LSU baseball will have 13 of its 30 regular-season Southeastern Conference baseball games televised on an ESPN platform this year, coach Paul Mainieri said Friday.
The full SEC television schedule is expected to be released soon, but Tigers fans can rest a little easier knowing that nearly half of LSU’s league games will be on the tube.
The television schedule for the 2015 LSU baseball season has been clouded with uncertainty since the inception of the SEC Network, which now holds exclusive rights for many games.
The Tigers had nearly 30 regular-season games on television last year, most via Cox Sports Television, including 17 SEC games. They will have about 20 games on television this season — 13 conference games and, likely, seven road nonconference games, which don’t fall under the realm of the SEC Network.
LSU plans to stream all of its nonconference home baseball games on SEC Network plus, the new online entity of the SEC Network. The 17 SEC games not shown on TV will be streamed online via ESPN and the SEC Network.
CST has requested to air all seven of the Tigers’ nonconference road games. The network has received permission to air LSU’s games at Southern University on March 17 and at Zephyr Field against Louisiana-Lafayette on March 31, the Wally Pontiff Classic.
Cox has submitted requests to air the other five games, including games at UNO and Tulane and against Houston, Baylor and Nebraska in the Houston College Classic March 6-8.
Foster to play baseball
Outfielder Jared Foster will rejoin the baseball team this season and will no longer play football, he said Friday.
Foster joined the football team over the summer as quarterback. He had planned to possibly skip this baseball season and participate in spring football in preparation for the 2015 football season, pushing his final year of eligibility in baseball to 2016.
Those plans were scrapped after he suffered a foot injury during football practice.
Foster had foot surgery a month into practice in September and missed the football season. He’s fully healed from the surgery for a fracture in his left foot and is expected to compete for playing time in left field with sophomore Jake Fraley.
“I have this gut feeling about Jared that he’s a little older, more mature, more confident in himself that he might be able to step in there and do some things,” Mainieri said.
Foster struggled at the plate last season, batting just .115, but he made a handful of great defensive plays in the outfield, including a leaping game-saving, bases-loaded, ninth-inning catch in a win at Texas A&M that ranked No. 1 on the “SportsCenter” top 10 plays.
Mainieri to be assistant for USA baseball
Mainieri will be an assistant coach for the USA baseball national team this summer, a move that should be officially announced soon.
Mainieri will assist St. John’s coach Ed Blankmeyer, who was officially named manager this week for the 2015 year.
LSU shortstop Alex Bregman served as USA baseball’s shortstop this past year. He batted .257 with a team-leading 17 RBIs. The USA national team normally plays about 30 games from late June to late July.
Texas, Notre Dame on future schedule
LSU will open the 2018 season with a three-game home series against Notre Dame and will play Texas in 2018 and 2019, Mainieri said.
The Tigers will also travel to South Bend, Indiana, for a two-game series with the Irish on May 10-11 next season. LSU hosts Texas for a three-game series in 2018 and travels to Austin, Texas, for a three-game series in 2019.
LSU’s pre-conference non-SEC schedule is set for 2016 and 2017. The Tigers host Cincinnati, Sacramento State, Fordham and Ball State in 2016. They host Air Force, Maryland, Hawaii and Wichita State in 2017.
Along with the series against Notre Dame and Texas in 2018, LSU will host Sacred Heart and continues to search for a fourth series. Texas and Bryant are the 2019 opponents with two remaining spots open.
Bregman has landed on two preseason All-America teams.
Bregman made Perfect Game’s first team preseason All-America team and was on Collegiate Baseball’s second team. Outfielder Andrew Stevenson was on Perfect Game’s preseason All-America third team, and pitcher Jared Poché landed on Collegiate Baseball’s second team.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter: @DellengerAdv.