Tigers open series against Arkansas Friday night in The Box
BATON ROUGE - No. 13 LSU will open a three-game SEC series against the Arkansas Razorbacks at 7 p.m. in Alex Box Stadium Friday night.
Game 2 of the series starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, and Game 3 begins at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Audio of the game will be available on LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates and on the web at www.LSUsports.net/live. Friday and Sunday’s games can be viewed online via the WatchESPN app. Saturday’s game will be televised on ESPNU.
This week’s Baseball America poll puts the Tigers at No. 13. They’re fourth place in the SEC West with an 11-10 conference record.LSU coach Paul Mainieri says sophomore right-hander Alex Lange will start Game 1 for the Tigers. Lange is fourth in the SEC with 82 strikeouts, and he’s thrown a pair of complete games in his previous outings. He was on the mound last Friday when the Tigers rolled past Ole Miss, limiting the Rebels to two earned runs on seven hits in the full nine innings. He walked one and had seven strikeouts.
“It was our intent for Alex to be our Game 1 starter when we began SEC play last month, but rainouts and having some of our series start on Thursdays forced us to make adjustments,” Mainieri explained. “Alex has been dominant in his last two starts, and we’re hoping that he’ll continue to pitch at a high level and get us off to a good start in this series. We have tremendous respect for (Arkansas coach) Dave Van Horn and his program. We’ve had extremely competitive games with them over the years, and I’m expecting that the same will take place this weekend. They have very talented players, including starting pitchers who are established SEC veterans.”
The Tigers will face an Arkansas pitching staff that is ranked No. 14 in the SEC with a 4.81 team ERA. Junior right-hander Dominic Taccolini, who will start in Game 1 for the Razorbacks, has fired 10 shutout innings and allowed just five hits in a 1-0 over Kentucky just two weeks ago.
LSU is ahead in the series with Arkansas with a record of 64-30 with the Tigers winning 10 of the last SEC regular season confrontations between the two teams. Last season, LSU took a 2-1 series victory over the Razorbacks in Fayetteville. The Tigers also beat Arkansas 10-5 last season in the second-round game of the SEC Tournament.