LSU opens SEC play at Vanderbilt - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

LSU opens SEC play at Vanderbilt

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From LSU Sports

BATONROUGE, La. – No. 3 LSU (16-2, 0-0 SEC) travels to Nashville, Tenn. this weekendfor a three-game Southeastern Conference series against fourth-rankedVanderbilt (16-2, 0-0 SEC) at Hawkins Field.

Game1 is set for 6:30 p.m. CT Friday, Game 2 begins at 2:15 p.m. CT Saturday, andfirst pitch for Game 3 is 1 p.m. CT Sunday.

Thegames can be heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, includingflagship WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge. Live audio and stats of the games may beaccessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.

"We'redefinitely not easing into the SEC schedule, are we?" said LSU coach PaulMainieri. "A matchup of two Top 5 teams to start SEC play in front of sell-outcrowds; we're definitely excited about this opportunity. I like the way ourteam is coming together and we're looking forward to competing at a high levelthis weekend."

Mainierisaid junior right-hander Aaron Nola (4-0) will start Friday's game for theTigers, while Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin will counter with junior right-handerTyler Beede (4-0) in a duel of potential first-round draft selections.

"Therewill be numerous professional scouts at Friday's game, and maybe even someMajor League Baseball general managers," Mainieri said. "It's a tremendousmatchup between two of the best pitchers in the country."

LSUhas won seven straight games entering the Vanderbilt series. The Tigers arehitting .316 (68-for-215) during the win streak with 16 doubles, three triplesand two homers. LSU's staff ERA during the win streak is 1.43 with a .200opponent batting average.

TheTigers are led at the plate by junior catcher Kade Scivicque and sophomorecenterfielder Andrew Stevenson, who are each batting .435 on the year.Scivicque has collected two doubles, one homer and nine RBI. Stevenson, whoenters the Vanderbilt series riding a 15-game hitting streak, has four triplesand 10 RBI.

Sophomoreshortstop Alex Bregman has reached base safely in all 18 games this season, theonly LSU player to accomplish the feat. He is hitting .419 this season with sixdoubles, one homer, 14 RBI, 12 runs and six stolen bases.

Vanderbiltis batting .289 as team with four homers and 25 steals in 40 attempts. Freshmanoutfielder Bryan Reynolds is hitting .358 with nine doubles, one triple, onehomer and 15 RBI, while sophomore infielder Zander Wiel is batting .333 withseven doubles, one triple, one homer and 11 RBI.

LSUhas a 53-38 all-time mark against Vanderbilt, including a 5-4, 11-inningvictory over the Commodores in the championship game of the 2013 SEC Tournamentin Hoover, Ala. Vanderbilt has won the last five regular-season series betweenthe schools and has a 12-3 mark in those contests. LSU's last SEC seriesvictory over the Commodores came in Nashville in 2005, when the Tigers won twoof three games.

LSU,however, has won four of its last five SEC Tournament games against Vanderbilt,beginning with the second round of the 2008 tournament. The Tigers defeated theCommodores in SEC Tournament championship games in 2009 and 2013.

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