LSU baseball gearing up for CWS vs. Florida State
OMAHA, Neb. – LSU (48-17) opens College World Series action at 7 p.m. CT Saturday when the Tigers face Florida State (45-21) at TD Ameritrade Park.
LSU, the 2017 SEC regular-season and tournament champion, has won 16 games in a row and 21 of their past 23 contests.
“Just being around all of the other programs that are here is such an honor, and I'm glad that we were able to get to Omaha,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri, who has directed the Tigers to the CWS five times in the past 10 seasons. “Our team has been playing pretty good baseball for the last several weeks. Any time we get a team here, there's a great deal of satisfaction. We're looking forward to facing Florida State and coach Mike Martin, who is one of legends in the college game. They have a tremendous ball club, and we're excited for the challenge of meeting them.”
Florida State is in the College World Series for the 23rd time, and for the 16th time under Martin's leadership. Saturday's game marks the first meeting between LSU and FSU since the semifinal round of the 2000 CWS, when LSU posted a 6-3 win over Seminoles and went on to defeat Stanford in the CWS championship game. The Tigers are 2-1 all-time vs. Florida State in CWS games – along with the aforementioned 2000 matchup, LSU defeated FSU, 6-2, in the 1987 CWS, and the Seminoles posted a 6-3 win over the Tigers in the 1994 CWS.
Florida State leads the overall series with LSU, 9-7, and the squads first met in 1955. Lange is 4-0 in his last five starts with a 2.21 ERA, and he has limited opponents to nine earned runs on 28 hits in 36.2 innings with 12 walks and 43 strikeouts. Lange is in second place on LSU's career strikeouts list with 390, trailing only Scott Schultz (409 Ks, 1992-05). LSU is hitting .305 as a team during its current 16-game win streak with 27 doubles, four triples, 19 homers and 136 runs scored.
The Tigers have outscored their opponents, 136-45 during the win streak and have limited opponents to a .198 batting average in that span. LSU's pitching staff has a 2.25 ERA during the win streak, as the Tigers have allowed only 35 earned runs in their last 140 innings with 144 strikeouts. The LSU staff has a 2.10 ERA in its nine postseason games. Shortstop Kramer Robertson is hitting .382 (26-for-68) during the win streak with five doubles, two triples, three homers, 17 RBI and 27 runs. Robertson is hitting .378 (37-for-98) during LSU's current 21-2 run in the past 23 games with six doubles, two triples, four homers, 19 RBI and 36 runs. Junior rightfielder Greg Deichmann is No. 7 in the nation with 72 RBI, and he has a team-high 19 home runs. Sophomore leftfielder Antoine Duplantis is second on the club in RBI with 57, and he shares the team lead in stolen bases (18) with senior second baseman Cole Freeman, who his batting a squad-best .327. Florida State is hitting .272 as a team with 72 home runs, and the Seminoles lead the nation in walks with 380. Sophomore outfielder Jackson Lueck is batting .327 for FSU nine homers and 54 RBI, while junior infielder Dylan Busby is hitting .315 with 20 doubles, 62 RBI and a team-best 14 home runs. Senior first baseman Quincy Nieporte is batting .305 with 20 doubles, 10 homers and a team-high 78 RBI.
The LSU-Florida State game will be carried on the LSU Sports Radio Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge), and the radio broadcast may be heard at www.LSUsports.net/live, Saturday's game will be televised on ESPN, and it may also be viewed online at WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app.