LSU ready to host Central Florida

LSU hopes to build upon the momentum created in two straight victories when the Tigers play host this weekend to Central Florida in Alex Box Stadium.

Game 1 of the LSU-UCF series is set for 7 p.m. Friday, Game 2 will start at Noon Saturday, and Game 3 begins at Noon Sunday.

LSU enters Friday's contest having won its last two games, an 8-4 victory at Stetson on Sunday and a 6-2 win over Northwestern State Wednesday in Alex Box Stadium.

UCF, a member of Conference USA, dropped two of three games to Maryland last weekend in Orlando, Fla.

After collecting just seven hits in two games at Stetson last Friday and Saturday, LSU has amassed 24 hits in its last two contests. The Tigers are hitting .329 (24-for-73) in their last two outings.

"I'm encouraged by the way we've played in the last two ball games, but we still have a long way to go," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "I'm very happy with the victories and with the effort we've received from our players, but we must continue to improve. This weekend's series should tell us a lot about our team because Central Florida, like Stetson last week, is a program with great tradition."

Freshman center fielder Jared Mitchell is 5-for-10 in LSU's last two games with one RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore third baseman J.T. Wise has three hits in his last six at-bats, including one double and one triple. Wise has driven in two runs and scored twice in the Tigers' last two contests.

Freshman first baseman Sean Ochinko has four RBI in the last two games with one run scored.

Junior left-hander Charlie Furbush (1-1) will start Friday's game on the mound for LSU. Furbush, who defeated Saint Mary's (Calif.) in LSU's season opener on Feb. 9, was charged with the loss in Game 1 of last weekend's Stetson series. Furbush allowed seven runs (five earned) on nine hits in 4.2 innings with two walks and four strikeouts.

UCF coach Jay Bergman, in his 25th season at the school, will counter on Friday with sophomore left-hander Mitch Houck (0-1).

The Golden Knights, batting .264 as a team, are led at the plate by sophomore infielder Kiko Vazquez, who is hitting .379 with three homers and 10 RBI.

This weekend's series marks the teams' first meeting since 2004, when LSU won two of three games over the Golden Knights in Orlando. The Tigers lead the overall series, 11-3, including a 4-0 mark in games played in Baton Rouge. LSU swept two-game series from the Golden Knights in 1993 and in 1999 at Alex Box Stadium.

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