The Tigers open the season at Alex Box Stadium on Feb. 13 against Kansas. The Jayhawks made the NCAA Tournament in 2014 and were the No. 3 seed in the Louisville regional. They were eliminated after consecutive losses to the Cardinals and Kentucky.
Kansas last came to Baton Rouge in 2010, losing two-of-three to the Tigers.
“This may be the toughest opening series we’ve had in my nine years here,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Kansas is a real up-and-coming program. We’re going to have a really great series on the opening weekend come February.”
The Tigers’ non-conference slate also includes home series against Boston College and Princeton. LSU will also travel to Houston for the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park. The field includes Houston, who defeated LSU in this past year’s regional, Nebraska, Baylor and Hawaii. The schedule has not yet been finalized.
This year’s Wally Pontiff Classic at Zephyr Field will pit LSU vs. in-state rival Louisiana-Lafayette. The Cajuns were a national seed in this past season’s NCAA Tournament, leading the country in wins.
LSU’s SEC slate kicks off March 13 at home against Ole Miss, who reached the College World Series in 2014. The conference schedule also includes home series against Kentucky, Auburn, Texas A&M and Missouri.
Missing from the SEC schedule are Florida, who won the regular season SEC championship, and defending national champions Vanderbilt.
LSU closes the regular season at South Carolina with a series starting May 14.
Click here for the complete 2015 baseball schedule
STONE CHOOSES TO TRANSFER
Rising sophomore outfielder Cade Stone has elected to transfer to LSU-Eunice.
The West Monroe native appeared in seven games as a freshman, starting a pair. He had four hits in 16 at-bats, including a double and triple with one run driven in.
But the cluttered depth chart in the outfield would have prevented Stone from receiving much playing time in 2015. He’d be the Tigers’ sixth outfielder, and Mainieri felt he’d have a better opportunity to improve at the junior college level.
“When you’re a freshman and not playing, you can handle it,” Mainieri said. “But it’s disappointing when you’re a sophomore and things don’t change.“
Mainieri did renew Stone’s scholarship, meaning the door was open for him to return to LSU. But Stone elected to pursue his chances at LSU-E.
Following the 2015 season though, LSU will lose seniors Jared Foster and Chris Sciambra. Rising juniors Andrew Stevenson and Mark Laird will likely be MLB Draft candidates, so Mainieri said Stone will have the opportunity to return in 2016 with a much more favorable depth chart.
Former LSU third baseman Christian Ibarra will be a part of the coaching staff in 2015.
He will serve as an undergraduate assistant, a role previously held by Blake Dean and Alex Edward. Ibarra started 58 games for the Tigers last season, hitting .238 at the plate with 22 RBI and three homers.
Though Ibarra was selected in the 32nd round of the 2013 draft, he was not taken following his senior year. So he will return to Baton Rouge to complete his degree while assisting the baseball team as a coach.