Everything you need to know before LSU takes on Wofford in the Chapel Hill Regional

LSU baseball's first baseman Tommy White led the team with a .330 batting average. PHOTO BY: LSU Athletics

LSU baseball (40-21) is heading to the Chapel Hill Regional after going on a run in the SEC Tournament and the Tigers will match up with the high-powered Wofford Terriers (41-18) in game on.

It’s LSU’s 12th straight season in the NCAA Tournament and the 36th time overall. The Tigers boast the highest all-time NCAA Tournament win percentage with a 174-72 record (.707).

Despite all its regional appearances, the Chapel Hill Regional is just LSU’s ninth time on the road and its first time on the east coast. LSU has a 108-27 all-time record in regionals and a 19-10 record in road regional games.

Wofford earned its regional spot by winning its final three games in a row to claim the SoCon Tournament title and an automatic bid. The Terriers are searching for their first ever win in an NCAA Regional.

“I know that Wofford played seven games to win their conference tournament, so it’s a team that has a lot of toughness to it. That’s an impressive accomplishment,” LSU head coach Jay Johnson said.

They are led by one of the best offenses in the country. The Terriers are batting .340 this season and score over 10 runs per game. They also have 144 stolen bases this season, the seventh most of any team in DI baseball.

Wofford has seven players hitting .320 or better including five players batting over .362 and Marshall Toole leads the team with a .383 batting average, ten triples and 155 total bases. Tyler Hare leads the ream with 16 homers and Dixon Black leads the way with 75 RBI.

Wofford’s pitching staff has a 5.75 ERA and holds opponents to a .274 batting average. Zac Cowan is the team’s ace with a 3.55 era and a 9-2 record. Cowan was named D1Baseball’s Pitcher of the Week for his performances last week during the conference tournament. He pitched 13.2 innings in two starts and allowed five hits, five runs, two walks and struck out 13.

Cowan threw over 100 pitches on Sunday though and might not be available to throw in game one against the Tigers. If he can’t go, Camden Wicker has been the No. 2 pitcher for the Terriers. Wicker has a 4.14 ERA this season and a 4-3 record in nine starts. Wicker threw 98 pitches on Sunday though and might also be unavailable or on a limited pitch count.

If neither Wicker nor Cowan can pitch in game one, Wofford has limited options for a starter. Branton Little has four starts this season with a 4.76 ERA and Alec Bouchard has four starts with a 6.86 ERA.

LSU will likely go with ace Gage Jump on the mound. Jump has been lights out for the Tigers down the stretch and three seven innings and allowed just one run on four days rest against Georgia to kickstart their SEC Tournament run.

Johnson has started his ace to open the last couple NCAA Tournaments for LSU. Last season he left in Paul Skenes for all nine innings against Tulane. Jump will be coming into the tournament with over a week of rest after not throwing since last Tuesday.

LSU’s bats have been hot recently and the Tigers will be looking to continue that streak against the Terrier pitching staff that has a collective 5.75 ERA. Tommy White is now up to 24 homers on the year while batting .337 and Jared Jones leads the way with 26 homers.

After struggling with hitting earlier in the season, the Tigers now have four players in their lineup batting over .300. Freshmen Steven Milam and Ashton Larson are included in that group as well as shortstop Michael Braswell III. Milam belted the game winning homer in extra innings to send LSU to the SEC championship game.

After only having one grand slam heading into the final regular season series of the season LSU has quadrupled that number since then. White had one against Ole Miss, one against Kentucky and Jones hit another one against the Wildcats to bring the total to four on the season.

“What I like about our team is we have a mindset relative to confidence and belief that is stronger than it’s been all season,” Johnson said. “Our players had to win to earn it, and they did; they’ve won a lot lately. Having 40 wins before the NCAA Tournament starts, that’s a good accomplishment. I think we have a brand of baseball now where the pitching dynamic is good, and the at-bats have certainly gotten better. I feel like we have an identity and we have the confidence, and that’s what makes us tough to play.”

LSU and Wofford will start at 11 a.m. and will be televised on ESPNU. The winner will play on Saturday at 4 p.m. and the loser will play at 11 a.m.

author avatar
Will Nickel

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


ten ÷ one =