BATON ROUGE — The third-ranked LSU Tigers (3-0) host the Lamar Cardinals (4-0) at 6 p.m. today in Alex Box Stadium.
Lamar, led by coach Jim Gilligan in his 37th season, is 4-0 after a four-game sweep of Northern Kentucky last weekend in Beaumont, Texas. The Cardinals enter today’s game hitting .399 as a team.
LSU defeated Lamar, 5-4, last year in Alex Box Stadium. The Cardinals, however, lead the all-time series between the schools, 5-2.
“Lamar has an outstanding club, and we had to really battle to beat them last season,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said in a university release. “I was very pleased with the way our team performed throughout the opening weekend, and we need to keep the momentum going this week. With (Lamar) coming in on Tuesday, followed by BYU and Southeastern Louisiana later in the week, we have some big challenges in front of us.”
The game can be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (100.7 FM in Baton Rouge). Live video, audio and stats may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.
LSU opened the 2013 season in Alex Box Stadium with a three-game sweep of Maryland this past weekend. The Tigers hit .302 in the series, outscoring Maryland, 20-4, and outhitting the Terrapins, 29-20.
The LSU pitching staff limited Maryland to a .211 batting average in the three games.
LSU sophomore centerfielder Chris Sciambra, who missed the final three months of the 2012 season after suffering a broken bone in his neck, enjoyed a spectacular weekend in his return to the lineup, batting .625 (5-for-8) with one double, two runs scored and one stolen base. Sciambra, the Tigers’ lead-off hitter, also walked four times and recorded a .750 on-base percentage.
Sciambra was 4-for-4 in LSU’s win against Maryland Friday, becoming the first LSU player to go 4-for-4 in the first game of the season since Feb. 22, 2008, when Ryan Schimpf went 4-for-4 against Indiana.
Freshman shortstop Alex Bregman batted .455 (5-for-11) in the Maryland series with two RBI and two runs scored. Bregman’s third-inning RBI single proved to be the winning run in the Tigers’ 1-0 victory against Maryland Friday.
Junior second baseman JaCoby Jones launched the Tigers’ first homer of the season, a solo blast in the second inning Sunday. Jones batted .429 (3-for-7) during the weekend with one homer, two RBI, four runs scored, four walks and a .636 on-base percentage.
Junior catcher Ty Ross drove in a team-high four runs during the weekend, including a three-run homer in the fourth inning of Game 3 Sunday that broke a 2-2 tie and propelled the Tigers to a 14-3 win.
Sophomore right-hander Aaron Nola was brilliant in Friday’s season opener, firing 6.2 shutout innings against the Terrapins, allowing two hits with one walk and nine strikeouts. The nine strikeouts were just one shy of Nola’s career high of 10 strikeouts set last season in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional.
Junior right-hander Ryan Eades also gave the Tigers a quality start in Game 2 Saturday, limiting Maryland to no runs on six hits in 6.1 innings with one walk and six strikeouts.
Friday’s LSU win against Maryland was played before a paid crowd of 12,373, the largest paid attendance in Fighting Tiger baseball history.