LSU Opens SEC Tournament Play With MSST Tuesday

Posted at 10:12 PM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-21 23:12:45-04


Mississippi State Bulldogs (31-24, 15-15 SEC) vs. LSU Fighting Tigers (33-23, 15-15 SEC)

SEC Tournament – Hoover, Ala.

Tuesday, May 22 – 4:30 p.m. CT

Hoover Metropolitan Stadium

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LSU has a league-best 81-40 (.669) all-time record in the SEC Tournament, and the Tigers own a conference-high 12 tournament titles … Alabama and Mississippi State are second behind LSU with seven tournament titles, and Ole Miss is third with five championships … LSU has won six of the past 10 SEC Tournament crowns, claiming the title in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2017 … the Tigers are 31-6 under 12th-year coach Paul Mainieri in SEC Tournament games.

• Mississippi State leads the overall series with LSU, 204-186-1, and the first meeting between the teams occurred in 1905. Tuesday’s game marks the 18th SEC Tournament meeting between the schools, and Mississippi State holds a 9-8 advantage in those contests. The most recent SEC Tournament meeting came in 2016, when LSU posted a 6-2 win over MSU.
• The teams met earlier this season on March 29-31 in Baton Rouge, and the Tigers won two of three games over the Bulldogs. LSU and MSU met five times in 2017 and LSU won all five contests, including a two-game NCAA Super Regional sweep in Baton Rouge. LSU has won 12 of the last 13 SEC regular season
series with the Bulldogs – Mississippi State’s series win in 2016 in Baton Rouge broke a string of nine straight series wins for LSU over MSU from 2007-15. LSU coach Paul Mainieri has a 32-14 career mark against Mississippi State.

Starting pitchers are scheduled to be announced on Monday afternoon

“We have always played very well in the SEC Tournament, and our team is looking forward to facing a Mississippi State club that is playing great baseball. The tournament is a special event, and any time LSU and Mississippi State meet in a baseball game, there’s going to be a tremendous environment. I know our players will be ready to embrace the challenges that arise in postseason play.”

• LSU finished the regular season 15-15 in the SEC, and the Tigers are the No. 8 seed in this week’s SEC Tournament … LSU meets No. 9 seed Mississippi State in a first-round single-elimination game at 4:30 p.m. CT Tuesday … the winner of Tuesday’s game will meet No. 1 seed Florida at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
• Freshman right-hander Ma’Khail Hilliard defeated Auburn on Friday, outdueling Casey Mize, the projected No. 1 selection in next month’s MLB Draft … Hilliard limited Auburn to two runs on seven hits in 7.1 innings with two walks and seven strikeouts, firing 97 pitches … Hilliard improved to 9-4 this season, and he has a 3.53 ERA in 71.1 innings with 28 walks and 66 strikeouts.
• Sophomore third baseman Jake Slaughter was LSU’s leading hitter in the Auburn series, batting .364 (4-for-11) with one homer, two RBI and two runs … Slaughter is batting .351 (13-for-37) in the 11 games the Tigers have played in the month of May with two doubles, one homer, three RBI and seven runs scored.
• Freshman outfielder Daniel Cabrera is hitting .514 (19-for-37) in the month of May with three doubles, one triple, three homers, 16 RBI and six runs … senior designated hitter Beau Jordan is batting .386 (17-for-44) in May with three doubles, two homers, 11 RBI and 11 runs … Jordan hit .333 (4-for-12) in the Auburn series with one double, three RBI and one run.
• Sophomore right-hander Todd Peterson earned his fourth save of the season on Friday at Auburn, retiring all five batters he faced in the final 1.2 innings, including three strikeouts … Peterson has three saves in his last four appearances, allowing one run on two hits in 4.2 innings with one walk and five strikeouts.
• LSU is No.4 in the SEC in team batting average (.291) and the Tigers’ hitters have the fewest number of strikeouts in the league (337) … the LSU pitching staff is No. 13 in the SEC with a 4.78 ERA.
• Junior rightfielder Antoine Duplantis is No. 3 in the SEC in base hits (76), No. 1 in triples (5) and No.4 in stolen bases (16) … senior first baseman Austin Bain leads the SEC in doubles (21), and freshman DH/OF Daniel Cabrera is seventh in doubles with 16 and eighth in RBI with 47 … Cabrera is also No. 9 in the SEC in slugging percentage at .579.
• Sophomore right-hander Zack Hess is fifth in the SEC in strikeouts (94), and freshman right-hander Ma’Khail Hilliard is second in the league in wins (9).

• Mississippi State is hitting .276 as a team, which is No. 9 in the SEC. The Bulldogs have 32 home runs – the fewest in the league – and they have recorded 33 stolen bases in 40 attempts.
• Outfielder Jake Mangum leads MSU in hitting, batting .350 (fifth in the SEC) with 20 doubles, three triples, one homer, 23 RBI, 51 runs and 14 stolen bases … Mangum is first in the SEC in base hits with 82.
• Infielder Hunter Stovall is hitting .330 with 15 doubles, four triples, two homers, 35 RBI, 33 runs and 10 steals … Stovall is fifth in the SEC with 75 base hits.
• The Mississippi State pitching staff has a 4.17 ERA, which ranks eighth in the conference … left-hander Ethan Small is seventh in the SEC with a 2.94 ERA, and left-hander Konnor Pilkington is 10th in the league with 87 strikeouts.