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GAMETHREAD: Baseball vs Grambling, 6:30pm, SECN+

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All hail the conquering heroes, returned from the tawdry palace of Starkvegas with an SEC road series win and some serious mojo at the plate. Between Professional Hitter Chris Reid going .750 for the weekend, Antoine Duplantis out-dueling Jake Mangum for the weekend and entering the 300 hit club, and the emergence of freshman CJ Willis, not to mention Eric Walker’s return to form, it seems that LSU baseball is finally headed back in the right direction.

So here’s a 5 game week, with a weekend against Top 10 A&M.

When you hit good, you look good, so it’s hard for me to say which came first, but LSU just looked so much more confident in general in games 2 & 3 against State this weekend. Sure, there’s still plenty to work on, including the little noticed embarrassment of resetting the LSU record for strikeouts in an SEC weekend at FOURTY ONE (!!!!), and Todd Peterson is still mighty iffy. But now it at least feels like the Tigers have some momentum going into the second half of the season.

And they’ll need it this week, starting tonight with Grambling (12-15, 7-5 SWAC.) The Tigers from North Louisiana wouldn’t usually pose much of a challenge, but the fact that LSU needs to get through this week with the shorthanded staff that’s left on the roster, means that Sr. RH Clay Moffitt (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 8.1 IP, 0 BB, 7 SO) and his perfect 0 ERA are being sacrificed to the Gods of baseball with a start tonight, followed by the low ends of the totem pole and possibly some very short stints from weekend revilers. LSU still has to get through South Alabama tomorrow night, so Ma’Khail Hilliard and other midweek regulars wont be used tonight. Also on the injury front, Daniel Cabrera is taking the midweek games off to rest an injured wrist, so expect Mainieri to do some experimenting while he’s out.

Special tonight, LSU is breaking out it’s throwback unis. LSU did this last year against Grambling as well, and Grambling brought out their Negro Leagues tribute uni set. I very much look forward to them doing that again tonight. Here’s what the pregame release has to say about Grambing.

• Grambling is 7-5 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference games this season … GSU was swept by Southern in its last conference series (March 22-24)

• The Tigers have lost six of their past seven games, but they posted an 8-7 non-conference win over Abilene Christian on Sunday

• Grambling is hitting .269 as a team with 12 home runs and 29 stolen bases in 35 attempts .. the Tigers are led at the plate by senior outfielder Isaiah Torres, who is hitting .385 (37-for-96) with six doubles, one triple, one homer and 23 RBI … catcher Drexler Macaay has a team-high four homers to go along with five doubles and 20 RBI

PITCHING MATCHUP

LSU – Sr. RH Clay Moffitt (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 8.1 IP, 0 BB, 7 SO)

GSU – Jr. RH Kerry Boykins (3-0, 9.00 ERA, 22.0 IP, 6 BB, 21 SO)