LSU head baseball coach Jay Johnson talks with the media on the eve of his No. 1 ranked Tigers hosting the No.10 ranked Tennessee Vols at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
No. 9 Tennessee Volunteers (20-6, 3-3 SEC) at No. 1 LSU Tigers (22-3, 4-2 SEC)
· Thursday, March 30 @ 7 p.m. CT (ESPNU)
· Friday, March 31 @ 6 p.m. CT (SEC Network)
· Saturday, April 1 @ 1 p.m. CT (SEC Network +)
· Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field (10,326)
· LSU – No. 1 in all college baseball polls
· UT – No. 9 USA Today, No. 10 D1 Baseball, No. 11 Baseball America
· LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates, including 98.1 in Baton Rouge
· Thursday – ESPNU
· Friday – SEC Network
· All three games will be streamed live on SEC Network +
LSU SERIES RECORD VS. TENNESSEE
· LSU leads the all-time series with Tennessee, 58-28 … LSU has won 14 of its last 21 games versus UT; however, Tennessee has won the last six meetings, including a 5-2 victory last season in the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. … the Vols won five straight games over the Tigers in 2021, sweeping a three-game SEC regular-season series and a two-game NCAA Super Regional – all five games were played in Knoxville … this weekend’s series marks Tennessee’s first appearance in Baton Rouge since 2018, when LSU recorded a three-game sweep over the Vols.
LSU – Jr. RH Paul Skenes (5-0, 0.72 ERA, 37.1 IP, 7 BB, 71 SO)
UT – Jr. RH Chase Dollander (4-2, 3.93 ERA, 34.1 IP, 8 BB, 53 SO)
LSU – Jr. RH Ty Floyd (4-0, 2.05 ERA, 26.1 IP, 9 BB, 31 SO
UT – So. RH Chase Burns (2-1, 4.15 ERA, 34.2 IP, 9 BB, 59 SO)
LSU – So. RH Thatcher Hurd (2-0, 3.91 ERA, 23.0 IP, 15 BB, 32 SO)
UT – So. RH Drew Beam (3-1, 2.54 ERA, 28.1 IP, 8 BB, 27 SO)
QUOTING COACH JAY JOHNSON
“I think our guys have done a great job respecting the schedule and have shown up ready to play, ready to compete. We’re facing an incredibly talented opponent with a great pitching staff, one of the best staffs in the country. They have an explosive position player group, and they know how to win, so it’s going to be a fun weekend, and I know our players are looking forward to it. We’ve got seven more SEC weekends just like this one coming up, so we’ll focus on this one, attack it, and move on to the next one.”
ABOUT THE LSU TIGERS
· LSU has won four of its last five games, including an SEC series victory over No. 3 Arkansas last weekend and a 17-5 win over Grambling on Tuesday night … LSU’s 22-3 record is the Tigers’ best through 25 games since the 2015 team also posted a 22-3 mark.
· LSU, which has been ranked No. 1 all season by all of the college baseball polls, enters the Tennessee series at or near the top of several NCAA statistical categories … the Tigers are No. 1 in the nation in fielding percentage (.988), on-base percentage (.465) runs scored (278) and shutouts pitched (7) … LSU is No. 2 in the nation in batting average (.339), hits allowed per nine innings (5.83) and scoring average (11.1 runs per game); No. 3 in WHIP (1.06); and No. 4 in slugging percentage (.597).
· LSU centerfielder Dylan Crews is No. 1 in the nation in batting average (.542), on-base percentage (.667) and in runs scored (48), and he is No. 2 in slugging percentage (.988) and hits (45) … third baseman Tommy White is No. 1 in the nation in RBI per game (1.91) and No. 2 in total RBI (42) … right-hander Paul Skenes leads the nation in strikeouts (71), hits allowed per nine innings (3.38) and WHIP (0.56) … Skenes is No 2 in the nation in ERA (0.72) … right-hander Ty Floyd is No. 5 in the nation in hits allowed per nine innings (4.10).
· Junior centerfielder Dylan Crews led the top-ranked Tigers to three wins in four games last week, including an SEC series victory over third-ranked Arkansas … in the Arkansas series, Crews batted .615 (8-for-13) with three homers, seven RBI, seven runs, a .667 on-base percentage and a 1.308 slugging percentage … Crews enters this weekend’s series versus Tennessee riding a 23-game hitting streak and a 29-game reached base streak; the reached base streak includes all 25 games this season and the final four games of the 2022 season.
· Graduate first baseman/DH Cade Beloso started in Games 2 and 3 of the Arkansas series and responded by batting .571 (4-for-7) with one double and two RBI … sophomore third baseman Tommy White launched two homers, including his second grand slam of the season, and collected eight RBI in LSU’s series win over Arkansas … first baseman/leftfielder Tre’ Morgan batted .385 (5-for-13) in the Arkansas series with one triple, one homer, two RBI and five runs scored … second baseman Gavin Dugas homered twice and collected four RBI vs. the Razorbacks.
· Junior right-hander Paul Skenes pitched seven innings in Game 1 of the Arkansas series on Friday, allowing just one run on two hits with three walks and 12 strikeouts … junior right-hander Ty Floyd defeated the Razorbacks in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, working 6.1 innings and limiting the Razorbacks to one earned run on three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
· Junior right-hander Garrett Edwards pitched in both games of Saturday’s doubleheader vs. Arkansas, working a total of 4.2 scoreless innings and allowing just two hits with one walk and eight strikeouts … freshman left-hander Griffin Herring posted two relief wins last week over Central Arkansas and Arkansas, pitching a combined 4.1 innings and allowing one run on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
· Tennessee is 3-3 in the SEC after being swept at Missouri to begin league play and recording a three-game sweep of Texas A&M last weekend in Knoxville … the Volunteers leads the SEC with a 2.62 team ERA, and Tennessee is No. 11 in the league in batting average at .294 … the Vols have launched 51 homers and have recorded 36 stolen bases in 43 attempts.
· Tennessee right-handers Chase Burns (59 Ks) and Chase Dollander (53 Ks) are second and fourth, respectively, in the SEC in strikeouts.
· First baseman Blake Burke is batting .337 and he leads UT in homers (10) and RBI (28) … infielder Christian Moore is batting a team-high .360, and he has recorded four doubles, five homers, 19 RBI, 29 runs and 11 steals in 12 attempts.