No. 11 nationally ranked LSU baseball faces a second straight weekend of three games against two teams in Alex Box Stadium.
The 3-1 Tigers play Youngstown State 7 p.m. Friday night and again at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon before taking on Nicholls at 6:30 p.m. Saturday night.
After struggling offensively in a 1-1 split against Air Force last weekend, LSU scored 27 runs on 28 hits in its past two games combined with wins over Louisiana Tech on Monday and UL Lafayette on Wednesday.
Freshman right fielder Dylan Crews leads LSU in hitting with a .444 average, two homers and 3 RBIs. Left fielder Gavin Dugas is at .333 with 6 RBIs. Shortstop Zach Arnold is also hitting .333 with five RBIs.
The Tigers are hoping to keep their bats hot, but LSU coach Paul Manieri said Youngstown’s two left-handed starting pitchers, especially Colin Clark, will present some challenges.
“I’m expecting a hard-nosed, Northern school to come down here with good left-handed pitchers, which presents its own challenges,” Mainieri said. “They’ll compete really hard, and we’ll have some very good ball games.”
Nicholls needs no introduction to Tigers, who won their last 28 of 31 over the Colonels, But last Feb. 19 in Thibodaux, Nicholls won 4-2.
“Nicholls beat us last season in Thibodaux, so it goes without saying we won’t be taking them lightly,” Mainieri said. “In fact, their starting pitcher Saturday night (Tyler Theriot) is the guy who pitched so well against us last year and beat us.”
In a unique twist, Youngstown State (1-3) is set to play at Nicholls (1-2) on Friday afternoon and then bus to LSU for the Friday night game.
The Penguins are hitting .230 as a team with five home runs. YSU is led offensively by junior infielder Phillip Glasser, who is batting .313 with two doubles, two steals and two runs scored.
Nicholls, which dropped two of three games last weekend to Eastern Illinois in a season-opening home series, is batting .235 as a team with one home run. The Colonels are led at the plate by former LSU outfielder Wes Toups, who is hitting .385 with one double, one homer and three RBI.
YSU at LSU (Game 1, Friday 7 p.m.)
LSU – Jr. RH Jaden Hill (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 4.0 IP, 0 BB, 5 SO)
YSU – LH Colin Clark (0-1, 15.43 ERA, 4.2 IP, 1 BB, 4 SO)
YSU at LSU (Game 2, Saturday 2 p.m.)
LSU – Jr. RH AJ Labas (0-0, 13.50 ERA, 3.1 IP, 1 BB, 8 SO)
YSU – LH Collin Floyd (0-1, 7.94 ERA, 5.2 IP, 2 BB, 4 SO)
Nicholls at LSU (Game 3, Saturday 6:30 p.m.)
LSU – Jr. RH Landon Marceaux (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 5.0 IP, 0 BB, 4 SO)
NICH – So. LH Tyler Theriot (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.1 IP, 0 BB, 0 SO)