Tigers ready for Southern Miss

LSU (9-6) plays its final non-conference series of the season this weekend when the Tigers face Southern Mississippi (11-2) in Alex Box Stadium.

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


LSU enters Friday's contest riding a two-game win streak, including a 2-1 victory over Centenary Tuesday night at Fair Grounds Field in Shreveport, La. Southern Miss has won four of its last five games, including a 5-0 victory over 13th-ranked Alabama on Tuesday.


The Tigers begin Southeastern Conference play next weekend at South Carolina.


"This is our last weekend before SEC play, but Southern Miss is an SEC-caliber squad," LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. "It will be a very challenging series, and it will give us an idea of the level of play we'll need to achieve to be successful in our conference. We hope to continue to take steps forward as a team and play with a great deal of intensity and enthusiasm."


Junior left-hander Charlie Furbush (2-1, 3.52 ERA) will start Friday's game on the mound for LSU. Furbush recorded a no-decision in his last outing, a 7-6 loss to Lipscomb on March 2. He was charged with three earned runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings with four walks and five strikeouts.


USM coach Corky Palmer will counter on Friday with senior right-hander Ryan Belanger (3-0, 1.66 ERA), a native of Houma, La.


LSU freshman leftfielder Blake Dean continues to lead the Tigers at the plate, batting .360 (18-for-50) with five doubles, two triples, one homer and 15 RBI.


Centerfielder Jared Mitchell is hitting .323 (20-for-62) with one double, one homer, 17 runs, seven RBI and eight steals, and shortstop Michael Hollander is batting .280 (14-for-50) with six doubles, one homer, six RBI and 11 runs.


The Golden Eagles -- batting .282 as a team with three homers -- are led at the plate by infielder Trey Sutton, who is hitting .360 (18-for-50) with five doubles, one triple, 11 RBI and 14 runs.


USM shortstop Brian Dozier is batting .340 with four doubles and five RBI, and infielder Bailey Hartel is hitting .320 with five doubles, one homer and three RBI.


This weekend's series marks the first meeting between the schools since the 2004 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional in Alex Box Stadium, where the Tigers posted a 6-2 winners' bracket game win over USM.





Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (11-2) at LSU Fighting Tigers (9-6)




Friday, March 9 – 7 p.m. CST; Saturday, March 10 – 2 p.m. CST; Sunday, March 11 – 1 p.m. CST




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




$8 adults, $5 children ages 3-12 -- available at Alex Box Stadium each day two hours prior to first pitch




LSU leads, 29-10-2





Game 1

LSU – Jr. LHP Charlie Furbush (2-1, 3.52 ERA, 23.0 IP, 11 BB, 23 SO)

USM – Sr. RHP Ryan Belanger (3-0, 1.66 ERA, 21.2 IP, 4 BB, 19 SO)  



Game 2


USM – Jr. RHP Barry Bowden (1-1, 4.96 ERA, 16.1 IP, 4 BB 17 SO)    



Game 3


USM – Jr. RHP David Clark (1-1, 3.24 ERA, 16.2 IP, 7 BB, 16 SO)

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