting signatures on his prosthetic leg for years

Brian Garner, a self-proclaimed die-hard college baseball fan, has been collecting signatures on his prosthetic leg for years

Reluctant at first, Robertson noticed the root of the request. Garner, a 59-year-old St. Louis native, was born with a birth defect in his hip that caused his right leg not to grow at the same rate as his left. He’s worn a prosthetic for 55 years, he said, and getting signatures of his favorite athletes “keeps him feeling young.”

Robertson signed the prosthetic. LSU coach Paul Mainieri did the same on Friday. Garner said Mainieri told him he was “honored” to add his signature to a leg that has accumulated the signatures of nearly 70 people.

Among those who have signed Garner’s leg: ESPN baseball analysts Buster Olney and Tim Kurkijan, St. Louis Cardinals players Tommy Pham and Marco Gonzalez and former Alabama quarterback Jake Coker.

A self-proclaimed college baseball diehard, Garner coaches “high-level” baseball in St. Louis and is a Missouri season-ticket holder. He said he “latches on” to an SEC player each season.

Last season, it was Vanderbilt’s Dansby Swanson — the eventual No. 1 overall pick in the MLB Draft. This season, it’s Robertson, whom Garner gave glowing reviews and even compared to Swanson.

“Flashy,” he said of Robertson. “But off the hook outstanding.”

Kramer Robertson and Paul Mainieri signed Brian Garners prosthetic leg, adding their names to an impressive list

Kramer Robertson (near the sock) and Paul Mainieri (right above Robertson) signed Brian Garner’s prosthetic leg, adding their names to an impressive list of athletes.

Pregame: LSU at Missouri, Game Two

Bryce Jordan revels in his three-run home run during Friday's 7-5 win against Missouri

Bryce Jordan revels in his three-run home run during Friday’s 7-5 win against Missouri

COLUMBIA, Missouri — The pregame blog will post a few hours before first pitch of each ballgame. Lineups will be added at the bottom when they’re made available. Check back for any additional updates.

  • When: 2:00 p.m. Saturday
  • Where: Taylor Stadium
  • Rankings: LSU is ranked as high as No. 9 and as low as No. 15. Missouri is not ranked.
  • Projected Starters: LSU So. RHP Alex Lange (3-2, 4.74 ERA) vs. Missouri So. RHP Tanner Houck (4-2, 2.33 ERA)
  • TV: None
  • Streaming: SEC Network-Plus, accessible on ESPN3.com
  • Radio: LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates; 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge
  • Pre- and postgame coverage: blogs.theadvocate.com/linedrives;theadvocate.com/sports
  • In-game Updates: @Chandler_Rome

About Last Night

What to Watch

Homecoming against Houck: Alex Lange grew up about an hour and a half from Missouri’s campus and spent most of last night’s pre- and postgame reconnecting with friends and family who’ve come to watch his team. Missouri showed last night it will hunt fastball and swing powerfully at anything close to the zone. It had trouble diagnosing Jared Poche’s offspeed stuff, so look for Lange to throw the curveball earlier in counts — as we wrote about here. Lange’s fastball command is paramount, though. If he’s controlling it like he’s capable, Missouri could be in for a long afternoon.

Taming Tanner: Houck is the reigning SEC Pitcher of the Week and has drawn comparisons to former LSU standout Aaron Nola. Houck throws a bit harder — his fastball sits in the mid-90s — and has a power sinker that can be a burden. LSU handled velocity well against Vanderbilt and Jordan Sheffield, so look for it to keep the same mentality of hunting the fastball and staying short to the ball. Houck’s a strikeout pitcher (62 in 58 innings) but LSU isn’t a strikeout team (only 148 all season. Every other SEC team has more than 200). As evidenced last night, Missouri’s infield defense is suspect, so if LSU can put the ball in play, good things could happen.

LINEUPS

LSU

  1. Antoine Duplantis (RF)
  2. Cole Freeman (2B)
  3. Jake Fraley (CF)
  4. Greg Deichmann (1B)
  5. Kramer Robertson (SS)
  6. Bryce Jordan (DH)
  7. Beau Jordan (LF)
  8. Chris Reid (3B)
  9. Mike Papierski (C)

Alex Lange (RHP)

MIZZOU

  1. Connor Brumfield (DH)
  2. Jake Ring (CF)
  3. Ryan Howard (SS)
  4. Zach Lavy (1B)
  5. Trey Garris (LF)
  6. Brian Sharp (3B)
  7. Kirby McGuire (RF)
  8. Ian Nelson (2B)
  9. Brett Bond (C)

Tanner Houck (RHP)

Pregame: LSU at Missouri, Game One

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK --  Jared Poche' (16) returns to the dugout in the first inning against Vanderbilt, Thursday, April 7, 2016, at LSU's Alex Box Stadium

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK — Jared Poche’ (16) returns to the dugout in the first inning against Vanderbilt, Thursday, April 7, 2016, at LSU’s Alex Box Stadium

COLUMBIA, Missouri — The pregame blog will post a few hours before first pitch of each ballgame. Lineups will be added at the bottom when they’re made available. Check back for any additional updates.

  • When: 6:00 p.m. Friday
  • Where: Taylor Stadium
  • Rankings: LSU is ranked as high as No. 9 and as low as No. 15. Missouri is not ranked.
  • Projected Starters: LSU Jr. LHP Jared Poche (4-3, 2.03 ERA) vs. Missouri Sr. RHP Reggie McClain (3-1, 3.30 ERA)
  • TV: None
  • Streaming: SEC Network-Plus, accessible on ESPN3.com
  • Radio: LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates; 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge
  • Pre- and postgame coverage: blogs.theadvocate.com/linedrives;theadvocate.com/sports
  • In-game Updates: @Chandler_Rome

Pregame Reading

What to Watch

McClain in Command: Reggie McClain has walked four hitters across 57.1 innings. He’s a command-centric pitcher who will throw enough strikes to allow hits — he’s given up 63 in his eight starts — but can wiggle out of jams. Sounds eerily like LSU starter Jared Poche, right? Paul Mainieri noticed the similarities Thursday, but said it had no bearing on his decision to keep Poche on Friday. If McClain’s stats hold, LSU will get pitches to hit and have baserunners. It’ll be vital to produce when these situations arise.

Four-Hole Fix: Dating back to the series opener against Vanderbilt, LSU’s cleanup hitters have one hit. It came on Cody Ducote’s pinch-hit single in the 13-4, series-opening win against the Commodores. Mainieri’s mixed in Brody Wofford, Kramer Robertson, Jordan Romero and Beau Jordan to no avail, totaling a 1-for-22 slump in the lineup spot where most runs are commonly driven in. Jordan — the team’s everyday cleanup hitter until the Auburn series — said Thursday that Mainieri has challenged him, specifically, to step in and drive in runs. Mainieri wouldn’t commit to Jordan as the cleanup man, but whoever it is will need to heed the left fielder’s message — especially against McClain.

LINEUPS

LSU

  1. Antoine Duplantis (RF)
  2. Jake Fraley (CF)
  3. Greg Deichmann (1B)
  4. Beau Jordan (LF)
  5. Kramer Robertson (SS)
  6. Bryce Jordan (DH)
  7. Chris Reid (3B)
  8. Mike Papierski (C)
  9. Cole Freeman (2B)

Jared Poche’ (LHP)

MISSOURI

  1. Kirby McGuire (RF)
  2. Jake Ring (CF)
  3. Ryan Howard (SS)
  4. Zach Lavy (1B)
  5. Trey Harris (LF)
  6. Brett Bond (C)
  7. Shane Benes (3B)
  8. Marquise Doherty (DH)
  9. Ian Nelson (2B)

Reggie McClain (RHP)

Pregame: LSU vs. Grambling

 Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU shortstop Kramer Robertson  watches as LSU left fielder Beau Jordan  struggles to find the ball after he lost it in the lights against McNeese State on Tuesday

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK — LSU shortstop Kramer Robertson watches as LSU left fielder Beau Jordan struggles to find the ball after he lost it in the lights against McNeese State on Tuesday

The pregame blog will post a few hours before first pitch of each ballgame. Lineups will be added at the bottom when they’re made available. Check back for any additional updates.

  • When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday
  • Where: Alex Box Stadium
  • Rankings: LSU is ranked as high as No. 9 and as low as No. 15. Grambling is not ranked.
  • Projected Starters: LSU TBA vs. Grambling TBA
  • TV: None
  • Streaming: SEC Network-Plus, accessible on ESPN3.com
  • Radio: LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates; 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge
  • Pre- and postgame coverage: blogs.theadvocate.com/linedrives;theadvocate.com/sports
  • In-game Updates: @Chandler_Rome

Pregame Reading

What to Watch

Are You Ready: Though it didn’t appear so on the field or in the box score, shortstop Kramer Robertson thought his team was ready to play in last night’s 7-0 loss to McNeese. Putting it succinctly, coach Paul Mainieri said his team suffered a “total breakdown.” It was similar to the Tigers’ 7-1 loss to Tulane two weeks ago where LSU played two of the worst innings Mainieri could recall in his tenure. Perhaps  LSU was still resting on its laurels from a series win against No. 2 Vanderbilt (Robertson and Antoine Duplantis both mentioned the Commodores and their pitching staff in postgame interviews). Or, maybe, this young team that’s still feeling itself out simply overlooked an opponent — something it can’t afford tonight against Grambling, which has an RPI of 250.

Cleaning Up: Aside from cleaning up its entire offense after it was two-hit against McNeese, LSU still needs an answer in the cleanup spot. Beau Jordan was inserted there last night and went 0-for-3. The Tigers’ cleanup hitters are now 1-for-17 in their last four games.

LINEUPS

LSU

  1. Antoine Duplantis (RF)
  2. Jake Fraley (CF)
  3. Greg Deichman (1B)
  4. Kramer Robertson (SS)
  5. Beau Jordan (LF)
  6. Bryce Jordan (DH)
  7. Jordan Romero (C)
  8. Cole Freeman (2B)
  9. Trey Dawson (3B)

Jesse Stallings (RHP)

GRAMBLING

  1. Wesley Drain (SS)
  2. Angel Peguero (CF)
  3. Daniel Barnett (3B)
  4. Robert Lopez (1B)
  5. Diamyn Hall (RF)
  6. Andres Castillo (DH)
  7. Johan Mojica (C)
  8. Nicholas Wheeler (LF)
  9. Chris Perez (2B)

Jordan White (RHP)