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Baseball Weekend Preview: LSU vs Cincinnati

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LSU welcomes Cincinnati to Alex Box for the season opener.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball is back,

baseball is back,

hot diggity dog,

baseball is back.

Yeah, I don't know what that was either.

Anyway, LSU baseball returns to the Box this weekend and that means weekend previews are back!

This weekend, the Bearcats of Cincinnati come to Alex Box and baseball will definitely be played. Yep, that is certain. Good, interesting baseball? That I'm not so sure about. Cincinnati went 15-41 last season, and had a staggering 4-22 record on the road.

Top Bats for the Bearcats

These were the three key returning bats listed in the Cincinnati game notes:

Player

Pos

Yr

BA

HR

RBI

Slg%

OB%

RJ Thompson

OF

Jr

.274

1

25

.341

.341

Woody Wallace

C

Sr

.269

2

15

.369

.337

Treg Haberkorn

OF

So

.245

2

25

.331

.330

The Bearcats fielded the youngest team in the nation last year, so you can reasonably argue that some improvement will be had throughout their lineup. But I still expect these guys to struggle a bit with the LSU pitching staff. Ian Happ, the top power guy for the Bearcats last season with a slugging percentage of .672, is gone. No one else had a slg% above .400. Happ also accounted for 14 of the Bearcats 34 home runs last season.  No one had a batting average over .300 except for Happ. What I'm really saying is, coming in to Baton Rouge and facing Alex Lange and Jared Poche in the first series of the year will be a big challenge for these guys.

Bearcat Arms

Player

Pos

Yr

IP

ERA

K

BB

BAA

Andrew Zellner

RHP

Jr

69.1

3.63

57

32

.260

Jarod Yoakam

RHP

So

42.2

5.27

17

27

.291

Dalton Lehnen

LHP

So

68.0

5.56

49

24

.287

Zellner is clearly the Bearcats #1 and will be the first guy the LSU lineup sees on Friday. Zellner doesn't appear to have overwhelming stuff, but he is consistent and does not walk a lot of guys. Considering the relative inexperience of the LSU lineup, he will be a good test in game one.

The rest of the Bearcat pitching staff is a bit of a mystery. They weren't particularly good last year, posting a team ERA of 6.00 and batting average against of 0.284. Not spectacularly bad, but not good enough to put a lot of worry into the LSU lineup.  Hopefully LSU can get off to a good start against these guys and gain some early confidence.

Should you be worried?

No, not really. The Bearcats should be improved from their 15-41 record last season, but they have a way to go before they can challenge a team like LSU.

Is the weather going to be nice?

BR Weather1

MMM GORGEOUS


Best Logo I Found On Google Image Search

Yes, I stole this from Poseur. No, I don't care.

Bearcat

I dunno about y’all, but I like this logo. Looks like a badger and a pissed off cat had a demon hell child. B+

RANDOM EDITORIAL FROM PODKATT

I've watched and read a ton of college baseball over the years and something about Cincinnati has been picking at my memory for the last few weeks. Finally, last night I realised when the last time I saw mention of this team, back in 2013

Prediction?

I drink a lot of beer and LSU sweeps the series.