Tigers to host Canevari's SLU Lions

The LSU baseball team takes a break from the ultra-competitive Southeastern Conference championship race on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. when the Fighting Tigers welcome former assistant coach Dan Canevari and the Southeastern Louisiana Lions to Alex Box Stadium for the second time this year.

This game was not originally on LSU's schedule, but was added to make up for the Tigers' game on February 21 against Houston that was canceled due to severe weather and an unplayable field on that date. Season ticket holders and other fans that had tickets to the February 21 game (Game No. 8) can use those tickets for their same seats to the SLU game.

The game will be broadcast by the full LSU Sports Network (WDGL-98.1 FM in Baton Rouge), with live audio and live statistics available on the Internet at www.lsusports.net.

LSU (26-13-1, 12-5-1 SEC) lost two of three over the Easter weekend at Vanderbilt, the Tigers' first SEC series loss of the year after nine consecutive series wins dating back to last April. The Tigers remained in first place in the SEC West division and overall standings, though, as they are one-half game ahead of Auburn, one game ahead of Mississippi St. and one and one half games ahead of Arkansas with 12 league games left to play.

The Tigers (No. 8 Collegiate Baseball, No. 13 Baseball America, No. 17 ESPN/USA Today) will start redshirt freshman
Jason Determann (2-0, 1.17) on the mound against SLU. Determann has been quite impressive in the month of April, not allowing an earned run in three outings over 10 2/3 innings.

LSU continues to be paced at the plate by junior shortstop
Aaron Hill, who is third in the SEC with a .389 batting average and leads the league in on-base percentage (.508), walks (30) and triples (4). In all, six LSU regulars are hitting .300 or better, led by sophomore first baseman Clay Harris' .392 average.

The Tigers' hottest hitter in recent games has been sophomore second baseman
Blake Gill, who went 6-for-12 in the Vanderbilt series and has raised his batting average over the last 10 games from .275 to .319.

SLU (13-23, 5-12 Southland) plays on Tuesday night at UNO before heading to Baton Rouge. The Lions, in their first season under Canevari, entered the UNO game having won five of their last six games, including a three-game sweep of Sam Houston St. this past weekend, SLU's first SLC series sweep in two years.

The Lions will start freshman left-hander Chad Pendarvis (3-0, 7.09) against the Tigers.

SLU has been led by the hot hitting of junior third baseman Anthony Garibaldi, who was named the SLC Hitter of the Week after batting .435 with four home runs and nine RBI in five games last week. Garibaldi leads the Lions in batting average (.383), home runs (12) and RBI (36) for the season.

LSU has won 21 of the 23 meetings in the series since 1990 and has a 48-16 all-time edge. The Tigers defeated the Lions in this season's previous meeting, 4-2 on March 5. In that game, Determann pitched the final four innings to notch his first career save after Justin Meier threw five shutout innings.

The Tigers are 12-1 under Laval vs. SLC teams, with the only loss coming to SLU last February 12 by a 4-3 count. Laval is 12-5 all-time against SLU, including a 10-4 mark during his seven seasons at UL-Monroe.

The Tigers will also be out to improve to 8-0 this year vs. in-state opponents at home and 10-2 in all games against Louisiana foes.

LSU returns to SEC action this weekend with a three-game series against the Tennessee Volunteers. The series gets started at 6:30 p.m. Friday, followed by contests at 6 p.m. on Saturday and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.

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