LSU seeks to keep its national hopes alive
Omaha, NE — LSU (57-10) seeks to keep its national title hopes alive at 2 p.m. CT Tuesday when the Tigers face North Carolina (57-11) in a College World Series elimination game at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.
The game can be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (98.1 FM in Baton Rouge), and live audio and stats of the game may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net. The game will also be broadcast on Sirius XM satellite radio Ch. 91.
Tuesday’s game will be televised by ESPN, and it may also be viewed with the WatchESPN mobile app.
LSU dropped a 2-1 decision to UCLA on Sunday, forcing the Tigers into an elimination matchup with North Carolina. The Tar Heels fell to North Carolina State Sunday, 8-1.
The winner of Tuesday’s game will play either UCLA or North Carolina State at 7 p.m. CT Thursday.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri, who has directed LSU to the CWS three times during his seven-season tenure, said the Tigers will regroup quickly after Sunday’s loss to UCLA.
“We know what the rules are now,” Mainieri said. “We've got to win four in a row to get through the bracket. It's very doable; you’ve just got to go out and play. We've got to play better than we did Sunday night. If we can do that ‑‑ we can't look beyond Tuesday. And we've got a really tough team to face on Tuesday.
“So we've just got to go back to playing good fundamental baseball and play better on Tuesday and hopefully get a win and get to play again on Thursday.”
Mainieri said sophomore left-hander Cody Glenn (7-2, 2.41 ERA) will start Tuesday’s game on the mound for the Tigers. Glenn will make his first appearance since defeating Alabama on May 22 in the first round of the SEC Tournament.
North Carolina coach Mike Fox will counter with freshman right-hander Trent Thornton (11-1, 1.28 ERA).
LSU is led at the plate by shortstop Alex Bregman, the National Freshman Player of the Year. Bregman is hitting .374 with 18 doubles, seven triples, six homers and 52 RBI. He has 104 base hits, which ranks No. 2 in the nation.
LSU senior first baseman Mason Katz, a first-team all-American, is batting .365 with 14 doubles, two triples, 16 homers and 69 RBI, while senior leftfielder Raph Rhymes is hitting .337 with 15 doubles, one triple, four homers and 46 RBI.
The Tigers are batting .306 as a team with 47 homers and 54 stolen bases in 80 attempts.
The Tar Heels enter Tuesday’s game with a .305 team batting average, and North Carolina has recorded 48 homers with 86 stolen bases in 119 attempts.
The Tar Heels are led at the plate by senior first baseman Cody Stubbs, who is hitting .366 with 26 doubles, four triples, eight homers and 76 RBI. Junior third baseman Colin Moran is batting .340 with 11 doubles, three triples, 13 homers and 88 RBI, and freshman outfielder Skye Bolt is batting .323 with 13 doubles, two triples, six homers and 50 RBI.
The all-time series between LSU and North Carolina is tied 2-2. The teams first met in 1990 in the ABCA Hall of Fame Tournament in Orlando, Fla., where the Tigers posted an 8-5 win over the Tar Heels. LSU also defeated North Carolina, 11-4, in 1997 in the Winn-Dixie Showdown at the Louisiana Superdome.
The teams’ most recent meetings came at the 2008 College World Series in Rosenblatt Stadium, where North Carolina recorded two wins over LSU by scores of 8-4 in a first-round matchup and 7-3 in an elimination game.