PREVIEW: #11 LSU vs Youngstown State (1-3) & Nicholls (1-2)

College Sports

LSU head coach Paul Mainieri paces in the dugout during an LSU at Alabama NCAA college baseball game, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

DATES/TIMES

Friday, February 26 – Youngstown State at LSU, 7 p.m. CT

Saturday, February 27 – Youngstown State at LSU, 2 p.m. CT

Saturday, February 27 – Nicholls at LSU, 6:30 p.m. CT

STADIUM

Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field

RANKINGS

·        LSU – No. 11 Collegiate Baseball; No. 11 D1 Baseball; No. 13 Baseball America

·        YSU – unranked

·        Nicholls – unranked

RADIO

·        LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates

·        Live audio at www.LSUsports.net/live; Live stats at www.LSUstats.com 

ONLINE

SEC Network +, accessible at Watch ESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app

SERIES RECORDS VS. YOUNGSTOWN STATE & NICHOLLS

LSU is meeting Youngstown State – which plays in the Horizon League – for the first time on the baseball diamond. LSU is 7-0 all-time against members of the Horizon League – the Tigers are 1-0 vs. Cleveland State and 6-0 vs. Illinois-Chicago. The other Horizon League members are Detroit Mercy, Green Bay, IUPUI, Milwaukee, Northern Kentucky, Oakland, Purdue Fort Wayne, Robert Morris and Wright State.

LSU leads the all-time series with Nicholls, 55-24, though the Colonels defeated the Tigers, 4-2, on February 19 of last season in Thibodaux. The Tigers have won 28 of the last 31 meetings with the Colonels. Nicholls’ only wins in its last 31 games versus LSU were last season’s victory; a 6-3 triumph on February 18, 2015, in Baton Rouge; and a 3-1 win on April 15, 2009, also in Baton Rouge.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

YSU at LSU (Game 1)

LSU – Jr. RH Jaden Hill (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 4.0 IP, 0 BB, 5 SO)

YSU – LH Colin Clark (0-1, 15.43 ERA, 4.2 IP, 1 BB, 4 SO)

YSU at LSU (Game 2)

LSU – Jr. RH AJ Labas (0-0, 13.50 ERA, 3.1 IP, 1 BB, 8 SO)

YSU – LH Collin Floyd (0-1, 7.94 ERA, 5.2 IP, 2 BB, 4 SO)

Nicholls at LSU

LSU – Jr. RH Landon Marceaux (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 5.0 IP, 0 BB, 4 SO)

NICH – So. LH Tyler Theriot (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.1 IP, 0 BB, 0 SO)

QUOTING PAUL MAINIERI

“Youngstown has two really fine left-handed starting pitchers; one of them (Colin Clark) was picked to be the pitcher of the year in their league. I’m expecting a hard-nosed, Northern school to come down here with good left-handed pitchers, which presents its own challenges. I think that they’ll compete really hard, and we’ll have some very good ball games. Nicholls beat us last season in Thibodaux, so it goes without saying we won’t be taking them lightly. In fact, their starting pitcher Saturday night (Tyler Theriot) is the guy who pitched so well against us last year and beat us.”

ABOUT THE TIGERS

·        Eleventh-ranked LSU is 3-1 on the year after splitting two games with Air Force on Saturday and Sunday, defeating Louisiana Tech, 16-7, on Monday night, and posting an 11-2 win at UL-Lafayette on Wednesday night.

·        LSU pounded out 14 hits on Wednesday night for the second consecutive game, as the Tigers also had 14 hits against Louisiana Tech on Monday night. LSU has scored 27 runs on 28 hits in its past two games combined versus Louisiana Tech and UL Lafayette.

·        Sophomore second baseman Cade Doughty led the offensive effort with three hits and two RBI, and junior leftfielder Gavin Dugas added three hits and two runs scored. Freshman pinch hitter Brody Drost highlighted a five-run outburst in the eighth with a two-run blast over the right-field fence, his first collegiate home run.

·        LSU freshmen pitchers Garrett Edwards and Will Hellmers combined to limit UL Lafayette to one run through the first five innings Wednesday night. Edwards, making his first career collegiate start, limited the Cajuns to one run on three hits in three innings with one walk and four strikeouts. Hellmers, making his first career collegiate appearance on the mound, retired six straight batters – including two strikeouts – in the fourth and fifth innings to earn the win.

·        Junior leftfielder Gavin Dugas posted a career-best six RBI in Monday’s win over Louisiana Tech, including a grand slam in the sixth inning that erased a 6-2 deficit … Dugas became the first LSU player to hit a grand slam since February 15, 2019, when Antoine Duplantis hit a grand slam versus UL-Monroe.

·        Freshman Jordan Thompson followed Dugas’ grand slam with a solo homer to give the Tigers a 7-6 lead over Louisiana Tech en route to the 16-7 victory … the homer was the first of Thompson’s collegiate career … the sixth-inning homers by Dugas and Thompson marked the first time LSU hit multiple homers in the same inning since May 5, 2019, versus Ole Miss, when the Tigers blasted three homers in a single frame.

·        LSU rightfielder Dylan Crews was named Tuesday as the SEC Freshman of the Week by the league office. Crews, a product of Longwood, Fla., enjoyed an outstanding collegiate debut, helping to lead LSU to two wins in the Tigers’ first three games. Crews hit .583 (7-for-12) over the weekend with two homers, three RBI and two runs scored. He also walked four times and recorded an on-base percentage of .688.

In LSU’s 16-7 win over Louisiana Tech on Monday night, Crews was 3-for-4 with a homer, two RBI, two walks and one run. With LSU trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the third inning, his solo homer awakened the Tigers’ offense and sparked a comeback that resulted in a nine-run victory.

·        Monday night’s win over Louisiana Tech marked the first three-homer game for the Tigers since February 18, 2020, versus Southern.

·        Junior right-hander Jaden Hill, LSU’s Friday night starter, appears on the 2021 Golden Spikes Award Watch list … Hill started the Tigers’ season opener last Saturday versus Air Force, firing four shutout innings (62 pitches) and allowing three hits with no walks and five strikeouts.

ABOUT THE PENGUINS

·        LSU was originally scheduled to play UC Riverside this weekend; however, UC Riverside elected not to begin its season until March to COVID-19 concerns. Youngstown State is 1-3 this season after beginning the year by losing three of four games at Troy … the Penguins will play Nicholls Friday afternoon in Thibodaux before traveling northwest to Baton Rouge for a Friday night matchup with LSU.

·        The Penguins are hitting .230 as a team with five home runs … YSU is led offensively by junior infielder Phillip Glasser, who is batting .313 with two doubles, two steals and two runs scored.

ABOUT THE COLONELS

·        Nicholls is 1-2 this season entering its Friday afternoon game versus Youngstown State in Thibodaux … the Colonels dropped two of three games last weekend to Eastern Illinois in a season-opening home series.

·        Tyler Theriot, Nicholls’ scheduled starting pitcher versus LSU on Saturday night, defeated the Tigers last season in Thibodaux … Theriot started the game and worked 5.1 innings, limiting LSU to one run on two hits with four walks and seven strikeouts.

·        The Colonels are batting .235 as a team with one home run … .Nicholls is led at the plate by former LSU outfielder Wes Toups, who is hitting .385 this season with one double, one homer and three RBI.

(Release via LSU Athletics)

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