LSU baseball heads into ‘must-win’ game against Grambling State

LSU baseball heads into a midweek game with Grambling State before No. 1 Texas A&M comes to town. PHOTO BY: LSU Athletics

LSU baseball is coming off its second SEC series win of the season, but after dropping Sunday’s game to Auburn, head coach Jay Johnson said the Tigers can’t afford to lose any more games with Grambling State coming to town.

“Tuesday is must-win game, there’s no question about that,” Johnson said. “We’ll get ready to roll and prepare for a very good Grambling team, and then we have the No. 1 team in the country (Texas A&M) coming in this weekend. I hope our fans will come out and support us all week. Our guys are still invested in each other and invested in winning baseball games.”

LSU (28-17, 7-14 SEC) has never lost to Grambling and is 12-0 all time. LSU first played Grambling in 2009 when it won 17-5 in seven innings at Alex Box.

LSU is on a hot streak having won its last two SEC series and its midweek game against Nicholls, but the Tigers have yet to manage an SEC sweep this season. They had a shot at a sweep on Sunday but surrendered five runs in the first inning and were unable to comeback from the early hole.

Grambling has an 8.08 cumulative ERA this season while holding opposing batters to a .283 batting average and has recorded 253 strikeouts in 318.2 innings pitched. Carlos Peguero could be in contention to start after not pitching this last weekend. Peguero has a 10.33 ERA on the season in 10 starts and has pitched in several midweek games.

LSU has a cumulative 4.38 ERA this season and holds opposing batters to a .229 batting average.

LSU has thrown freshman Kade Anderson during most of its midweek games, but he started Sunday’s loss to Auburn and will be unavailable. Thatcher Hurd could be available after throwing just three pitches on Saturday. Hurd has a 6.47 ERA this season and his last start came in LSU’s 6-3 win over New Orleans.

Grambling is 18-22 on the season but has a 15-6 mark in conference play. It’s coming off a 2-1 series win over Texas Southern University. Grambling recorded a walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth inning on Sunday to claim the series.

Grambling has a strong offense and is batting .313 as a team with 38 homers and 70 doubles this season. Infielder Kyle Walker leads the way with .370 batting average and eight homers this season. Ashton Inman is second on the team with a .364 batting average and is third on the team with 38 RBI.

Julian Murphy is batting .359 this season making him the third player on the team batting over .350. Tiger Borom is also having a solid hitting season batting .349 and leading the team with 39 RBI.

Ashton Larson has been one of LSU’s best hitters this season. Larson is batting .412 in SEC play with three homers and nine RBI. Shortstop Michael Braswell III has also been on a tear lately and has batted .407 in LSU’s last eight games. Tommy White leads the team with 43 RBI and Jared Jones leads the team with 19 homers.

The game between LSU and Grambling State will start at 6:30 p.m. and will be streamed on SEC Network +.

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Will Nickel

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