#3 LSU baseball prepares for Wally Pontiff Jr. Classic
BATON ROUGE, La. - Third-ranked LSU (23-5) begins a four-game road swing at 7 p.m. CT Tuesday when the Tigers meet the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns (15-10) at Zephyr Field in Metairie, La., in the annual Wally Pontiff Jr. Foundation Classic.
The game will be carried on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, including WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge, and live audio and stats may be accessed at www.LSUsports.net.
The game will be televised by Cox Sports Television.
LSU is ranked No. 3 in the Baseball America poll, No. 4 in the USA Today coaches poll and No. 5 in the Collegiate Baseball poll this week. The Tigers have appeared in the Top 5 of at least one poll in all seven weeks of this season.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri said senior left-hander Kyle Bouman (0-1) will start on the mound for the Tigers, while ULL coach Tony Robichaux will counter with sophomore left-hander Connor Toups (1-1).
"We have a great deal of respect for Coach Robichaux and the UL-Lafayette program, and we really enjoy competing against them," Mainieri said. "They have another excellent team, and we're looking forward to a great game in front of a big crowd. We always embrace the opportunity to play in the New Orleans area, especially in a game that benefits a wonderful charitable organization like the Wally Pontiff Jr. Foundation."
LSU enters its game versus UL-Lafayette batting .330 as a team with 24 homers and 44 steals in 60 attempts.
The Tigers hit .341 (59-for-173) in their four games last week with 10 doubles, three triples, and five homers, while scoring 34 runs. Junior first baseman Chris Chinea hit .444 (8-for-18) last week with three doubles, one homer, four RBI and five runs. Chinea's home run - his first of the season - was an inside-the-park dinger in Saturday's win over Kentucky in Alex Box Stadium.
Chinea's homer was the second inside-the-park dinger of the week for the Tigers, as rightfielder Mark Laird also hit one last Tuesday at Tulane.
Junior centerfielder Andrew Stevenson batted .421 (8-for-19) in four games last week with two doubles and four runs scored, and sophomore leftfielder Jake Fraley batted .353 (6-for-17) last week with one double, seven RBI and three runs scored.
Senior second baseman Jared Foster was 6-for-18 at the plate last week with two doubles, two homers, six RBI and four runs. Foster leads LSU with seven homers on the season, and he is third on the club in RBI with 24.
UL-Lafayette is batting .281 as a team with 15 homers and 34 steals in 54 attempts. The Cajuns are led at the plate by junior shortstop Blake Trahan, who is hitting .385 with 10 doubles, one homer and 14 RBI. Junior catcher Nick Thurman is hitting .341 with eight doubles, two triples, one homer and 15 RBI, while junior second baseman Stefan Trosclair is batting .319 with seven doubles, one homer and 11 RBI.
LSU leads the all-time series with UL-Lafayette, 49-24, as the squads first met in 1912. LSU has won 10 of the 15 meetings with ULL since 2000, though the Cajuns posted a 4-1 win over the Tigers last season in Baton Rouge.