LSU announces its 2021 baseball schedule

LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri's Tigers open the 2021 season vs. Air Force on Feb. 19 in Alex Box Stadium.

Like every other college coach in every sport dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri’s favorite new word is “adjusting.”

As in “adjusting the start of practice because there are too many players in quarantine” or “adjusting the regular season schedule is far from over.”

“Adjusting is the key word,” Mainieri said. “Those teams that can adjust, be flexible and not make excuses are going to be the ones that end up succeeding.”

After plenty of phone calls of who’s in and who’s out, Mainieri released the Tigers’ 2021 56-game schedule with crossed fingers on Tuesday.

LSU has 26 non-conference games, including at least one against all 11 NCAA Division 1 teams in the state of Louisiana. The Tigers play Southern and Louisiana Tech twice each as well as one game each Louisiana-Lafayette, New Orleans, Tulane, McNeese State, Nicholls State, Southeastern, Louisiana-Monroe, Northwestern State and Grambling.

The Tigers open the season with 18 consecutive non-conference games, starting with the Feb. 19 season opener against Air Force.

LSU has a 30-game SEC schedule with three-game home series vs. Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Arkansas and Alabama and three-game away series at Tennessee, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Auburn and Texas A&M.

“We had three schools cancel on us from our original schedule,” Mainieri said. “We replaced a three-game series with Illinois by scheduling Texas-San Antonio. Army had to cancel out of the first weekend, so we replaced them with Louisiana Tech. Lamar canceled a midweek game, so we scheduled a second game with Southern.

“Oral Roberts is solid, but I’m still a tad bit nervous about Cal-Riverside the second weekend of season.”

Because of COVID-19, the NCAA is allowing an extra year of eligibility and has expanded roster sizes. LSU has a 38-man roster including 21 pitchers (16 right handers, 5 left handers).

“We actually have one of the smaller rosters in the league,” Mainieri said. “Some coaches had as many as 55 or 60 players in the fall. I can’t, that’s why I don’t do it. If you can’t find a good team with 40 players, then shame on you.”

LSU has not announced attendance policy for home games. Like other LSU sporting events starting with football in the fall, it’s likely only 25 percent of capacity (2,581) will be allowed in 10,326-seat Alex Box Stadium.

Here’s the 2021 schedule:

19 (Fri.) AIR FORCE 7 p.m.
20 (Sat.) NOTRE DAME 7 p.m.
21 (Sun.) LOUISIANA TECH 3 p.m.
23 (Tue.) SOUTHERN 6:30 p.m.
24 (Wed.) at UL Lafayette 6 p.m.
26 (Fri.) UC RIVERSIDE 7 p.m.
27 (Sat.) UC RIVERSIDE 3 p.m.
28 (Sun.) UC RIVERSIDE 2 p.m.
3 (Wed.) NICHOLLS 6:30 p.m.
5 (Fri.) ORAL ROBERTS 7 p.m.
6 (Sat.) ORAL ROBERTS 3 p.m.
7 (Sun.) ORAL ROBERTS 1 p.m.
9 (Tue.) TEXAS SOUTHERN 6:30 p.m.
10 (Tue.) at New Orleans 6:30 p.m.
12 (Fri.) UT SAN ANTONIO 7 p.m.
13 (Sat.) UT SAN ANTONIO 6:30 p.m.
14 (Sun.) UT SAN ANTONIO 1 p.m.
19 (Fri.) MISSISSIPPI STATE 7 p.m.
20 (Sat.) MISSISSIPPI STATE 6:30 p.m.
21 (Sun.) MISSISSIPPI STATE 2 p.m.
23 (Tue.) at Tulane 6 p.m.
26 (Fri.) at Tennessee 5:30 p.m.
27 (Sat.) at Tennessee 5 p.m.
28 (Sun.) at Tennessee 12 p.m.
30 (Tue.) SOUTH ALABAMA 6:30 p.m.
1 (Thu.) VANDERBILT 6:30 p.m.
2 (Fri.) VANDERBILT 7 p.m.
3 (Sat.) VANDERBILT 2 p.m.
6 (Tue.) McNEESE STATE 6:30 p.m.
9 (Fri.) at Kentucky 5:30 p.m.
10 (Sat.) at Kentucky 1 p.m.
11 (Sun.) at Kentucky 12 p.m.
13 (Tue.) GRAMBLING STATE 6:30 p.m.
16 (Fri.) SOUTH CAROLINA 7 p.m.
17 (Sat.) SOUTH CAROLINA 6:30 p.m.
18 (Sun.) SOUTH CAROLINA 2 p.m.
20 (Tue.) UL MONROE 6:30 p.m.
23 (Fri.) at Ole Miss 6:30 p.m.
24 (Sat.) at Ole Miss 4 p.m.
25 (Sun.) at Ole Miss 1:30 p.m.
30 (Fri.) ARKANSAS 7 p.m.
1 (Sat.) ARKANSAS 6:30 p.m.
2 (Sun.) ARKANSAS 2 p.m.
4 (Tue.) SOUTHERN 6:30 p.m.
7 (Fri.) at Auburn 6 p.m.
8 (Sat.) at Auburn 2 p.m.
9 (Sun.) at Auburn 1 p.m.
11 (Tue.) LOUISIANA TECH 6:30 p.m.
14 (Fri.) ALABAMA 7 p.m.
15 (Sat.) ALABAMA 6:30 p.m.
16 (Sun.) ALABAMA 2 p.m.
18 (Tue.) NORTHWESTERN STATE 6:30 p.m.
20 (Thu.) at Texas A&M 6:30 p.m.
21 (Fri.) at Texas A&M 6:30 p.m.
22 (Sat.) at Texas A&M 2 p.m.

25-30 (Tue.-Sun.) SEC Tournament Hoover, Ala.
4-7 (Fri.-Mon.) NCAA Regional Sites TBA
11-13/12-14 (Thu.-Mon.) NCAA Super Regional Sites TBA
19-29/30 (Sat.-Wed.) College World Series Omaha, Neb.

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