Baseball vs. Alabama

Large lights illuminate Skip Bertman Field on Friday, April 28, 2023, during LSU’s 8-6 win over Alabama at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

With Thursday’s 5-4 loss to Arkansas, LSU now faces Texas A&M in an elimination game in the SEC Tournament.

That game is planned to start at 3 p.m. C.T. from the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Alabama. The game will be aired live on the SEC Network.

LSU has not seen Texas A&M since March 19, the longest out of any SEC team the Tigers played in the regular season. The Tigers took two of the three games in that series.

In its first matchup, LSU won 9-0, and Paul Skenes went 6.1 innings, struck out 11, and gave up only four hits. 

But he won’t be on the mound Friday because he pitched in Thursday’s game against Arkansas. 

Ty Floyd is a prime candidate to pitch on Friday, but Jay Johnson has not confirmed who he will be starting. Floyd pitched in the second game of the Texas A&M series in which the Tigers won 12-7. However, it was very much a group effort on the mound.

Floyd went 3.1 innings while giving up five runs on four hits. Garrett Edwards, who has been ruled out for the season with an elbow injury, came in first in relief for another 3.1 innings. Riley Cooper pitched 1.1 innings, but he won’t be available Friday after coming in relief on Thursday. Blake Money pitched for the last inning.

While Floyd is available for Friday, Johnson may take the route in pitching someone Texas A&M didn’t see in their series. Of the pitchers that have started and are able to pitch Friday, Javen Coleman is a name that comes to mind.

Out of the bullpen, Gavin Guidry will be likely to make an appearance. He was warming up in the bullpen during Thursday’s matchup against Arkansas, so it was likely he was next in line in that game.

But of course, Texas A&M is this far in the SEC Tournament, meaning it has adjusted accordingly to just about anyone its had to face. Not only that, but the Aggies have momentum. 

It opened the tournament with a 3-0 win over Tennessee, then lost 6-5 in 11 innings to Arkansas off a walk-off home run, and then came back and defeated South Carolina 5-0. The Aggies came into the tournament as the No. 10 seed, so they could be using this chance to boost their resume as much as possible.

On offense, Jace Laviolette is the player to watch. He leads the team in home runs with 19 and has a .301 batting average, according to Trevor Werner is right behind with 14 home runs.

The Aggies have their power, but they’ve thrived off simple contact. Jack Moss leads the team with 82 hits, including a team-high of 13 doubles and a .361 batting average. Hunter Haas also has a .318 batting average with 70 hits on the year.

Of the pitchers that typically start for the Aggies, Will Johnston is the only one who has not pitched in Hoover yet. This being said, he is the prime candidate for who LSU could likely see. 

Johnston pitched against LSU on Sunday, March 19, where LSU lost 8-6. He earned the win that game pitching in the last three innings, and gave up no runs on only one hit.

The SEC Tournament is a time where LSU can increase its national rank. An SEC title would carry immense weight when it comes time for NCAA Tournament regional pairings.

A win over Texas A&M would help the team get closer to reaching its full potential and put LSU in the best position possible.

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