LSU opens Baton Rouge Regional against Southeastern - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

LSU opens Baton Rouge Regional against Southeastern

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BATON ROUGE, La. – Fourth-ranked LSU (44-14-1) opens NCAA Regional play at 2 p.m. CT Friday against Southeastern Louisiana in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

The game can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including Baton Rouge flagship WDGL-FM 98.1 FM. Live audio and stats of the game may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net, and live video will be available at ESPN3.com.

LSU, ranked No. 4 this week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, has appeared in the Top 10 of a major college baseball poll for 50 consecutive weeks.

The Tigers, champions of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, are the No. 8 National Seed in the NCAA Tournament, marking the fifth time in coach Paul Mainieri's eight seasons that LSU is a national seed.

LSU leads the nation this season in shutouts with 17, including a 2-0 victory over Florida on Sunday in the SEC Tournament championship game. The Tigers enter the NCAA Tournament riding an eight-game win streak in which LSU has outscored its opposition, 87-8.

Freshman left-hander Jared Poche' (9-3) will start Friday's game on the mound for the Tigers. Poche was named to the SEC All-Tournament team last week after defeating Vanderbilt in LSU's opening game. Poche' limited the Commodores to one run on five hits in seven innings with three strikeouts.

Southeastern Louisiana will counter with right-hander Andro Cutura, who is 10-2 this season with a1.72 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 99.2 innings.

"Sometimes you can save your second pitcher for the second or third game, but I have too much respect for Southeastern," Mainieri said. "I feel like Poche' is a good matchup for us. If he continues to pitch the way he has, then I have confidence that we will be in good shape. Southeastern is a good team, and their pitcher is really tough. Hopefully, we will swing the bats well and get a lead.

"We already played Southeastern in the middle of the week this season and didn't faced their number one starter. It will be fun to face them and their top pitcher. I'm sure their guys are really excited to face us. There was a bizarre play in the game earlier this season where the catcher threw the ball in the dugout to score a couple of runs. They haven't played in The Box this year so I don't know how they will adapt to playing in front of such a big crowd. You can throw out everything that happened in the regular season."

Junior catcher/first baseman Tyler Moore has spearheaded LSU's offensive surge, batting .448 (13-for-29) during the eight-game win streak with four doubles, three homers and 19 RBI. Sophomore shortstop Alex Bregman is hitting .417 (15-for-36) with four doubles, three homers and 13 RBI in the last eight games, and freshman outfielder Jake Fraley is batting .600 (15-for-25) during the eight-game period with one double, one homer and five RBI.

SLU, the Southland Conference tournament champion, is led at the plate by catcher Jameson Fisher, who is hitting .394 with 16 doubles, one triple and 37 RBI. Andrew Godbold is hitting .348 for the Lions with eight homers and 57 RBI.

LSU has the highest all-time NCAA Tournament winning percentage (132-51, .721), and the Tigers are appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the 27th time. LSU has an 83-19 mark in regional games, a 14-10 record in super regional games and a 35-22 mark in the College World Series. The Tigers have won 20 regional titles, six super regional titles and six College World Series championships (1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000,  2009). The Tigers are playing host to an NCAA Regional for the 22nd time since 1986, including 21 of the past 25 seasons. LSU has a 72-14 (.837) mark in NCAA Regional games at home. LSU is 25-1 in NCAA Regional opening games - the Tigers' only loss came to Houston in the 1985 Central Regional at Austin, Texas.

LSU leads the overall series with Southeastern Louisiana, 64-17, including a 7-3 win over the Lions this season (Feb. 19) in Hammond. LSU has won 18 of the last 19 meetings between the schools -- SLU's win in that stretch came in 2008, a 6-3 victory over the Tigers in the original Alex Box Stadium. LSU has a 37-3 mark against Southeastern Louisiana since 1990. LSU and SLU have met on one previous occasion in an NCAA Regional - the Tigers defeated the Lions, 10-6, in the opening game of the 1994 regional in Baton Rouge.

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