LSU baseball pregame: LSU vs. Houston _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU outfielder Mark Laird (9) returns to first base after a pickoff attempt between Boston College starting pitcher John Gorman (12) and Boston College first baseman Michael Strem (10), Friday, Feb. 20, at LSU's Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge, La.

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. General Info

  • What: LSU (12-1) vs. Houston (8-5)
  • When: 7 p.m. Friday
  • Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
  • Starting pitchers: LSU sophomore LHP Jared Poché (3-0, 1.96) vs. Houston sophomore RHP Andrew Lantrip (3-0, 0.46)
  • TV: Cox Sports Television
  • In-game updates on Twitter: @Dellenger Adv
  • On deck: vs. Baylor, 3:30 p.m. Saturday (at Minute Maid Park – Houston College Classic)
  • In the hole: vs. Nebraska, 11 a.m. Sunday (at Minute Maid Park – Houston College Classic)

Links To Know

What’s At Stake

  • LSU probably faces its toughest non-conference opponent of the regular season in this one. Though Houston has already lost five games this year, the Cougars return plenty from a squad that ended the Tigers' season in the Baton Rouge regional last year. So what's at stake? Revenge and a good win on LSU's NCAA resumé.

What To Watch

  • The infield: LSU's infield has made 11 errors through 13 games this season. So coach Paul Mainieri did something about it. He has moved Conner Hale to third base and Danny Zardon to first. He also may give freshman Grayson Byrd a shot at playing second base this weekend. Kramer Robertson, the usual second baseman, has been struggling at the plate (.212).
  • Big ole outfield: As with any Major League park, Minute Maid's outfield is expansive, giving LSU's speedy outfielders plenty of green grass to cover. What it also has - a hill in center field. There is a flag pole on this hill. CF Andrew Stevenson is well aware of the situation, and he wouldn't mind, he said, having to climb the hill for a ball. Watch out for the pole, Andrew.
  • Poche's test: Mainieri wants to keep Poche as his No. 1 starter this season. Freshman Alex Lange might have better stuff, but Poche is more experienced. To remain in the No. 1 role, the lefty needs solid outings. He's got a big chance Friday night in a regionally televised showdown with a ranked team in a big league park.

Know Your Opponent

  • Andrew Lantrip might sound familiar. He started in that 12-2 win over LSU in the decisive game of the Baton Rouge regional last season. Lantrip has struck out 16 and walked three in 19.2 innings this season. Houston as a whole has lost twice to Columbia and, most recently, to Houston Baptist.

Lineups TBA