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GAMETHREAD: Baseball vs La Tech, 6:30pm, SECN+

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MG Miller \ LSUSports.net

Another rough and tumble weekend on the road in the SEC has left the Tigers a little more battered, though not as badly as originally feared. After a collision at 1st base on Friday, Paul Mainieri and staff feared the worst had happened to Bryce Jordan, but further testing revealed the better (?) news that the injury was only a bone bruise and that Bryce should return soon, though he’ll certainly be out all of this week. On Monday, Mainieri also updated the status of the rest of LSU’s DL, with the news that Josh Smith will probably be returning this weekend. P Money also dropped some hints that the rotation will be shuffled this weekend, presumably moving Freshman Sensation RHP Ma’Khail Hilliard up to the Saturday spot. For tonight, however, LSU will have to muddle through with it’s reduced roster. Fr. RHP AJ Labas (3-1, 2.73 ERA, 26.1 IP, 4 BB, 18 SO) will again have the mound for the Tigers as he continues to settle in to the midweek starter role.

La Tech (24-10, 9-3 in CUSA) is having a really great year and looks poised for a shot at an at-large or better bid for the postseason. They’ve made the most of their schedule, with neutral site wins over A&M and Cal, and a weekend sweep of Rice (though Rice appears to be having a down year) The Bulldogs have a .233 staff ERA with a combined 90/282 K/BB ratio. Jr. LHP David Leal (2-1, 1.65 ERA, 49.0 IP, 5 BB, 46 SO) is a formidable arm and will have plenty of good backup. From LSU:

Louisiana Tech is in a first-place tie in the Conference USA standings with a 9-3 league mark. The Bulldogs are tied with Florida Atlantic, and they’re one-half game ahead of Southern Mississippi.

• Louisiana Tech is hitting .277 as a team with 50 doubles, 13 triples, 27 homers and 41 steals in 65 attempts. The Bulldogs have a 2.33 team ERA, and their pitchers have limited opponents to a .228 batting average.

• The Bulldogs’ leading hitter is sophomore infielder Hunter Wells, who is batting .345 (49-for-142) with five doubles, two triples, two homers, 16 RBI and 27 runs.

• Senior infielder Dalton Skelton is hitting .328 with six doubles, five triples, four homers and 18 RBI; junior outfielder Mason Mallard is batting .322 with seven doubles, two triples, five homers and 21 RBI; and junior infielder Tanner Huddleston is hitting .290 with seven doubles, one triple, five homers and 28 RBI.