Five Things to Know about LSU Baseball

Trey Huntsmanover 6 years

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Aritcle written by:Trey HuntsmanTrey Huntsman
[caption id="attachment_176199" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Photo by @SECNetwork on Twitter. Photo by @SECNetwork on Twitter.[/caption] The going never gets easy when you play in the SEC. Following weekends against #7 South Carolina and #29 Mississippi State, Kentucky will travel to Baton Rouge to take on #1 LSU in a three game series. The Tigers are one of only two teams in the NCAA with 21 or more wins (the other being 24-1 Texas A&M). Winning at LSU's legendary Alex Box Stadium will be a difficult task for Kentucky this weekend. Here are five things to know about the number one team in the country. 1. They are hitting the ball in a crazy good way- D1 Baseball wrote an excellent story on the LSU offense that you can read here, but we'll just pick a few stats to discuss. Andrew Stevenson (.407) and Kade Scivique (.417) are the leading hitters on a team that is tallying a ridiculous .332 batting average.  That average is 110 points better than their opponents. Not only does LSU hit well, they also find other ways to reach base. The Tigers have posted a .396 OBP through 25 games. No LSU-regular has an OBP below .350 or a batting average below .288. LSU drives in runs at a great clip when players reach base. Alex Bregman and Connor Hale have driven in 24 runs apiece and the team has combined for 174 RBIs. That is roughly seven RBIs per game from the Tigers.

"You could also talk about how three of the 20 hardest players to strike out – Scivique, Mark Laird and Alex Bregman – are Tigers, while all the other Power Five conference schools together have two players in the top 20." -D1 Baseball

2. Have we mentioned Alex Bregman?- Returning for his third season at LSU, Bregman has bounced back from a rocky 2014. Bregman struggled in the field and hit 53 points lower as a sophomore than as a freshman. Bregman is off to a much better start as a junior. Ranked as MLB.com's #13 2015 MLB Draft Prospect, Bregman has hit a team-high six home runs and driven in 24 runs. Bregman also leads the team in doubles and extra-base hits as a whole. Another stat on Bregman is that he leads the team in stolen bases with 13. He will be a tough out in a very threatening lineup.

[caption id="attachment_176200" align="alignright" width="300"]Matt Reida led UK to a series win over LSU in 2012. Matt Reida led UK to a series win over LSU in 2012. (Photo by UK Athletics)[/caption]

3. Their weekend rotation has a combined 15-1 record- Alex Lange, Jake Godfrey and Jared Poche' have a combined 2.33 ERA in their 15 wins as a rotation. Poche' averages more than five innings per start and has 23 strikeouts in six starts. Godfrey has allowed only eight earned runs this season while posting a 2.25 ERA. Perhaps one of the best pitchers in the SEC has been Lange. LSU's ace has an ERA of 1.42 with 45 strikeouts in 38 innings. Lange is only a freshman and is yet to lose in his college career.

4. Their bullpen is just as good as their rotation- Why does the LSU rotation have a 15-1 record? Because their bullpen holds leads late in ballgames. The Tigers have five pitchers in their bullpen with an ERA below 2.40 who have pitched ten or more innings. Hunter Newman, Parker Bugg and Jesse Stallings have all played big parts in the bullpen domination. Newman has not allowed a run through 10.2 innings. Bug and Stallings have combined to allow two earned runs to help anchor the bullpen.

5. Kentucky will need their offense to step up- LSU has been dominating at the plate this season, but Kentucky is not far behind them. The Cats .299 team batting average put them in fifth place in the SEC behind the first place Tigers. While LSU has two batters with an average of .400 our better, Kentucky is close to the same mark. Ka'ai Tom is batting .402 and Kyle Barrett is following behind him with .391. LSU's starters will be tested by the Cats' surge at the top of the order led by Barrett and Tom.

Fans will be able to catch each game on SEC Network Plus. Friday's tilt will begin at 8 p.m, Saturday's game at 7:30 and the final game at 12:30 on Sunday afternoon.

@TreyHuntsmanKSR

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2021-09-26