LSU won two of three games over ninth-ranked Florida last weekend, taking sole possession of first place in the overall SEC standings. LSU won an SEC series over a Top 10 team for the second straight week, as the Tigers defeated No. 7 Arkansas in two of three games May 2-3.
The Tigers are ranked No. 2 this week by Baseball America and by Collegiate Baseball, and LSU is No. 3 in the USA Today/ESPN poll.
LSU enters the final weekend of SEC regular-season play with a half-game lead over Alabama and a one-game lead over Florida and Ole Miss in the league standings. The Tigers travel to Mississippi State this weekend seeking their first SEC regular-season title since 2003.
The Tigers’ series win over Florida marked LSU’s eighth in nine SEC weekends this season. LSU has won 12 of its last 13 league series, dating back to last season
“I’m glad we’ve got a game against a very good Centenary club before we go to Mississippi State,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Centenary has had an excellent year, including a win over Arkansas, so we’ll definitely need to be ready to play Tuesday night. Everything we want to accomplish is in front of us, and it starts with the challenge we’ll face from Centenary.”
Mainieri said sophomore right-hander Daniel Bradshaw (3-0, 4.40 ERA) will start Tuesday’s game on the mound for the Tigers. Bradshaw, a native of West Monroe, La., will make his third start of the season and his first since March 7 versus Illinois.
Centenary coach Ed McCann will counter Tuesday night with senior right-hander Joe Hagen (1-1, 6.66 ERA).
LSU junior designated hitter Blake Dean batted .417 (5-for-12) in the Florida series with one double, one homer and four RBI to help lead the Tigers to the series victory. Junior second baseman DJ LeMahieu also batted .417 (5-for-12) against the Gators with two doubles, one homer, three RBI and three runs.
Junior leftfielder Ryan Schimpf increased his team-best home run total to 16 on the year with two solo shots against the Gators.
The LSU-Florida series drew 24,479 fans, representing the largest three-game actual attendance total in LSU baseball history. Saturday’s contest set a single-game school record when 9,131 fans witnessed the Tigers’ win over the Gators in Alex Box Stadium.
LSU’s paid attendance figure of 343,380 through 36 home games this season is also a school record. The Tigers’ paid attendance average is 9,538 per contest.
LSU’s previous high for paid attendance in one season was 318,798, set in 2008.
Centenary is hitting .322 on the year with 30 homers and 55 stolen bases. The Gents are led by junior outfielder Travis Leverson (.403, 4 HR, 37 RBI), junior infielder Tell Ross (.363, 7 HR, 49 RBI) and junior Michael Tompkins (.361, 5 HR, 41 RBI).
LSU leads the overall series with Centenary, 29-8-1, including a 6-0 win over the Gents last season in Baton Rouge.
Centenary (31-14) at #2 LSU (38-14)
Tuesday, May 12 – 6:30 p.m. CT
Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. (9,200)
LSU - No. 2 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 2 by Baseball America, No. 3 by USA Today/ESPN
Centenary – unranked
LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates
The Baton Rouge affiliate is WDGL 98.1 FM
www.LSUsports.net – live video, audio and stats in the Geaux Zone.
LSU leads, 29-8-1 (teams first met in 1895)
LSU – So. RH Daniel Bradshaw (3-0, 4.40 ERA, 30.2 IP, 9 BB, 23 SO)
CC – Sr. RH Joe Hagen (1-1, 6.66 ERA, 25.2 IP, 13 BB, 10 SO)