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Top-ranked LSU (4-0) completes its seven-game season-opening homestand this weekend as the Tigers play host to UCF (2-2) in Alex Box Stadium.

LSU has opened the 2009 season with four straight victories, including a three-game sweep of Villanova last weekend and an 11-5 win over Southern Wednesday night. LSU has won 20 consecutive regular-season games, dating back to last season.


The Tigers look to begin a season 5-0 for the first time since 2005, when LSU won its first seven games.


UCF (2-2) opened its season with a four-game series split with Virginia Commonwealth in Orlando, Fla. The Knights are coached by Terry Rooney, LSU’s pitching coach in 2007 and 2008 under Paul Mainieri. UCF assistant coach Cliff Godwin served as LSU’s hitting coach the previous two seasons.


“We’re very pleased to welcome Terry and Cliff back to Baton Rouge this weekend,” Mainieri said. “They played vital roles in the success we enjoyed, especially in reaching the College World Series last season. It’s tough for me to coach against friends, but we know we have a job to do and we have to be at our best against a very good UCF club.”


Mainieri said sophomore right-hander Anthony Ranaudo (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will start Friday’s game on the mound for LSU. Sophomore right-hander Daniel Bradshaw (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will be the Tigers’ starter on Saturday, and sophomore right-hander Austin Ross (1-0, 1.50 ERA is LSU’s Game 3 starter on Sunday.


“Before the season began, those are the three guys we thought would emerge as our weekend starters,” Mainieri said. “We’re excited to see how they perform against an excellent level of competition.”


Rooney will counter with senior right-hander Kyle Sweat (1-0, 0.00 ERA) on Friday and junior right-hander Austin Hudson (0-0, 9.00 ERA) on Saturday. The Knights will announce their Sunday starter after Saturday’s game.


LSU has been led at the plate through its first four games by junior second baseman Ryan Schimpf, who is hitting .643 (9-for-14) with three doubles, one homer, seven RBI and four runs. Sophomore shortstop DJ LeMahieu is batting .571 (8-for-14) with one double, three triples, four RBI and four runs.


LSU enters Friday’s game batting .338 (47-for-139) as a team with seven home runs and 15 stolen bases in four games.


Junior infielder/outfielder Chris Duffy is batting .375 (6-for-16) for UCF with one homer and five RBI, and senior infielder Eric Kallstrom is also batting .375 (6-for-16) with three doubles and one RBI.


The Knights are hitting .317 (45-for-142) as a team with seven homers and two stolen bases on the year.


LSU leads the overall series with UCF, 13-4, and the teams last met in 2007, when the Tigers won two of three games in Baton Rouge. Mainieri has a 5-2 career mark against UCF.


UCF Knights (2-2) at #1 LSU Fighting Tigers (4-0)



Friday, February 27 – 7 p.m. CT; Saturday, February 28 – 2 p.m. CT; Sunday, March 1 – 1 p.m. CT



Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. (9,200)



LSU - No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball and USA Today/ESPN; No. 2 by Baseball America

UCF - unranked



·         LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates

·         The Baton Rouge affiliate is WDGL 98.1 FM

·         Pregame show starts at 6:45 p.m.



www.LSUsports.net – live video, audio and stats






LSU leads, 13-4



Game 1

LSU – So. RHP Anthony Ranaudo (1-0, 1.80 ERA, 5 IP, 2 BB, 7 SO)

UCF – Sr. RHP Kyle Sweat (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5 IP, 1 BB, 7 SO)


Game 2

LSU – So. RHP Daniel Bradshaw (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 IP, 0 BB, 5 SO)

UCF – Jr. RHP Austin Hudson (0-0, 9.00 ERA, 4 IP, 0  BB, 0 SO)


Game 3

LSU – So. RHP Austin Ross (1-0, 1.50 ERA, 6 IP, 1 BB, 4 SO)


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