LSU, Vanderbilt baseball teams will meet in Top 5 matchup
No. 3 LSU (16-2, 0-0 SEC) travels to Nashville, Tenn., this weekend for a three-game Southeastern Conference series against fourth-ranked Vanderbilt (16-2, 0-0 SEC) at Hawkins Field.
Game 1 is set for 6:30 p.m. today, Game 2 begins at 2:15 p.m. Saturday, and first pitch for Game 3 is 1 p.m. Sunday.
“We’re definitely not easing into the SEC schedule, are we?” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said in a news release. “A matchup of two Top 5 teams to start SEC play in front of sell-out crowds; we’re definitely excited about this opportunity. I like the way our team is coming together, and we’re looking forward to competing at a high level this weekend.”
Mainieri said junior right-hander Aaron Nola (4-0) will start today’s game for the Tigers, while Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin will counter with junior right-hander Tyler Beede (4-0) in a duel of potential first-round draft selections.
“There will be numerous professional scouts at Friday’s game, and maybe even some Major League Baseball general managers,” Mainieri said. “It’s a tremendous matchup between two of the best pitchers in the country.”
LSU has won seven straight games entering the Vanderbilt series. The Tigers are hitting .316 (68-for-215) during the win streak with 16 doubles, three triples and two homers. LSU’s staff ERA during the win streak is 1.43 with a .200 opponent batting average.
The Tigers are led at the plate by junior catcher Kade Scivicque and sophomore centerfielder Andrew Stevenson, who are each batting .435. Scivicque has collected two doubles, one homer and nine RBIs. Stevenson, who enters the Vanderbilt series riding a 15-game hitting streak, has four triples and 10 RBIs.
Sophomore shortstop Alex Bregman has reached base safely in all 18 games this season, the only LSU player to accomplish the feat. He is hitting .419 with six doubles, one homer, 14 RBIs, 12 runs and six stolen bases.
Vanderbilt is batting .289 as a team with four homers and 25 steals in 40 attempts.
Freshman outfielder Bryan Reynolds is hitting .358 with nine doubles, one triple, one homer and 15 RBIs, while sophomore infielder Zander Wiel is batting .333 with seven doubles, one triple, one homer and 11 RBIs.
LSU has a 53-38 all-time mark against Vanderbilt, including a 5-4, 11-inning victory against the Commodores in the championship game of the 2013 SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. Vanderbilt has won the last five regular-season series between the schools and has a 12-3 mark in those contests. LSU’s last SEC series victory against the Commodores came in Nashville in 2005 when the Tigers won two of three games.
LSU, however, has won four of its last five SEC Tournament games against Vanderbilt, beginning with the second round of the 2008 tournament. The Tigers defeated the Commodores in SEC Tournament championship games in 2009 and 2013.