LSU has won nine of its last 10 games, including a 2-1 series victory over Stetson last weekend in Alex Box Stadium. The Tigers open Southeastern Conference play Friday at
"This game represents our final chance to play before we go to
Mainieri said junior left-hander Ryan Byrd (1-0, 7.36) will start on the mound for the Tigers. Byrd pitched masterfully in last Wednesday's win over Michigan State, holding the Spartans to one unearned run on four hits in five innings with no walks and two strikeouts.
SLU coach Jay Artigues is expected to counter with senior lefty Rene' LeBlanc (0-1, 3.46 ERA).
Sunday's 7-2 LSU loss to Stetson ended a nine-game win streak, the longest streak by the Tigers since the 2006 club also won nine in a row prior to the start of Southeastern Conference play.
LSU has 20 homers in 13 games this season – the Tigers had just 40 homers in 56 games in 2007.
Hollander's two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning was the game-winning hit in LSU's 5-3 victory over
Sophomore second baseman Ryan Schimpf batted .462 (6-for-13) in the three-game Stetson series with one double, two homers, two RBI and four runs. Schimpf, the Tigers' lead-off hitter, opened the bottom of the first inning with a home run in consecutive games (March 8 and 9).
Schimpf is LSU's overall leading hitter this season, batting .404 (19-for-47) with four doubles, one triple, three homers, five RBI and 16 runs.
Freshman shortstop DJ LeMahieu batted .412 (7-for-17) last week with one double and six RBI. He drew two walks, had one steal and recorded a .474 on-base percentage. LeMahieu also posted a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage with 17 chances.
Freshman right-hander Daniel Bradshaw picked up a win and a save last week – he earned a save on Saturday versus Stetson by working two scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Bradshaw recorded his first career LSU win on March 4 versus
In 3.1 innings of work in his two appearances last week, Bradshaw allowed no runs on one hit with no walks and six strikeouts.
The Tigers hold a 57-16 series advantage over