From LSU Sports
BATON ROUGE, La. – The 2013 LSU baseball squad takes the field for the first time at 4 p.m. Sunday, as the Tigers begin their six-week fall practice period in Alex Box Stadium.
The fall practice session continues through November 5. All workouts in Alex Box Stadium are open to the public.
The Tigers have engaged for the last month in strength and conditioning drills and individual workouts on the field. The 2013 season begins on February 15, when the Tigers play host to Maryland in Alex Box Stadium.
LSU, the reigning Southeastern Conference champion, was the No. 7 National Seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament and fell just one win shy of reaching the College World Series.
"In a lot of ways we overachieved last year," said seventh-year LSU coach Paul Mainieri, a three-time National Coach of the Year. "We came so close to realizing all of our goals; however, we recognize there are areas in which we need to improve and we're confident that we're heading in the right direction."
The 2013 Tigers feature 20 returning lettermen, including senior outfielder Raph Rhymes, the 2012 SEC Player of the Year, senior all-SEC outfielder/first baseman Mason Katz and sophomore pitcher Aaron Nola, a 2012 first-team Freshman all-American.
LSU has 10 position players with starting experience and nine pitchers that recorded innings last season.
Along with Rhymes and Katz, returning everyday players include junior second baseman JaCoby Jones, junior catcher Ty Ross and sophomore infielder Tyler Moore.
Nola is joined on the pitching staff by a stable of seasoned veterans including senior left-handers Chris Cotton and Brent Bonvillain; senior right-handers Joey Bourgeois and Kevin Berry; and junior right-handers Ryan Eades, Kurt McCune and Nick Rumbelow.
The LSU veterans are complemented by a talented class of 15 newcomers, including two players that were selected in the 2012 Major League Draft.
"We are very excited to see what kind of impact this class will make upon our program," Mainieri said. "I truly believe we've addressed our needs in all phases of the game, and I know our fans will enjoy watching these young men perform in Alex Box Stadium."