LSU starts SEC against Ole Miss on Thursday

From LSU Sports

BATON ROUGE, La. – Seventh-ranked LSU (28-9-1, 8-6-1 SEC) opens a three-game SEC series at 6:30 p.m. CT Thursday in Oxford, Miss., as the Tigers face the No. 10 Ole Miss Rebels at Swayze Field.

Game 2 of the series is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday, and first pitch for Game 3 is 1 p.m. Saturday.

The games can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including Baton Rouge flagship WDGL-FM 98.1 FM. Thursday's game may also be heard on Sirius/XM Ch. 91. Live audio and stats of the games may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at

Thursday's game will be televised by ESPNU, there is no TV for Friday's game, and Saturday's game will be televised by Fox Sports South. The games on Thursday and Saturday may be also be viewed at

LSU is in third place in the SEC Western Division with 15 conference games remaining. The Tigers trail first-place Alabama (10-5) by 1.5 games and second-place Ole Miss by 0.5 game.

LSU, winners of eight of its last nine games, defeated Southern Mississippi, 13-5, on Tuesday night, as the Tigers collected 15 hits.

"This is obviously a very important series for us as we begin the second half of the SEC schedule," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "Ole Miss appears to have the most balance of any team in our league right now, and playing them in their park is a tremendous challenge. I was encouraged by the way we swung the bats in the Southern Miss game, and I'm hoping we can carry that kind of offense into this series."

LSU all-American right-hander Aaron Nola (7-1, 0.70 ERA) will start Thursday's game on the mound for the Tigers, followed by freshman left-hander Jared Poche' (6-2, 2.54 ERA) on Friday. Saturday's LSU starting pitcher has yet to be determined.

Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco will counter with junior right-hander Chris Ellis (5-0, 1.81 ERA), sophomore left-hander Christian Trent (4-0, 2.44 ERA) and junior right-hander Sam Smith (5-2, 2.30 ERA).

LSU is No. 9 in the SEC with a 273 team batting average, the Tigers have collected 18 homers and 28 stolen bases in 42 attempts. The LSU pitching staff's ERA is 2.44, which ranks sixth in the SEC.

The Tigers are led at the plate by sophomore centerfielder Andrew Stevenson, who is hitting .376 with two doubles, four triples and 20 RBI.  Junior catcher Kade Scivicque is hitting .345 with four doubles, four homers and 24 RBI.

Ole Miss is No. 1 in the SEC with a .310 team batting average, and the Rebels have accumulated 25 homers and 66 steals in 81 attempts. The Ole Miss pitching staff's 2.19 ERA is second-best in the league.

The Rebels are led at the plate by senior infielder Austin Anderson, who is batting .356 with 12 doubles, four homers and 36 RBI. Senior catcher/infielder Will Allen is hitting .353 with 14 doubles, five homers and 40 RBI, while junior infielder Sikes Orvis has a team-high eight home runs.

LSU leads Ole Miss, 168-143, in a series that began in 1906. LSU has captured three in a row and 11 of its last 15 regular-season series with Ole Miss, including a 2-1 series victory last season in Baton Rouge. Ole Miss has won four of the last six SEC series played against LSU in Oxford; however, LSU won the series, two games to one, in 2012 in the most recent Swayze Field meeting.