The venerable facility, which opened in 1938, will yield its position as LSU's home park in 2009 to the New Alex Box Stadium, which is currently under construction.
"I think it's only appropriate that we send this old stadium out in a very proper way," said second-year LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "Make no mistake about it, our goal is to get postseason play back into old Alex Box Stadium for one last time so we can relive a little bit of the old glory days of LSU baseball. I think we have a chance to do that. I really feel we have a team put together that has a chance to be pretty good.
"I describe it to a lot of people that I feel like last year everything had to go perfect for us to win a game in the SEC, and somehow we were able to win some pretty big games. Now I feel like we have the talent to jump into the fight. I don't think there will be a lot of teams in the SEC significantly more talented than us. I think we are going to be right in there fighting every step of the way."
Game 2 of the LSU-Indiana series will start at 1 p.m. Saturday, and Game 3 begins at 11 a.m. Sunday.
The 2008 Tigers feature 18 returning players, plus 20 newcomers that Collegiate Baseball magazine rated as the nation's top recruiting class. The class includes nine players selected in the Major League Baseball draft.
LSU returns 10 position players with starting experience, including 2006 all-SEC infielder Michael Hollander and a pair of 2007 Freshmen all-SEC selections – outfielder Blake Dean and catcher Sean Ochinko.
Hollander, a senior third baseman, batted .279 last season with 10 doubles, five homers and 26 RBI. He moves to third base this season after playing shortstop for the past three years.
Dean, who will start in left field Friday, was LSU's leading hitter last season, batting .316 with 12 doubles, seven homers and 46 RBI. Ochinko also hit seven homers in 2007, and he batted .277 with five doubles and 32 RBI.
The Tigers also welcome back seven pitchers who recorded innings last season, including 2008 preseason all-American Jared Bradford, LSU's leader in wins (10) and saves (five) last season.
Bradford, who will start Friday's game for LSU, has been named to the preseason Watch Lists for the Golden Spikes Award and for the Brooks Wallace Award.
The Hoosiers' top returning hitter is junior outfielder Andrew Means, who hit .369 in 2007 with 10 doubles, one homer and 30 RBI. Sophomore shortstop Evan Crawford batted .333 last season with 13 doubles, one homer and 30 RBI.
Friday's game versus
LSU leads its series with
"We are going to enter the games with a great deal of confidence, and we're going to get after it," Mainieri said. "I believe we are going to play well. It's very important for our team to get off to a good start so that what happens is all the things that we have been telling the players for months comes to fruition. That gives a lot of credibility to you as a coach with your players when they do what you tell them to do, and then they go out there and have success."
Friday, Feb. 22 – 7 p.m. CST; Saturday, Feb. 23 – 1 p.m. CST; Sunday, Feb. 24 – 11 a.m. CST
Alex Box Stadium (7,760) in
- LSU football coach Les Miles will throw out the ceremonial first pitch
- LSU football tight end Richard Dickson will throw out the ceremonial first pitch
- LSU baseball and football players Jared Mitchell and Chad Jones will throw out the ceremonial first pitch
LSU leads, 1-0-1 (the teams met twice in
LSU – Sr. RHP Jared Bradford (10-4, 4.41 ERA, 96.0 IP, 16 BB, 81 SO in 2007)
IU– Jr. RHP Tyler Tufts (3-9, 4.21 ERA, 87.2 IP, 17 BB, 42 SO in 2007)
LSU – Jr. RHP Jordan Brown (transfer from
IU – So. LHP Matt Bashore (4-7, 4.35 ERA, 70.2 IP, 29 BB, 50 SO in 2007)
LSU – Jr. LHP Ryan Byrd (6-2, 4.74 ERA, 68.1 IP, 21 BB, 35 SO in 2007)
IU – TBA