LSU baseball hosts Auburn in SEC regular season finale

LSU baseball hosts Auburn in SEC regular season finale
LSU center fielder Zach Watson (Source: Josh Auzenne)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - No. 20 LSU has a lot riding on this week’s SEC series against Auburn.

LSU (32-21, 15-12 SEC) is fighting to lock up a regional. A strong showing against Auburn (31-21, 13-14 SEC) and next week’s SEC Tournament should make that happen.

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“I think we’ve got a shot at hosting a regional if we have success over the next two weeks," said head coach Paul Mainieri. "We’re just going to take them one game at a time against Auburn; they’re a great ball club. They’ve got their top two pitchers back now after they were injured earlier this season. They’ve got a very good closer and a real solid lineup, so we’re going to be challenged, no question about it. We’ve got three big ball games in our stadium, the weather is going to be great, and I hope we can create a lot of excitement for our fans.”

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LSU has lost five of its last seven games and is currently tied for third in the SEC West with Ole Miss. LSU is four games back of Arkansas.

The Tigers did beat UNO, 7-5, Tuesday night at The Box in the team’s last midweek game of the season.

LSU’s 25-7 home record compares favorably with at least half of the Top 20 teams ranked ahead of the Tigers in both the polls and the RPI. A sweep of unranked Auburn would give them a very respectable 18-12 conference mark, but Mainieri insisted he’s not sharing all the scenarios with his players going into what could be a very telling weekend for the postseason fortunes of his team, which could wind up traveling and is just 7-13 away from The Box.

“I won’t spend a lot of time talking about what’s at stake because I don’t think it’s going to effect the way they play, you see what i’m saying?” said Mainieri. “We can talk about it. I’ll sit in my office and figure out the magic number with Ole Miss or Missouri or Texas A&M or Tennessee for us to finish fifth, okay? I didn’t even realize until Bill told me a half hour ago that we still have a shot at number four.”

Auburn is 4-6 in its last 10 games and trail the Razorbacks by five games.

Auburn averages 6.0 runs per game and is hitting .270, with 91 doubles, 8 triples, and 36 home runs.

AU’s Leading Hitters:

  • Conor Davis: .304 batting average, 9 doubles, 1 triple, 6 home runs, and 32 RBI
  • Judd Ward: .284 batting average, 10 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs, and 26 RBI
  • Rankin Woley: .280 batting average, 14 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs, and 36 RBI
  • Matt Scheffler: .280 batting average, 10 doubles, 1 home run, and 23 RBI
  • Ryan Bliss: .278 batting average, 10 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, and 31 RBI

LSU is scoring 6.6 runs per game and is batting .271 as a team with 79 doubles, 8 triples, and 53 home runs.

LSU’s Top Hitters:

  • Josh Smith: .345 batting average, 11 doubles, 1 triple, 7 home runs, and 33 RBI
  • Zach Watson: .317 batting average, 15 doubles, 5 home runs, and 30 RBI
  • Antoine Duplantis: .314 batting average, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 10 home runs, and 56 RBI
  • Daniel Cabrera: .301 batting average, 10 doubles, 2 triples, 12 home runs, and 45 RBI
  • Giovanni DiGiacomo: .293 batting average, 3 doubles, 1 triple, and 12 RBI

Rankings:

  • LSU: Collegiate Baseball 20, Perfect Game 20, D1 Baseball 19, Baseball America 22
  • AU: Not ranked

Pitching matchups:

Game 1:

  • LSU Eric Walker (4-4, 5.21 ERA) vs AU Elliott Anderson (5-1, 3.70 ERA)

Game 2:

  • LSU Landon Marceaux (3-2, 6.56 ERA) vs AU Jack Owen (4-1, 1.91 ERA)

Game 3:

  • LSU TBA vs AU Tanner Burns (4-3, 2.83 ERA)

SEC series schedule:

  • Thursday: 6:30 p.m. (SECN+)
  • Friday: 7 p.m. (SECN+)
  • Saturday: 2 p.m. (SECN+)

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