Tigers & Green Wave renew rivalry at the Box

No. 8 LSU (13-2) plays host to No. 12 Tulane at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Alex Box Stadium as the Tigers face their first ranked opponent this season.

Tuesday's game will be broadcast statewide on the LSU Sports Radio Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge).

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

The game will also be televised live by Cox Sports Television (Cable Ch. 37 in Baton Rouge).

LSU coach Smoke Laval said freshman right-hander Louis Coleman (2-0) is scheduled to start Tuesday's game on the mound for the Tigers. Coleman was impressive in first two collegiate starts -- victories over Centenary and Southeastern Louisiana -- however, he ran into difficulty in his last outing versus Louisiana-Monroe (March 1), allowing three runs on five hits in 3.2 innings with two walks and one strikeout.

Tulane coach Rick Jones, who directed the Green Wave to the College World Series last season,  is expected to counter with junior right-hander Brandon Gomes (1-1). Gomes defeated LSU last season in Alex Box Stadium, limiting the Tigers to two runs on nine hits in five innings with one walk and three strikeouts.

Laval said he hopes the Tigers can build upon the momentum created by last weekend's series victory over Houston, which included a four-run, eighth-inning rally on Sunday in a 5-3 win.

"We may have built some character by coming back against some very good Houston pitching," Laval said. "We'll see if we can continue to progress this week. Obviously, Tulane has a great club with a number of players who were in Omaha last year, so we'll have to be at our best to have a chance to win."

The LSU-Tulane series has been even during Laval's four season as the coach of the Tigers, with each club winning six of the 12 meetings since 2002. Tulane defeated LSU twice last season (6-2 on March 8 in Baton Rouge; 11-8 on April 19 at Zephyr Field in Metairie) en route to its College World Series berth.

LSU continues to pace the SEC in hitting with a .339 average, and the Tigers also lead the league in runs (114), triples (10), RBI (101), total bases (250) and fielding percentage (.980).

LSU senior outfielder Quinn Stewart hit .500 (8-for-16) in LSU's four games last week with one double, one triple, two homers and seven RBI. In the Tigers' series victory over Houston, he batted .545 (6-for-11) with one double, one homer, six RBI and two runs.

Stewart provided the game-winning hit in the series finale over Houston, as his two-out, two-run single broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning and lifted LSU to the 5-3 victory.

Junior outfielder Steven Waguespack continues to swing a hot bat for the Tigers, as he leads the team with a .388 (19-for-49) average. Waguespack has four doubles, one triple, one homer and seven RBI on the year, and he was 5-for-8 last weekend versus Houston with one double, one homer, three RBI and three runs.

Tulane's leading hitter is sophomore infielder Cat Everett, who is batting .412 (21-for-51) with seven RBI. Freshman outfielder Warren McFadden is batting .360 (18-for-50) with team-highs of eight doubles and 12 RBI. As a team, Tulane is hitting .305 with four homers and 20 steals in 28 attempts.

LSU junior right-hander Derik Olvey delivered his fourth straight magnificent outing last Saturday, firing seven shutout innings in a win over Houston. Olvey allowed just three hits with one walk and five strikeouts in LSU's 7-0 victory.

Olvey (4-0) lowered his ERA on the year to a remarkable 0.30, as he has allowed only one earned run in 30.1 innings this season while recording three walks and 20 strikeouts.

Sophomore right-hander Michael Bonura earned his first victory since May 2004 when he defeated Houston last Sunday. Bonura, who missed last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, pitched 3.2 scoreless relief innings against Houston to secure the win. He allowed four hits while recording no walks and two strikeouts.

GAME FACTS
#12 Tulane Green Wave (10-4) at #8 LSU Fighting Tigers (13-2)

DATE/TIME 
Tuesday, March 7 -- 6:30 p.m. CST

STADIUM:
Alex Box Stadium (7,760) in Baton Rouge, La.

RANKINGS:
LSU (#8 Collegiate Baseball, #9 USA Today/ESPN, #13 Baseball America)
Tulane (#12 Baseball America, #17 USA Today/ESPN, #22 Collegiate Baseball)

TICKETS: 
$8 adults, $5 children ages 3-12 -- available at Alex Box Stadium two hours prior to first pitch; tickets may also be purchased and printed at www.LSUsports.net

SPECIAL EVENTS/PROMOTIONS: 
Children age 12 and under may stand on the field with the Tigers during the National Anthem

RADIO: 
statewide on LSU Sports Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge)

INTERNET: 
audio broadcast, streaming video and live stats of all three games in the Geaux Zone powered by USAgencies at www.LSUsports.net

TV: 
Cox Sports Television (Cable Ch. 37 in Baton Rouge)

SERIES RECORD: 
LSU leads, 157-120-3 (first meeting in 1893)

PITCHING MATCHUP
LSU -- Fr. RHP Louis Coleman (2-0, 4.11 ERA, 15.1 IP, 5 BB, 15 SO)
TU -- Jr. RHP Brandon Gomes (1-1, 3.44 ERA, 18.1 IP, 2 BB, 14 SO)


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