LSU vs. Mississippi State

May, 23, 2012
Having already secured the SEC regular season championship (and very likely a national seed in the NCAA tournament), No. 5 LSU (42-14, 19-11) now turns its attention toward a possible 10th conference tournament crown.

LSU's tournament opener Wednesday against No. 25 Mississippi State (35-21, 16-14) is a world away from where the Tigers were last spring, when they didn't make the cut for the SEC tournament and instead had to hope for a miracle berth in the postseason -- which didn't come. Instead, on Tuesday they waited in Hoover, Ala., to see which team would emerge to face them from the middle-of-the-league pack.

That wound up being the seventh-seeded Bulldogs, who pummeled Arkansas, 9-1, on the strength of a six-run ninth inning. Mississippi State was LSU's opening opponent in conference play on March 16. The Tigers took the first two games of the series by one-run margins before dropping the final contest, 7-1.

LSU coach Paul Mainieri said Monday he intends to treat the Tigers' tournament opener like a typical midweek game. Rather than turn to fireballer Kevin Gausman, Mainieri is giving the start to freshman Aaron Nola (6-4, 4.03 ERA), but he said he'll likely use an amalgamation of pitchers working short innings to get through the day.

A win would push the Tigers into a rematch with No. 12 Kentucky on Thursday, while a loss would drop them into a game with the winner of today's Arkansas-Ole Miss loser's bracket matchup.

David Helman | email

Reporter, RecruitingNation



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

LSU To Start Freshman QB
Brad Edwards discusses LSU coach Les Miles' decision to start freshman QB Brandon Harris on the road vs. Auburn.


Saturday, 10/4