LSU baseball to host Georgia this weekend

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 7:40pm

No. 6 LSU (18-4, 1-2 SEC) opens a three-game Southeastern Conference series at 7 p.m. Friday as the Tigers play host to Georgia in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

Game 2 starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, and first pitch for Game 3 is 12 p.m. Sunday.

The games can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including Baton Rouge flagship WDGL-FM 98.1 FM. The games on Friday and Saturday will be televised by Cox Sports Television.

Live video, audio and stats of the games may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at

LSU opened SEC play last weekend by dropping two of three games at No. 3 Vanderbilt. Georgia lost two of three at home to Mississippi State last weekend in its initial league series.

LSU’s 9-0 victory over South Alabama on Wednesday marked the Tigers’ eighth shutout of the season. The LSU record for most shutouts in a season is 10 by the 1996 national championship club.

The Bulldogs are guided by first-year coach Scott Stricklin, who led Kent State to the College World Series in 2012.

“The state of Georgia produces tremendous baseball talent every year, and Georgia’s team always has excellent players,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “The talent combined with the hard-nosed style of Coach Stricklin makes Georgia an outstanding ball club. This weekend presents a huge challenge to our players that I know they’re looking forward to, especially playing at home.”

Mainieri said junior right-hander Aaron Nola (4-0) will start Friday’s game for the Tigers, while Stricklin will counter with sophomore left-hander Ryan Lawlor (2-1).

Nola tied his career high with 12 strikeouts in last Friday’s win at Vanderbilt. Nola was not involved in the decision of a classic pitchers’ duel with Vanderbilt’s Tyler Beede, but he limited the Commodores to one run on six hits in 6.2 innings with two walks and 12 Ks.

Nola allowed an earned run in the second inning of Friday’s game, ending a streak of 54 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. He had last given up an earned run on May 23, 2013 against Arkansas in the SEC Tournament.

LSU is No. 7 in the SEC with a .288 team batting average, and the Tigers are fifth in the league with a 1.97 team ERA. Georgia is sixth in team batting average (.289) and 14th in team ERA (4.23).

The Tigers are led at the plate by junior catcher Kade Scivicque, who is hitting .400 with two doubles, two homers and 12 RBI. Sophomore centerfielder Andrew Stevenson is batting .390 with four triples and 14 RBI, while sophomore shortstop Alex Bregman is hitting .359 with six doubles, one homer and 14 RBI.

Junior outfielder/third baseman Hunter Cole is Georgia’s leading hitter, batting .360 with eight doubles, one homer and 14 RBI. Junior outfielder Conor Welton is hitting .314 with one homer and 10 RBI, and junior infielder Nelson Ward and sophomore catcher Zack Bowers have each collected seven doubles and two homers.

LSU leads the all-time series with Georgia, 60-22-2, including a 2-1 series victory the last time the teams met on April 27-29, 2012 in Baton Rouge. LSU has won seven of its last nine SEC regular-season series versus UGA. LSU has a 9-7-1 advantage over the Bulldogs in games played over the past six seasons, which includes two wins over the Bulldogs in the 2009 SEC Tournament.



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