BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Both teams took very different routes to get here, but now LSU and ULL are going head-to-head for a spot in the College World Series.
The Tigers were the top ranked team in the country for most of the season, while the Ragin' Cajuns had to win their conference tournament to earn their spot in the regional. However, none of that matters in the post-season.
LSU produced two runs or less in their last four games, but dominant starting pitching and timely defense bailed them out. This weekend, the Tigers will try to put it all together.
"The days that we've pitched great, we've only hit so well. The days we've hit well, some days our pitching has been sporadic," Coach Paul Mainieri said. When we put it all together, and I believe we will this weekend, I just feel we can be a much better team than we've been up to this point."
LSU Pitchers Alex Lange and Jared Poche helped the Tigers post their fire ever back-to-back postseason shutouts. They're hoping to set the tone as their team looks ahead.
"I'm just trying to make another Saturday state in the box," Lange said. "I'm getting excited, and this is a big weekend for us, something we've been working for all year ... This team is ready."
Poche knows Lange can handle his own on the mound, but is eager to get on to the field and take the game into his own hands. "Last year, opening weekend I was more nervous when Aaron was pitching, so I might be a little nervous tomorrow," Poche said. "But I'll be alright when I'm throwing."
The rivalry between ULL and LSU may not be what it once was, but with the stakes so high this weekend, expect the best from both clubs.
Mainieri is 7-3 against the Ragin' Cajuns and LSU beat ULL 8-6 earlier this season.
The first game of the series will start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 6 in Baton Rouge.