Tigers prepare for Rebels

No. 18 LSU (26-13, 6-9 SEC) travels to Oxford, Miss. this weekend to face Ole Miss (23-15, 7-8) in a three-game SEC series at Swayze Field.

Game 1 of the LSU-Ole Miss series is set for 6:30 p.m. CT Friday, Game 2 begins at 4 p.m. CT Saturday and Game 3 starts at 1:30 p.m. CT Sunday.


Saturday's game will be televised on a tape-delayed basis at 6 p.m. by the Jumbo Sports Network (Cable Ch. 10 in Baton Rouge) and Sunday's game will be televised live by the Jumbo Sports Network (Cable Ch. 13 in Baton Rouge).


LSU, which has won its last two conference series, enters the weekend tied for fifth place in the SEC Western Division, one game behind fourth-place Ole Miss. The teams shared the SEC West title last season.


"I feel like we're swinging the bats pretty well right now, getting the consistent at-bats that we need," said LSU coach Smoke Laval. "We've become much more opportunistic on offense with hits of greater magnitude. Now if we can get our pitching to be as consistent, we'll be headed in the right direction."


LSU is hitting .321 (53-for-165) as a team in its last five games with 10 doubles, two triples and 12 homers. The Tigers are No. 5 in the SEC with an overall team batting average of .299, and LSU ranks No. 10 in the league in team ERA (4.29).


Ole Miss, under sixth-year coach Mike Bianco, is No. 8 in the SEC in batting average (.297) and No. 9 in team ERA (4.11). Bianco a former catcher (1988-89) and assistant coach (1993-97) at LSU, directed Ole Miss last season to an NCAA Super Regional, where the Rebels fell to eventual national champion Texas.


Freshman right-hander Louis Coleman (4-2, 3.78 ERA) will take the mound for the Tigers in Friday's series opener. Coleman has won his previous two Friday night SEC starts, defeating Tennessee (April 7) and Alabama (April 14).


Ole Miss will counter Friday with junior left-hander Craig Rodriguez (1-1, 3.43 ERA), a transfer from Pearl River (Miss.) Community College.


LSU freshman second baseman J.T. Wise is batting a team-best .352 (51-for-145) with 11 doubles, eight homers and 31 RBI. Wise is hitting .471 (8-for-17) in his last five games with one double, three homers and 11 RBI.


Senior outfielder Quinn Stewart is batting .343 (49-for-143) with eight doubles, three triples, 44 RBI and an SEC-best 17 homers. Stewart also leads the SEC in total bases (114) and slugging percentage (.797).


Stewart's total of 17 home runs places him No. 2 in the nation in dingers, trailing only Kellen Kulbacki of James Madison, who has 20.


Ole Miss is led at the plate by sophomore shortstop Zack Cozart (.331, 9 2B, 6 HR, 39 RBI) and by junior outfielders Alex Presley (.322, 11 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 32 RBI) and Mark Wright (.292, 10 2B, 8 HR, 35 RBI).


LSU leads the overall series with Ole Miss, 154-129, and the Tigers posted a 2-1 series victory over the Rebels last season in Baton Rouge.


LSU has captured three straight and six of its last seven regular-season series with Ole Miss. The Rebels' last series victory over LSU came in 2002 in Oxford. The Tigers have a 13-5 record against Ole Miss this decade.


Bianco has a 6-11 career mark against LSU in his six seasons as the Ole Miss coach. Laval is 7-5 against Ole Miss in his five seasons at LSU.




# 18 LSU Fighting Tigers (26-13, 6-9) at Ole Miss Rebels (23-15, 7-8)





Friday, April 21 – 6:30 p.m. CT; Saturday, April 22 – 4 p.m. CT; Sunday, April 23 – 1:30 p.m. CT





Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field in Oxford, Miss.





LSU (# 18 USA Today/ESPN)


Ole Miss (unranked)






All three games on the LSU Sports Radio Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge)


Saturday and Sunday games also on Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 147)













Tape-Delayed on Jumbo Sports Network at 6 p.m. (Cable Ch. 10 in Baton Rouge)





Live on Jumbo Sports Network (Cable Ch. 13 in Baton Rouge)





LSU leads, 154-129 (first meeting in 1906) 





Game 1


LSU -- Fr. RHP Louis Coleman (4-2, 3.78 ERA, 50.0 IP, 18 BB, 35 SO)


UM – Jr. LHP Craig Rodriguez (1-1, 3.43 ERA, 42.0 IP, 9 BB, 32 SO)



Game 2


LSU – Jr. LHP Clay Dirks (3-3, 4.26 ERA, 50.2 IP, 12 BB, 55 SO)


UM – Fr. LHP Brett Bukvich (3-3, 2.49 ERA, 47.0 IP, 13 BB, 38 SO)




Game 3


LSU – Jr. RHP Derik Olvey (6-2, 2.91 ERA, 65.0 IP, 13 BB, 53 SO)


UM – Fr. RHP Lance Lynn (4-2, 4.47 ERA, 46.1 IP, 25 BB, 43 SO)

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