Tigers welcome Cougars for a set at the Box

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LSU -- Jr. LHP Clay Dirks (2-0, 1.00 ERA, 18.0 IP, 4 BB, 26 SO)

UH – Jr. RHP Brad Lincoln (2-1, 2.22 ERA, 24.1 IP, 6 BB, 35 SO)


LSU – Jr. RHP Derik Olvey (3-0, 0.39 ERA, 23.1 IP, 2 BB, 15 SO)

UH – Sr. LHP Matt Farrington (1-2, 3.94 ERA, 16.0 IP, 7 BB, 7 SO)


LSU – Jr. LHP Daniel Forrer (1-0, 4.20 ERA, 15.0 IP, 9 BB, 19 SO)

UH – Fr. RHP Luis Flores (1-1, 3.18 ERA, 11.1 IP, 3 BB, 15 SO)

No. 8 LSU (11-1) plays host to Houston (7-6) this weekend in a three-game series at Alex Box Stadium.

Game 1 of the series is set for 6:30 p.m. CST Friday, Game 2 begins at Noon CST Saturday and Game 3 starts at 1 p.m. CST Sunday.

The games will be broadcast statewide on Friday and Sunday on the LSU Sports Radio Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge). Saturday's game will be broadcast in Baton Rouge only on WNXX 104.5 FM and KNXX 104.9 FM.

The audio broadcast, streaming video and live stats are also available in the Geaux Zone powered by USAgencies at www.LSUsports.net.

None of the three games will be televised.

Junior left-hander Clay Dirks will take the mound for the Tigers in Friday's contest against Houston. Dirks pitched a brilliant five-hitter to defeat Temple on Feb. 24, marking the first complete game by an LSU pitcher this season.

Dirks threw 107 pitches and limited the Owls to one run on five hits with two walks and a career-best 12 strikeouts. The 12 Ks represented the most by an LSU pitcher since March 15, 2002 when Bo Pettit recorded 12 strikeouts against Vanderbilt.

Dirks is 2-0 this season with a 1.00 ERA, as he has allowed just two earned runs in 18 innings with four walks and 26 strikeouts.

Houston is expected to counter Friday with junior right-hander Brad Lincoln (2-1), who has six walks and 35 strikeouts in 24.1 innings of work.

"I'm anxious to see how we do against a pitcher like Lincoln," said LSU coach Smoke Laval, "because he's regarded as a tremendous professional prospect. We'll have a tough task in facing a pitcher of his caliber. It will be that way for the entire weekend, because Houston has some quality arms."

LSU won two of three games from Houston last season at Cougar Field, including an 11-5 victory in which Lincoln was charged with the loss. Lincoln allowed eight runs on nine hits in 2.2 innings with no walks and no strikeouts.

LSU enters Friday's contest riding a nine-game win streak, the Tigers' longest since the 2004 club also won nine in a row. The Tigers are No. 1 in the Southeastern Conference with a .355 batting average after collecting 11 hits in an 8-5 win over Louisiana-Monroe Wednesday night.

Senior outfielder Bruce Sprowl, who was named Monday as the SEC Player of the Week, is the Tigers' leading hitter with a .391 (18-for-46) average. Senior catcher Matt Liuzza is batting .371 (13-for-35) with a team-best five doubles, while shortstop Michael Hollander is hitting .357 (15-for-42) with two doubles, two triples, one homer and a team-high 15 RBI.

LSU's pitching has been highlighted by the performance of junior right-hander Derik Olvey, who lowered his ERA to 0.39 after defeating Temple last Saturday. Olvey fired eight shutout innings against the Owls, allowing just five hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Olvey, who will start Saturday's game against Houston, is 3-0 this season with two walks and 15 Ks in 23.1 innings of work.

Lincoln, who is also the Cougars' designated hitter, leads UH with three homers and 18 RBI, and he is batting .340 (17-for-50) on the year. Sophomore outfielder Bryan Tully is hitting a team-best .400 (18-for-45) with three doubles and two homers for Houston while junior shortstop Dustin Kingsbury is batting .346 with 10 RBI.

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