Is No. 2 LSU Baseball Struggling Offensively? The Numbers Tell a Story

Tommy White
Tommy White PHOTO By Jonathan Mailhes

No. 2 LSU baseball dropped its second game of the season and struggled to get much out of its offense in a 2-1 loss to Xavier.

LSU’s one run came courtesy of a Xavier error and the Tigers managed just five hits on the day. They went 1-for-21 with runners on base and didn’t record a single hit with runners in scoring position during the game. Jared Jones was the only Tiger to record an extra base hit.

LSU has shown that it’s capable of putting up numbers on offense this season, but it has failed to do it consistently. LSU scored eleven runs in its opening game of the season and set the school record for singles in the game in a 27-5 run-rule win just two days later.

LSU is batting average is sixth best in the SEC at .305 this season. The conference average is .304. The Tigers’ slugging percentage sits at .490 which is tied for 10th place in the conference alongside South Carolina. The only teams that trail LSU in slugging percentage are Arkansas, Mississippi State and Kentucky.

LSU’s 19 home runs this season come in as the 11th most of any SEC school. Georgia leads the way with 48 homers and the only teams with less than LSU are Arkansas, Mississippi State and Kentucky.

LSU’s OPS, which combines on base percentage with slugging percentage, is .926 this season which ranks 10th best in the conference. Georgia leads the way with a 1.161 OPS and the conference average is .972. 

LSU’s top hitter this season is freshman Steven Milam with a .382 batting average. He has the 12th best batting average of any player in the SEC. The Tigers’ top player in OPS is Jones with a 1.112. Jones OPS ranks 35th in the conference. Jones also leads LSU with 5 homers.

Tommy White batted .374 last season and led the team in home runs and RBI, but this season he’s hitting .311 and has just two homers through the first few weeks of the season. 

Pitching stole the show for much of the weekend against Xavier and has for most of the season for LSU.

LSU has two starting pitchers that have yet to give up an earned run this season in Gage Jump and Luke Holman. Kade Anderson has a 0.64 ERA and Thatcher Hurd has improved each week since his rough start to the season to get his ERA down to 4.76.

LSU also has a deep bullpen to supplement its starters. Gavin Guidry has a 1.35 ERA this season in seven appearances and Fidel Ulloa has posted a 1.23 ERA through 7.1 innings pitched. Sam Dutton, Nate Ackenhausen, Griffin Herring and Justin Loer have all contributed from the bullpen this season.

LSU leads the SEC in strikeouts and is holding opposing batters to a .210 batting average – the second-best mark in the conference. 

The Tigers’ 3.11 ERA is fifth best in the conference and they have given up the second least amount of home runs this season. LSU gave up just three earned runs in the series against Xavier.

If the Tigers’ want to continue to beat teams when SEC play starts this weekend against Mississippi State, they might have to lean on their pitching staff more than most expected.

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