Tigers tangle with Appalachian State

No. 7-ranked LSU entertains Mountaineers in a three-game set.

Seventh-ranked LSU (4-0) opens a three-game weekend series at 7 p.m. Friday against Appalachian State (2-1) at Alex Box Stadium.

Game 2 of the series is set for 2 p.m. Saturday and Game 3 starts at 11 a.m. Sunday.

LSU opened the 2012 season last weekend with two victories over Air Force and a win over Alcorn State. The Tigers defeated McNeese State 11-4 Wednesday for their fourth straight victory.

"I think we've played well to start this season, and I look forward to seeing continued improvement," LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. "I know Appalachian State has a very capable ball club and I'm sure they will challenge us throughout the weekend."

The same starting rotation will be in place for LSU: Sophomore right-hander Kevin Gausman on Friday, sophomore right-hander Ryan Eades on Saturday and sophomore right-hander Kurt McCune on Sunday.

Jackson Slaid

Gausman defeated Air Force last Friday, limiting the Falcons to one run on four hits in six innings with two walks and seven strikeouts. Eades posted a win over Alcorn State last Saturday, blanking the Braves in five innings of work while allowing one hit with one walk and a career-high eight strikeouts. McCune fired six shutout innings against Air Force last Sunday, allowing three hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

The Tigers are hitting .333 as a team through four games with 15 extra-base hits. Sophomore outfielder Jackson Slaid is batting .500 with one double, one triple and 3 RBIs. Junior first baseman Mason Katz is hitting .417 with one double, one triple and 6 RBIs, and junior outfielder Raph Rhymes is batting .417 with 5 RBIs.

Thirteen of the 16 LSU players that have made plate appearances this season have produced at least one RBI for the Tigers.

Appalachian State, a member of the Southern Conference, won two of three games last weekend at the Elon (N.C.) Invitational. The Mountaineers, coached by Chris Pollard, suffered a 2-1 loss to George Mason in its season opener, but rebounded to post 8-3 and 4-1 victories over Akron.

ASU will start senior right-hander Seth Grant on Friday against the Tigers. Grant pitched six shutout innings with eight strikeouts against George Mason, but was not involved in the decision of the Mountaineers' loss.

Senior infielder Daniel Kassouf is hitting .333 with one triple, one homer and 5 RBIs. The Mountaineers are hitting .250 as a team with seven extra-base hits in three games.

The series will be carried by the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, with Baton Rouge affiliate WDGL 98.1 FM serving as the flagship station. Live video and audio of the game may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.

ON DECK: Appalachian State at LSU

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