LSU Baseball at Houston College Classic This Weekend
BATON ROUGE, La. - Second-ranked LSU (12-1) takes its first road trip of the season this weekend as the Tigers play in the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park.
LSU will face the University of Houston (8-4) at 7 p.m. CT Friday, Baylor (6-5) at 3:30 p.m. CT Saturday and Nebraska (6-4) at 11 am. CT Sunday.
The games will be carried on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (in Baton Rouge, 98.1 FM on Friday and Sunday, and 100.7 FM on Saturday), and live audio and stats for the contests may be accessed at www.LSUsports.net.
All LSU games will be televised by Cox Sports Television and by Root Sports Southwest. There will be no online streaming of any games in the Houston College Classic
"We're very excited for this opportunity to play in a Major League ball park against some outstanding teams," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "Having played 13 games, we have a pretty sound idea about the strengths and weaknesses of our team, and this weekend allows us to continue to develop as we begin SEC play next week. We're looking forward to having a great experience this weekend and the chance to see the tremendous LSU following in the Houston area."
This weekend's event marks the second time in LSU baseball history the Tigers have played in an MLB ball park. LSU played in the 1995 Hormel Foods Classic at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, at the time the home of the Minnesota Twins. The Tigers won three straight games over Florida State, Michigan and Minnesota in the Metrodome.
LSU is No. 2 in the Baseball America poll and No. 3 in the Collegiate Baseball rankings and enters Friday's game riding a nine-game win streak.
Mainieri said sophomore left-hander Jared Poche' (3-0) will start Friday's game on the mound for the Tigers, while Houston coach Todd Whitting will counter with sophomore right-hander Andrew Lantrip (3-0).
Poche' improved to 3-0 this season by defeating Princeton last Friday in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. He limited Princeton to two runs on six hits in 6.2 innings with one walk and five strikeouts. Poche has a 12-3 mark in his two seasons at LSU with a 2.37 career ERA.
LSU is hitting .334 on the year with nine home runs and 27 steals in 31 attempts. The Tigers are led at the plate by senior catcher Kade Scivicque, who is batting .448 (13-for-29) with three doubles, three homers, 10 RBI and 11 runs. Sophomore outfielder Jake Fraley is hitting .400 (12-for-30) with three doubles, three triples and seven RBI, while junior outfielder Mark Laird is batting .396 (19-for-48) with two doubles, five RBI, 14 runs and five steals.
Senior infielder Conner Hale has hit safely in all 13 of LSU's games this season, and he is batting .327 (18-for-55) on the year with five doubles, one triple, 10 RBI and nine runs scored.
Houston is hitting .277 as a team with seven home runs and 21 steals in 24 attempts. Junior first baseman Chris Iriart is batting .348 (16-for-46) with two doubles, three homers and 11 RBI, junior outfielder Kyle Survance is batting .333 (18-for-54) with one double, two triples, six RBI and 11 steals, and freshman infielder Connor Wong is hitting .321 (17-for-53) with two doubles, one triple, two homers and 14 RBI.
Houston leads, 25-19, in the all-time series with LSU that began in 1975. The teams met three times last season in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional, with LSU defeating UH, 5-1, in the second round of the regional before the Cougars rebounded with 5-4 (11 innings) and 12-2 victories over the Tigers to win the regional. LSU and Houston also met in NCAA Regional play in 1985 at Austin (11-4 UH win) and in 1990 at Baton Rouge (6-4 LSU win).