Pregame will be posted a few hours before each game this baseball season. About an hour before first pitch, lineups will be added to the bottom of this post. Return after the game for our postgame blog.
HOOVER, Alabama –
- What: LSU (47-9) vs. Arkansas (35-20)
- When:8 p.m. Thursday (will start 30 minutes after the 4:30 p.m. game)
- Where: Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, Hoover, Alabama
- Starting pitchers: LSU Fr. RHP Austin Bain (2-2, 2.96) vs. So. RHP James Teague (4-3, 3.42)
- TV: SEC Network
- Online: ESPN3.com
- In-game updates on Twitter: @DellengerAdv, @RabalaisAdv
- On deck: at SEC Tournament, Friday (with a loss) or Saturday (with a win)
Links To Know
- Gamer: In its home away from home, LSU rallies from the 5 runs down – twice – to topple Auburn 9-8 in SEC tournament opener
- Notebook: Jared Foster’s home run hitting returns; Jared Poche could return in a relief role at the SEC tournament
- Balls And Strikes: LSU 9, Auburn 8
- Photo Gallery: LSU 9, Auburn 8
What’s At Stake
- A seat at the SEC tournament semifinals. The winner of this game is off Friday, getting a pass into the semifinals on Saturday. A loss and reaching the championship game on Sunday becomes much more difficult. The loser would have to win an elimination game Friday, spending even more pitching than they already have. That would be tough for Arkansas, which has played one more game than LSU already in this tournament. LSU, by the way, will be the visiting team tonight.
What To Watch
- The weather:By the game’s end tonight, it may dip into the 50s here in Alabama. The low is 54, and it will be in the low to mid 60s at first pitch. The Tigers haven’t played in chilly weather like that in a while.
- On or off:We’ve seen Austin Bain when he’s on. The kid from Geismar is capable of striking out six in a row and retiring 13 consecutive batters (he’s done both at points this season). He’s also lasted just two innings against Mississippi State earlier in the year to lose, briefly, his weekend starter spot. LSU is likely to be such a high national seed (maybe No. 1 overall) that the Tigers could pitch Bain in the opening game (against a low 4 seed) of next week’s NCAA regional. He needs a good performance heading into that pressure-packed match.
- Bullpen depth: It’ll be tested like never before. Because of Jared Poche’s career-short stint on Wednesday (one inning), LSU had to use six relievers, but no relief pitcher threw more than 27 pitches (Godfrey 27, Norman 20, Newman 19, Bugg 18, Person 15, Devall 13). All of them, including Poche, should be able to return at some point during the tournament, especially Person, who could be available to pitch again soon (maybe tonight?). LSU didn’t use Jesse Stallings or Alden Cartwright so they’re both fresh.
Know Your Opponent
- Arkansas, a likely No. 2 seed in an NCAA regional, is streaking. The Hogs have won 20 of their last 26 games, hitting their stride shortly after LSU won two of three from them in Fayetteville in mid-March. James Teague has served as Arkansas’ long reliever/No. 4 starter this season, and LSU has seen him before. He allowed seven hits and four runs in a three-inning start in LSU’s 16-3 win over Arkansas in Game 2 of the regular season series. He has control issues at times. He’s walked 24 in 47.1 innings pitched.