What: (39-7, 15-6) vs. Mississippi State (23-23, 7-15)
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Dudy Noble Field, Starkville, Mississippi
Starting pitchers: MSU Jr. RHP Preston Brown (5-5, 3.76) vs. LSU Fr. Alex Lange (7-0, 1.86)
In-game updates on Twitter: @DellengerAdv
On deck: vs Mississippi State, 3 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2)
In the hole: vs. Missouri, 7 p.m. Friday
Links To Know
- Balls And Strikes: LSU 5, Mississippi State 3
- LSU can take another large stride toward securing a national seed with a series-clinching victory Friday night over the Bulldogs. Some believe the Tigers need to only win two of their final three SEC series to lock up a top 8 seed. This would be one and would be expected over a team with an RPI in the 90s. It would also be the seventh SEC series win in the first eight series. The last three times LSU has done that – 2013, 2009, 2004 – the Tigers have advanced to the CWS. They’ll also try to hit the 40-win mark in the first 47 games – the second-quickest since 2000 (only behind 2013’s 46 games).
- Alex Lange: The star freshman had such an incredible first six weeks of the season that his last three outings – mostly solid – almost seemed terrible. Since suffering that elbow tightness against Alabama, Lange hasn’t looked the same. His velocity took, at least, a slight dip, and he’s walked (13) nearly just as many as he’s struck out (14) in the last three nods. Coach Paul Mainieri isn’t concerned and neither is Lange, who says his arm feels fine.
- Clutch at-bats: LSU has the second-best batting average in the nation and best in the SEC, yes, but the Tigers – like every team – have their skids. On Thursday, for instance, LSU stranded four men in scoring position from the 10th through the 13th innings. They stranded 14 through the 14-inning game.
- Bregman in the field: SS Alex Bregman has about a month or so left of his LSU playing career. Fans better take advantage of watching this guy play. Bregman saved the game with a diving stop of a groundball through the left side Thursday. He also made every assist in one inning, took a double play himself and had a mouth-gaping over-the-shoulder play to end another inning.
- Preston Brown has allowed 23 earned runs in seven SEC appearances this season – six as a starter. He lasted just 1.2 innings and gave up six runs against Kentucky, and he allowed five runs in 7.1 innings against South Carolina. He’s walked more, or the same, than he’s struck out in three of those outings.