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Alex Box Stadium in the sixth inning of an NCAA college baseball game, Friday Feb. 23, 2018, in Baton Rouge, La. LSU pitcher Zack Hess (38) is pitching.

LSU baseball has returned, and expectations are high.

The Tigers are ranked No. 1 in multiple preseason polls and host a season-opening trio of games at Alex Box Stadium beginning Friday.

Here's some info to help get you caught up on how last season ended and what you need to know for 2019.

What happened in 2018:

Oregon State happened.

The Tigers hit a buzzsaw in the NCAA regionals, getting swept by the eventual national champion Beavers.

LSU finished the 2018 season 39-27 (15-15 Southeastern Conference).

It was the first time since 2014 the Tigers failed to advance to at least the super regionals.

Lofty expectations, multiple No. 1 preseason rankings:

Tigers fans were able to take solace in last year's early postseason exit with the school landing the No. 1 recruiting class in 2018, according to Baseball America magazine, and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, among other scouting services.

LSU's top-ranked class, coupled with a strong returning lineup, led to lofty expectations.

LSU is ranked No. 1 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll as well as the Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game preseason polls. The Tigers are ranked No. 2 in the D1 Baseball and Baseball America polls, according to the school's athletics department.

Weekend opener:

LSU's games against UL-Monroe (7 p.m.), Army (2 p.m.) and Air Force (3 p.m.) won't be aired live on television, but you can still watch the games live via SEC Network+.

SEC Network+ provides thousands of digital-only events to fans through the ESPN App on smartphones, tablets and OTT streaming devices (like Roku and Apple TV) and on computers via

You can also listen to the Friday and Sunday games on the LSU Sports Radio Network. On Saturday, the game can be heard locally in Baton Rouge on 100.7 FM.

You can find LSU's projected starting lineup here.

Whom, what to watch for in 2019:

LSU has adjusted to several significant injuries, but the Tigers are getting several key pieces healthy heading into the season.

Coach Paul Mainieri announced pitchers Zack Hess, Ma'Khail Hilliard and Eric Walker, who all have battled varying injuries, are set to return.

LSU’s pitching staff has been given a boost by a talented group of freshmen added to Hess and Walker, but other veterans are in the mix for important bullpen roles, Mainieri said.

Todd Peterson, who had six saves last year, is “unquestionably” back in the closer’s role with others like Matt Beck and Devin Fontenot looking strong in support.

Mainieri said he continues to be amazed by freshmen pitchers Landon Marceau, Jaden Hill and Caleb Henry.

Marceau is in line to start the Saturday game against Army. Hill threw five shutout innings in a scrimmage and Henry has looked good despite giving up a three-run double to Drew Bianco.

In non Xs and Os related news, beer and wine will now be sold in two tented areas at Alex Box Stadium.