LSU, the NCAA Tournament No. 3 national seed, enters Saturday’s game riding a 10-game win streak. The Tigers dropped a first-round SEC Tournament game on May 20 to Vanderbilt, but have since won 10 in a row to capture SEC Tournament, NCAA Regional and NCAA Super Regional titles.
LSU has a 117-44 (.727) all-time record in the NCAA Tournament and owns the highest winning percentage in tournament history.
The Tigers are making their 15th College World Series appearance and their second in a row – LSU is 30-19 (.612) at the CWS with five national titles (1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000).
LSU is seeking to win its opening game in the College World Series for the first time since 2000. The Tigers are 0-3 in their last three CWS openers.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri said sophomore right-hander Anthony Ranaudo (10-3, 2.95 ERA) will start for the Tigers on Saturday versus Virginia.
UVA coach Brian O’Connor, who served as Mainieri’s top assistant at Notre Dame for nine seasons (1995-2003), will counter with freshman left-hander Danny Hultzen (9-1, 2.09 ERA).
“We are honored to be here for the second year in a row,” Mainieri said. “I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished this season – we have the most wins in the country and we are the champions of the Southeastern Conference.
“I still feel like we can be better – we beat a great Rice team in the Super Regional last week, but I didn’t feel we played our best. If we can put it all together over the next two weeks, we have a chance to do something special.”
Ranaudo pitched the Tigers to a win last Friday in Game 1 of the Super Regional versus Rice, limiting the Owls to one earned run on five hits in 7.2 innings with no walks and nine strikeouts.
Ranaudo, a second-team all-SEC selection, has accumulated 147 strikeouts, the most by a league pitcher this season.
The Tigers enter the CWS hitting .315 as a team with 94 homers and 111 stolen bases. Sophomore second baseman DJ LeMahieu, the second-round selection this week by the Chicago Cubs in the MLB Draft, is batting .340 on the year with 12 doubles, three triples, four homers and 39 RBI.
Second-team all-conference outfielder Ryan Schimpf is hitting .335 with 17 doubles, one triple, 19 homers and 63 RBI, and first-team all-SEC designated hitter Blake Dean is batting .333 with 16 doubles, 15 homers and 65 RBI.
Schimpf was the fifth-round draft choice of the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this week, while Dean was selected in the 10th round by the Minnesota Twins.
Virginia, champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, won two of three games at Ole Miss last weekend in the Super Regional to advance to the CWS for the first time in school history. The Cavaliers, who have won 10 of their last 11 games, are hitting .327 as a team with 55 homers and 116 stolen bases.
The Cavaliers are led by sophomore outfielder Dan Grovatt, who is hitting .365 with eight doubles, four triples, seven homers and 50 RBI. Sophomore outfielder Jarrett Parker is batting .364 with 19 doubles, seven triples, 16 homers and 65 RBI, and freshman infielder Steven Proscia is hitting .332 with 20 doubles, two triples, nine homers and 57 RBI.
LSU leads the all-time series with Virginia, 3-0, as the Tigers swept the Cavaliers in a three-game series to open the 2000 season in Baton Rouge.
# 5 Virginia (48-13-1) vs. # 1 LSU (51-16)
Saturday, June 13 -- 6 p.m. CT
Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb.
· LSU - No. 1 by Baseball America; No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball; No. 1 by NCBWA
· UVA – No. 5 by Baseball America; No. 6 by Collegiate Baseball; No. 6 by NCBWA
· LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates
· The Baton Rouge affiliate is WDGL 98.1 FM
www.LSUsports.net – live audio and stats
Saturday’s game will be televised by ESPN
LSU leads the series with Virginia, 3-0. The Tigers swept a three-game series with the Cavaliers to open the 2000 season at the original Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge.
LSU–So. RHP Anthony Ranaudo (10-3, 2.95 ERA, 109.2 IP, 41 BB, 147 K)
UVA–Fr. LHP Danny Hultzen (9-1, 2.09 ERA, 86.0 IP, 27 BB, 95 K)