Fenway-esque wall awaits left fielders

NOTES: Auburn's Plainsman Park is not your run-of-the-mill ballpark.

Playing on the road means getting used to a different playing field, and sometimes that's more than meets the eye.

Mason Katz

When LSU takes the diamond at Samford Stadium at Plainsman Park to face Auburn, whoever operates in left field will have a chore ahead of them – at least until there's a comfort level.

When the AU ballpark was renovated 16 years ago, the designers took elements of Fenway Park and Wrigley Field among other venues. The Fenway touch is a 30-foot wall in left field that makes things a little trickier for whoever has to contend with it.

"Whoever is playing left field has to get used to that big wall out there," junior Mason Katz said. Two years ago he got a crack in left and said he botched the first ball hit his way.

LSU coach Paul Mainieri said there won't be any drastic adjustments to prepare his team for the playing the wall, but hinted there could be changes at that position.

Four Tigers have started in left this season: Raph Rhymes, Jackson Slaid, Jared Foster and Alex Edward.

Roster set

The Tigers on the roster for this weekend are:

Position players – Ty Ross, Jordy Snikeris, Mason Katz, Tyler Moore, Grant Dozar, JaCoby Jones, Casey Yocom, Austin Nola,Tyler Hanover, Foster, Chris Sciambra, Rhymes, Edward, Arby Fields, Evan Powell and Slaid

Pitchers – Kevin Gausman, Ryan Eades, Aaron Nola, Kurt McCune, Nick Goody, Nick Rumbelow, Joe Broussard, Joey Bourgeois, Kevin Berry, Chris Cotton and Brent Bonvillain

Rare occurrence

Freshman Tyler Moore delivered a rarity in Tuesday's win against Southern when he was credited with an inside-the-park home run.

Moore's homer came on a ball he hit to the right-center field gap. When the ball wedged between the fence and the warning track, two Jaguar outfielders opted to not play the ball, thinking it would be called a ground-rule double.

It wasn't, Moore circled the bases and gave the Tigers their first inside-the-park HR since Derek Helenihi made the circuit on April 8, 2009, against Grambling State.

"Those odds have to be the highest ever," Katz said of Moore ending that drought. "Slowest kid on our team and maybe one of the slowest in the SEC."

Raph Rhymes

Around the horn

Auburn is looking for a third straight series win over LSU, which hasn't happened since 1988-90. … Rhymes enters the weekend leading the SEC with a healthy lead in the batting race, with a .474 average. Auburn's Ryan Tella is second at .442. Katz is tied for second in the league with 23 and sixth in doubles with 8. … Kevin Gausman is hovering near the top of the league leaders in several categories. He leads the SEC with 36 innings pitched and ranks second in ERA (1.25) and strikeouts (42).

Ready for a unique challenge

ON DECK: LSU at Auburn


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