Baseball vs. Mississippi State

LSU baseball players watch the game from the dug out Saturday, May 13, 2023, during LSU's 9-4 loss to Mississippi State at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

The SEC baseball tournament is upon us, and LSU will go to Hoover as the No. 3 seed. It will play on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. C.T. against the winner of No. 6 seeded South Carolina and No. 11 seeded Georgia.

LSU closed out its regular season with a series win over Georgia, but split its series against South Carolina after the third game was canceled due to weather.

LSU earned itself a top four seed by winning its final regular season series. This means the Tigers are given a first-round bye and will be guaranteed at least two games in the SEC tournament.  

With the postseason here, LSU’s biggest concern will be put to the test: its bullpen. The Tigers will be playing every day until the end of the tournament until it either loses twice or wins the championship.

LSU fans would likely prefer to face Georgia over South Carolina, as the Gamecocks gave the Tigers all they could handle in their regular season matchup. LSU needed five runs in the last two innings, including a Gavin Dugas grand slam in the eighth, to come away with its 8-7 win over South Carolina in the regular season. 

Paul Skenes has been the answer all season long; whenever he is available, the Tigers can hang with anyone. Skenes leads the country in strikeouts and WHIP and is fourth in the country in ERA.

However, his worst appearance of the season came against LSU's potential opponent South Carolina. He pitched a season-low three innings and a season-high ERA of 6.00 against the Gamecocks in LSU's 13-5 loss. 

Baseball vs. Alabama

The LSU baseball team high-fives junior pitcher Paul Skenes (20) as he returns to the dugout on Friday, April 28, 2023, during LSU’s 8-6 win over Alabama at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

The bullpen, however, looked better than it had in quite some time in the series against Georgia. Thatcher Hurd and Gavin Guidry both had strong performances in relief, so that momentum may serve the Tigers well.

Hurd pitched 5 innings giving up just 3 hits against Georgia while Guidry closed out the final two innings in LSU's 8-4 game two win over Georgia without giving up a run.

Similar to Hurd and Guidry, Ty Floyd is also coming off of one of his best performances of the season. Floyd's last two outings against Georgia and Mississippi State saw him throw a combined 13 innings with 17 strikeouts while allowing just 10 hits and a 3.46 ERA.

This is a large improvement over his season-long ERA heading into those last two games of 5.11. With this being a trend with several pitchers in LSU’s arsenal, they may be peaking at the right time.

But one thing is for sure, the Tigers will lean on their offense for hope throughout the tournament. LSU leads the SEC in batting average, runs, hits and home runs. They’re coming in with weapons that no other SEC team can replicate in Dylan Crews and Tommy White.

Crews, to many, may be the best player in the country. He leads the SEC in total bases. His 58-game on-base streak speaks for itself, so having him available in high intensity situations to come through is something only LSU can say they have.

White, often overshadowed by Crews, is also one of the most consistent hitters LSU has, and he’s peaking at the right time. He is second in the nation in RBI with 89 and leads the Tigers in home runs with 20. He hit a home run on Saturday against Georgia in the final regular season game.

In Thursday’s extra-inning thriller against Georgia, LSU showed the power of its bats. White was quiet, but others alongside Crews stepped up. Hayden Travinski, Jordan Thompson, Brayden Jobert and Josh Pearson all went deep against the Bulldogs. With this momentum, LSU’s power can bail them out of adversity. 

All this being considered, it would be easy for LSU fans to look ahead in the tournament, which is something the team can’t do. If LSU wins on Wednesday it will play again on Thursday and Friday. 

But for now, its primary focus is Wednesday. Until then, LSU will await the winner of the South Carolina-Georgia matchup, and start what fans anticipate to be a deep postseason run.

Load comments