Baseball Scouting Report: LSU

Vanderbilt (24-24, 11-13) travels to Baton Rouge to face an LSU team (38-11, 16-8) that is in contention with Kentucky and South Carolina for a SEC regular season championship.

TEAMFRIDAY (7:00 p.m. CT)
SATURDAY (7:00 p.m. CT)
SUNDAY (1:00 p.m. CT)
LSU So. RHP Kevin Gausman (7-1, 3.16 ERA Fr. RHP Aaron Nola (6-2, 3.90 ERA)So. RHP Ryan Eades (5-2, 3.62 ERA)
VanderbiltSo. RHP T.J. Pecoraro (0-3, 5.40 ERA)Jr. LHP Sam Selman (7-3, 4.25 ERA) Fr. RHP Tyler Beede (1-4, 4.14 ERA)

The Tigers are 29-5 in Baton Rouge this year and traveling to Alex Box Stadium is no easy task. Coach Corbin went as far to say, "You take their ball club and you put them in that stadium, they're three runs better right off the bat."

Last weekend in Oxford the Tigers came away with a 4-3 victory that was capped off by designated hitter Grant Dozar's RBI single in the top of the 13th inning. Dozar also tied the game at 3-3 in the eighth with a solo shot homer. Saturday saw Ole Miss come back from a 4-1 deficit to win 7-4 and even the series. Sunday night second baseman JaCoby Jones led the Tigers with five RBI's and two runs in a 12-3 rout that won JaCoby SEC Player of the Week for his 7-for-14, seven RBIs performance.

LSU has suffered only two SEC series losses which came at Kentucky and Auburn, in a series that saw all three games victors win by no more than one run. The Tigers also swept Arkansas, Alabama, and took a series on the road against the Gators.

Left fielder Raph Rhymes leads college baseball with a .500 batting average and a remarkable .512 against SEC opponents. The junior is considered one of the top hitters in next year's draft.

Freshman Jared Foster has already won an SEC Championship in football as a backup quarterback. The utility man is batting .226 this year with 13 RBIs. Sophomore catcher Ty Ross is hitting .305 and with three homes runs and a triple.

First baseman/outfielder Mason Katz leads the Tigers with nine homers, 14 doubles and 52 runs, and holds a .331 batting average. Katz won a National Player of the Week award for reaching safely 17 straight times while batting .684 in a stretch that included three home runs, eight RBI and 12 runs scored.

Shortstop Austin Nola also has some hitting power with four home runs and a .295 batting average. Senior third baseman Tyler Hanover is hitting .288 with nine doubles and 22 RBIs.

LSU has a set of starters and a bullpen that are hard to find any holes in with a team ERA of 3.25. Righty closer Nick Goody has 36 strikeouts in 25.1 innings and nine saves on the season.

Ace Kevin Gausman (7-1, 3.16 ERA) leads the SEC 101 strikeouts. The right-handed sophomore worked 7.2 innings in the Tigers 13-inning victory over Ole Miss.

Freshman Aaron Nola (6-2, 3.90 ERA) threw seven innings against Ole Miss Saturday. He has 57 strikeouts on the year and just six walks.

Projected Sunday starter Ryan Eades (5-2, 3.62 ERA) held Alabama to just two hits through 7.1 innings in his SEC Pitcher of the Week performance.

LSU did not play a midweek game after their series win over Ole Miss. After hosting the 'Dores this week, the Tigers host Nicholls State University at home before traveling to South Carolina in a match-up that will impact the SEC regular season championship.

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