And so we’ve come to the end, the last (barring a miracle) home game for the LSU Tigers in 2018. While the 2-1 win over Bama this weekend wasn’t a total disaster, LSU’s RPI still fell to 50 and they’ve almost guaranteed they’ll be starting the SEC tournament early in one of the Tuesday opening round games. It was nice to see a few bats wake up this weekend, with Daniel Cabrera’s stellar performance earning him SEC Freshman of the week honors, but injuries continue to decimate the pitching staff. AJ Labas was supposed to start Sunday, but shoulder soreness pulled him from the game and he is questionable to even make an appearance this week. Nick Storz made a brief appearance in last week’s midweek action, only to have shoulder problems of his own after practice on Thursday, and will presumably be out for the rest of the year. With a hugely important series at Auburn beginning on Thursday, LSU will need the far end of the bullpen bench to handle the Demons tonight, as LSU can neither afford a loss to a Southland team or to blow up the bullpen before the most critical series of the season. So. RH Matthew Beck (1-1, 3.91 ERA, 23.0 IP, 16 BB, 32 SO) is starting for LSU tonight against Jr. LH Tyler Pigott (1-0, 4.37 ERA, 22.2 IP, 5 BB, 20 SO)
The Northwestern St Demons (31-20, 16-11 Southland) have a good, if uneventful resume. Their most marquee win of the year is a split midweek series with ULM. They stand 4th in Southland and have a winning record on the road, which is a lot more than LSU can say at the moment. From LSU:
• Northwestern State is batting .276 as a team with 38 home runs and 36 stolen bases in 53 attempts, and the NSU pitching staff has a cumulative 3.23 ERA.
• The Demons are led at the plate by senior infielder David Fry, who is batting .346 with 25 doubles, one triple, 11 homers and 50 RBI … senior outfielder Kwan Adkins is batting .344 with six doubles, two triples, one homer and 22 RBI.
• Northwestern State left-hander Tyler Pigott will make his second career start for the Demons – he is allowing just a .210 opponent batting average in 22.2 innings of work this season.