Baseball looks to bounce back vs. Hogs

Second-ranked LSU (24-6, 6-3) continues a five-game homestand this weekend as the Tigers play host to Arkansas (20-11, 5-4) in a three-game SEC series at Alex Box Stadium.

First pitch for Game 1 of the LSU-Arkansas series is 6:30 p.m. CDT Friday, Game 2 is set for 2 p.m. CDT Saturday and Game 3 will be played at 1 p.m. CDT Sunday.

The games can be heard statewide on the LSU Sports Network (WDGL-FM 98.1 in Baton Rouge). All three games can also be heard on the internet at

Saturday's game will be televised regionally by Fox Sports Southwest (Cable Ch. 38 in Baton Rouge) and Sunday's game will be televised statewide by Cox Sports Television (Cable Ch. 37 in Baton Rouge).

LSU trails first-place Ole Miss (7-2) by one game in the SEC Western Division standings. Arkansas (5-4) enters the weekend series in third place in the division.

The Tigers have won five consecutive SEC weekend series over the past two seasons, including three in a row this year over South Carolina, Mississippi State and Auburn.

Arkansas opened SEC play by dropping two of three games at Florida, but the Razorbacks have since posted 2-1 series victories at home over South Carolina and Alabama.

LSU began this week with a 1-0 loss to No. 12 Tulane on Tuesday at Alex Box Stadium, marking the first time the Tigers have been shut out since May 3, 2003 -- a 5-0 loss to Mississippi State in Starkville. Tuesday's game also marked the first shutout suffered by LSU at home since June 1, 2002 -- a 5-0 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in the second round of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional.

LSU had won 11 straight games against Louisiana schools prior to Tuesday's loss; the Tigers are now 36-9 versus in-state foes during coach Smoke Laval's three-year tenure.

LSU pitchers Jason Determann, Lane Mestepey and Jordan Faircloth combined to limit Tulane to one run on seven hits in Tuesday's game, lowering the team ERA to 2.81.

However, the LSU offense produced a season-low four hits for the second consecutive game. The Tigers are hitting .247 in their last five games as their team batting average has dropped from .342 to .327 in that span.

LSU coach Smoke Laval will send sophomore right-hander Justin Meier (4-1, 2.92 ERA) to the mound Friday, while Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn will counter with junior left-hander Clint Brannon (0-1, 2.70 ERA).

Meier defeated Arkansas last season in Fayetteville, limiting the Razorbacks to no runs on five hits in eight innings with one walk and two strikeouts.

LSU leads the all-time series with Arkansas, 36-15, and the Tigers defeated the Razorbacks in three of four meetings last season. Since Arkansas swept three games from LSU in 2001 at Fayetteville, the Tigers have won six of the last seven games with the Hogs.

LSU has won 11 straight games versus Arkansas in Alex Box Stadium; the Razorbacks' last win in Baton Rouge came on April 19, 1996, a 3-2 victory.

The Tigers have a 21-4 overall advantage over Arkansas in games played in Alex Box Stadium.

Arkansas Razorbacks (20-11, 5-4) at #2 LSU Fighting Tigers (24-6, 6-3)

DATES/TIMES: April 9 - 6:30 p.m.; April 10 - 2 p.m.; April 11 - 1 p.m.
STADIUM: Alex Box Stadium (7,760)
RANKINGS: LSU (#2 Collegiate Baseball, #3 Baseball America, #3 ESPN/Sports Weekly); Arkansas (unranked)
RADIO: statewide on LSU Sports Network (WDGL-FM 98.1 in Baton Rouge)
TV: No TV on Friday; Saturday's game will be televised live by Fox Sports Southwest (Cable Ch. 38 in Baton Rouge); Sunday's game will be televised live by Cox Sports Television (Cable Ch. 37 in Baton Rouge)

Game 1
Justin Meier (4-1, 2.92 ERA, 52.1 IP, 16 BB, 42 SO)
UA - Jr. LHP Clint Brannon (0-1, 2.70 ERA, 36.2 IP, 11 BB, 27 SO)

Game 2
LSU - Fr. LHP Clay Dirks (6-0, 1.90 ERA, 47.1 IP, 8 BB, 44 SO)
UA - So. RHP Charley Boyce (4-1, 3.07 ERA, 41.0 IP, 5 BB, 30 SO)

Game 3
LSU - Sr. RHP Nate Bumstead (5-0, 3.72 ERA, 38.2 IP, 11 BB, 22 SO)

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