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Baseball Weekend Preview: #16 LSU @ Tennessee

Tigers try to strengthen their claim to host a regional in Knoxville this weekend.

The possum goes to Knoxville
The possum goes to Knoxville
Podkatt

LSU proved a point last weekend. The guys showed that even though they may be down, whether that be on the scoreboard or because a ball hit them in the face, they can pull themselves together and fight like hell. Kramer showed his physical toughness to the team and they responded by being mentally tough and fighting their asses off to mount one of the largest comebacks in LSU baseball history.  They also took one more step to hosting a regional with the sweep. 17 or 18 wins should be good enough to secure that regional, so LSU needs three more wins from their last six to get to that mark.  Good job guys, keep up the fight.

But for the love of God, can we please spare Kramer's face? The guy is clearly tough as nails, let's stop making him prove it.

On to this weekend's opponent. LSU travels to Knoxville to take on the Volunteers of Tennessee. It's been another rough year on Rocky Top for the Volunteers. They are 26-23 overall and 7-17 in SEC play. They've only won a single SEC series this season, granted it was over Vanderbilt which is a pretty big deal for them. The Vols boast one of the toughest schedules in the conference having played UC Irvine out of conference and having to go through the gauntlet that is Florida, Vanderbilt, and South Carolina. Even though it's on the road, this is a very winnable series for the Tigers.

Tennessee Volunteers

Record: 26-23 overall, 7-17 SEC, 15-10 at home

Rank: N/A

RPI/ISR: 68/67

Vols Bats

Player

Yr

Pos

BA

Slg

OBP

HR

RBI

K

BB

Vincent Jackson

Sr

LF

0.348

0.522

0.431

7

50

34

20

Derek Lance

Sr

1B

0.347

0.394

0.409

0

20

23

20

Nick Senzel

Jr

SS

0.343

0.591

0.441

8

53

17

32

Team

0.291

0.402

0.375

20

267

363

182

Overall, the Vols are a pretty solid team at the plate. Their numbers dip a bit if you look at SEC stats only, not drastically so, but the one drop that really stands out is the power stats. They slug 0.402 overall, but just 0.361 in the SEC.  Vincent Jackson appears to be a power threat, but he hasn't homered in the SEC.  The power is there for Jackson, he just hasn't shown it in conference. Senzel poses the biggest long ball threat this weekend with five of his eight homers coming in SEC play.  The Vols like to push the action on the bases like LSU with steals. The Vols own 78 steals on 102 attempts this season.

Vol Arms

Player

Yr

Pos

IP

ERA

K

BB

BBA

Will Neely

Fr

RHP

36.1

4.46

22

15

0.252

Zach Warren

So

LHP

71.1

3.15

56

26

0.263

Aaron Soto

So

LHP

48.1

4.10

32

14

0.231

Team

430

3.91

337

189

0.269

Honestly, the more I look at Tennessee's numbers, the more it appears they have been victims of some really crummy lucky. Almost all of their pitching stats are right around where LSU's stats are, but they have seven less conference wins than the Tigers. They walk a large number of batters, but so does LSU.  They do plunk plenty of batters though. Tennessee leads the SEC in hit batters with 27.  Their pitching staff is just one big question mark overall.

Zach Warren is having a terrific sophomore year though. Warren will battle guys at the plate and fight for outs. He'll go up against Jared Poche on Saturday, so that should be a good match up.

Should you be worried?

Not especially. Tennessee has only won a single SEC series this year. They were swept by Mizzou, who LSU blew out on the road in Columbia. Let's see if LSU can replicate that accomplishment against the Vols.

How's the weather going to be?

sunshine2

Going to be a gorgeous weekend in Knoxville. If you're in the area, go take in a game and let us know how it is.

Best Old Logo on Google Image Search

So, Davey Crockett with a text that reminds me of the Astros for some reason? Okay then.

Prediction

LSU takes 2 of 3 with the sweep being a definite possibility.