Tigers set to host Vanderbilt in home finale

LSU (32-17, 11-13 SEC) plays host to Vanderbilt (28-21, 12-12 SEC) this weekend in a three-game SEC series in Alex Box Stadium.

LSU is in ninth place in the overall league standings, one-half game behind Mississippi State (11-12) and one game behind Vanderbilt. The top eight teams qualify for the SEC Tournament May 24-28 in Hoover, Ala.

 

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

 

Friday's game will be televised live by Cox Sports Television (Cable Ch. 37 in Baton Rouge).

 

"It's a difficult task ahead of us," said LSU coach Smoke Laval. "Vanderbilt is well-disciplined, well- coached, scrappy team with tremendous arms. You don't know if you should try to get into their bullpen or not. They just keep coming out with quality arms.

 

"We've won four of our last five weekend series and we hope to continue that. I think our players know the task at hand."

 

LSU swept a three-game SEC series last weekend at Auburn, marking the Tigers' first sweep since April 22-24, 2005, when they won three in a row at Arkansas. LSU has now won six of its last seven games, including five of its last six SEC contests.

 

The Tigers have won four of their last five league series, including three series wins over teams that were ranked at the time of the series – Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas.

 

Junior left-hander Clay Dirks (4-4, 4.97 ERA) will take the mound for the Tigers in Friday's series opener. Dirks earned his first SEC win of the season last Friday, limiting Auburn to one earned run on six hits in 6.1 innings with one walk and six strikeouts.

 

Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin will counter Friday with senior right-hander Matt Buschmann (4-4, 4.18 ERA), marking a change in the Commodores' rotation. Sophomore left-hander David Price (6-4, 4.01 ERA), Vanderbilt's Friday night starter all season, will start on Saturday this weekend against LSU freshman right-hander Louis Coleman (5-3, 4.33 ERA).

 

Sunday's pitching match-up features LSU junior left-hander Daniel Forrer (1-2, 6.18 ERA) versus Vanderbilt sophomore right-hander Ty Davis (5-4, 3.81 ERA).

 

Senior Will Harris helped lead LSU to the three-game series sweep at Auburn both on the mound and at the plate. He worked three scoreless innings in relief in Saturday's 5-3 win, allowing just two hits with no walks and four strikeouts to earn his second save of the season. Harris has now earned a save in his last two relief appearances, as he also preserved LSU's win versus Arkansas on April 30.

 

Harris, LSU's starting third baseman, delivered clutch hits for the Tigers in the Auburn series, launching a solo homer in Game 1 on Friday to ignite a three-run third inning. Harris' RBI double in the fifth inning of Game 3 on Sunday broke a scoreless tie and again was the catalyst for a three-run outburst.

 

The LSU pitching staff posted a sterling 2.33 ERA in the Auburn series, limiting the Plainsmen to seven earned runs on 23 hits in the three games with seven walks and 24 strikeouts.

 

Coleman pitched the Tigers to victory in Game 2 of the Auburn series last Saturday, limiting the Plainsmen to three runs on six hits in six innings with two walks and five strikeouts to earn his fifth win of the season.

 

Junior right-hander Jonathan Wilhite pitched a career-high 4.2 relief innings last Sunday to defeat Auburn and complete the series sweep. Wilhite, who had worked just 13.1 innings on the year entering the game, allowed no runs on two hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

 

Freshman centerfielder Jarred Bogany is hitting .405 (15-for-37) in the Tigers' last 10 games with four RBI and five runs. Bogany is LSU's leading hitter overall, batting .344 (43-for-125) with four doubles, two triples, 12 RBI, 17 runs and six stolen bases.

 

Freshman second baseman J.T. Wise produced a career-high four RBI in Sunday's win at Auburn. Wise lined an RBI single in the fifth inning to cap a three-run rally, and he launched a two-out, three-run homer in the seventh inning to give LSU a 6-2 advantage.

 

Vanderbilt, batting .298 on the year with 35 home runs, is paced by freshman third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who is hitting .344 with 14 doubles, 15 homers and 51 RBI.

 

LSU leads the all-time series with Vanderbilt, 46-25, as the teams first met in 1954.

 

The Tigers have won 10 of the 17 meetings between the schools this decade, including a 2-1 SEC series victory last season in Nashville.

 

The teams have split their last four series. The Commodores captured two of three games from LSU in 2002 and in 2003 before the Tigers posted 2-1 series victories in 2004 and 2005.

 

 

Vanderbilt Commodores (28-21, 12-12)

at #25 LSU Fighting Tigers (32-17, 11-13)

 

 

 

DATES/TIMES 

 

Friday, May 12 – 6:30 p.m. CDT; Saturday, May 13 – 2 p.m. CDT; Sunday, May 14 – 1 p.m. CDT 

 

 

STADIUM

 

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

 

 

RANKINGS

 

LSU (#25 NCBWA)

 

Vanderbilt (unranked)

 

 

TV

 

FRIDAY

 

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

 

 

SATURDAY

 

None

 

 

SUNDAY

 

None

 

 

 

SERIES RECORD

 

LSU leads, 46-25 (first meeting in 1954)

 

 

 

PITCHING MATCHUPS

 

Game 1

 

LSU – Jr. LHP Clay Dirks (4-4, 4.97 ERA, 67.0 IP, 15 BB, 65 SO)

 

VU – Sr. RHP Matt Buschmann (4-4, 4.18 ERA, 64.2 IP, 20 BB, 61 SO)

 

 

 

Game 2

 

LSU – Fr. RHP Louis Coleman (5-3, 4.33 ERA, 68.2 IP, 24 BB, 45 SO)

 

VU – So. LHP David Price (6-4, 4.01 ERA, 83.0 IP, 26 BB, 122 SO)

 

 

 

Game 3

 

LSU – Jr. LHP Daniel Forrer (1-2, 6.18 ERA, 55.1 IP, 22 BB, 50 SO)

 

VU – So. RHP Ty Davis (5-4, 3.81 ERA, 49.2 IP, 19 BB, 49 SO)

 


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