WATCH: Paratroopers jump into the Box as LSU welcomes military, baseball season
BATON ROUGE – The LSU baseball team opens its 2017 season on Friday in Alex Box Stadium against Air Force Academy.
The Tigers will meet Air Force at 7 p.m. on Friday before taking on Army West Point at 4 p.m. on Saturday. LSU and Air Force will conclude the weekend with a 1 p.m. game on Sunday.
The LSU-Air Force and LSU-Army games are the centerpiece of "Military Appreciation Weekend," which will feature several recognitions of the accomplishments of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Air Force Academy paratroopers will jump into the Box from a passing helicopter before each game. Watch the attached video to see the unit's jump earlier Friday.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to meet the Air Force and Army teams this weekend," LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said. "They are composed of outstanding young men who have made a commitment to sustain our way of life once they have graduated from their respective academies. We're looking forward to some great baseball while paying tribute to these dedicated cadets and the tremendous military history of our country."
LSU returns eight of its nine starting players from last season's team, including senior second baseman Cole Freeman, junior outfielder Greg Deichmann, sophomore infielder Chris Reid, junior catcher Michael Papierski, junior outfielder Beau Jordan, sophomore outfielder Antoine Duplantis. The eighth returning starter, junior Bryce Jordan, suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice last week.
Four Tigers, Poche', Robertson, Freeman and Deichmann, were chosen in the 2016 MLB Draft and all elected to return to school instead of beginning their pro-baseball careers.
Before LSU takes the field, Air Force and Army will meet at noon. Admission is free to the Air Force-Army game and will be aired on KLSU 91.1 FM and klsuradio.fm. The LSU games will be carried on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, including WDGL 98.1 FM on Friday and Sunday and WTGE 100.7 FM on Saturday.
Live audio of the LSU games will be on www.LSUsports.net/live with live stats at www.LSUstats.com.
The game schedule is as follows:
Air Force at LSU: Friday, February 17 – 7 p.m. CT
Army at LSU: Saturday, February 18 – 4 p.m. CT
Air Force at LSU: Sunday, February 19 – 1 p.m. CT