LSU baseball pays a visit to Alabama needing a win to boost its postseason chances

LSU baseball heads into a road series with Alabama needing a win to have a shot at postseason play. Michael Bacigalupi

LSU baseball is heading into its final road SEC series of the season and the Tigers will need to keep their hot streak going to have a shot at postseason play.

LSU (32-18, 9-15 SEC)  is heading to Alabama to take on the Crimson Tide. Alabama (30-18, 10-14 SEC) dropped to No. 25 in the Coaches Poll after a series loss to Mississippi State last weekend, but the Tide still sit at No. 17 in KPI and No. 13 in RPI.

LSU sits at No. 31 in KPI and No. 35 in RPI. The Tigers are currently one of the first four teams out of the NCAA Tournament according to D1 Baseball’s projections, but a series win over a higher ranked team on the road could push them into a tournament spot.

“Our players have earned the position that makes this weekend important,” LSU head coach Jay Johnson said. “If you can make the last 10 games of a regular season important, then you’re doing something right. Our players for the last month have been doing a lot of things right. These last six games over the next two weeks are really significant, and we can’t wait to get started this weekend.”

Alabama leads the all-time series with LSU 200-180-3, but the Tigers have won 14 of the last 16 regular season series between the two squads. The Tide haven’t taken a regular season series over LSU since they claimed as series in Baton Rouge in 2016.

Alabama has one of the best offenses in the SEC this season, but its pitching hasn’t been as strong. It has the third best batting average in the SEC with a .308 but the tenth best ERA.

The Tide have 84 homers this season and are led by infielder Gage Miller with a .383 batting average, 18 homers and 48 RBI. Justin Lebron is batting .343 with 11 homers and 33 RBI and TJ McCants has 13 homers and 46 RBI.

LSU baseball has a .284 batting average with 88 home runs this season. Tommy White leads the team with a .320 batting average and is second on the team with 19 homers. Jared Jones leads the team with 21 homers.

Ashton Larson has the highest batting average in SEC play with a .365 and Michael Braswell III is second with a .311.

Alabama will pith left hander Greg Farone against Gage Jump in game one. Farone has a 4.07 ERA and 57 strikeouts this season through 55.1 innings pitched. He gave up seven hits and seven earned runs in three innings last weekend against Mississippi State. Jump has a 3.76 ERA this season.

In game two, Luke Holman will matchup with lefty Zane Adams. Adams has a 4.71 ERA this season with 35 strikeouts through 49.2 innings pitched. He gave up five hits and four runs in five innings pitched last weekend. Holman has a 2.84 ERA on the season.

Right hander Ben Hess will pitch in game three for the Tide. He has a 6.89 ERA this season with 79 strikeouts in 48.1 innings pitched. He gave up four hits and one run in four innings pitched last weekend.

LSU hasn’t named a starter for game three, but the Tigers have used Nate Ackenhausen when he’s been available in the last few series. He has a 5.57 ERA this season and went 1.2 innings last weekend allowing one hit. He picked up a hamstring injury the weekend before against Auburn and was a gametime decision to play against the Aggies.

Game one will start at 6 p.m. on Friday and will be streamed on SEC Network +.

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Will Nickel

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