The Jayhawks (9-3) travel to LSU (12-0) for a three game series this weekend. The Tigers are the defending national champions and ranked #2 by Baseball America and Rivals (the only college baseball polls that operate on a rational basis). So, it is a big weekend for the Hardball Hawks.
The last time KU visited LSU in 2003 the Jayhawks stunned pretty much everyone by sweeping the series. Over the last few years I have not kept my dislike of SEC baseball a secret, so, not surprisingly, I will be more invested in the outcome of this series than most. SEC baseball teams have rubbed college baseball fans across the nation the wrong way for decades by their refusal to play non-conference road games and the favoritism they receive most years from the NCAA tournament committee. Many college baseball fans think that SEC teams should either prove themselves by scheduling quality non-conference road games or drop their sense of entitlement.
In keeping with their flightless tradition, LSU’s first twelve games were played at home against less than impressive opponents. This season all but 2 of LSU’s 26 non-conference games will be played in Baton Rouge, and the two road games will still be in Louisiana. Last year the first non-conference game the Tigers played outside Louisiana was at the College World Series! If KU can take two of three games in Baton Rouge I am sure they will be back in the national rankings and will have made a lot college baseball fans happy.
Media information, stat links and a recap of KU's mid-week games after the jump.
Obviously basketball will take center stage this weekend. Give yourself a break from the hardwood from time to time and check in on the baseball action. Friday's first pitch is at 7PM CST. Saturday’s game starts at 2PM CST, and Sunday’s contest gets underway at 1PM CST. KU will provide a free audio webcast for all games. For those interested in live video, LSU provides a feed for a $9.95 monthly payment. LSU packs the house, 10,000+ fans per game. The Hawks will have to deal with a lot of noise this weekend.
Find LSU team statistics here.
And stats for the good guys here.
KU won two games this week vs. NAIA foes at Hoglund. Tuesday KU beat St. Mary (KS) 10-0 and then took down Tabor 15-0 the following afternoon. These games will not factor into KU’s RPI rating but gave the Jayhawk bench some valuable playing time and will help keep the pitching staff sharp for the weekend series. Tanner Poppe was impressive in his first collegiate start on Tuesday, throwing five hitless innings. KU hit four homeruns in the first three innings on Wednesday to rout Tabor early. Jimmy Waters hit a grand slam, his third homerun of the season. Brian Heere, Alex DeLeon and Jason Brunansky all hit their first homers of the season in the third inning.
Please keep Jake Marasco in your thoughts. He suffered a terrible loss this week.