Location: Alex Box Stadium at Skip Bertman Field, Baton Rouge, LA
Time: Friday @ 7:00 PM CT, Saturday @ 6:30 PM CT, Sunday @ 2:00 PM CT
TV: SEC Network +, watchESPN
Texas comes into this weekend series against LSU with some momentum. The Longhorns began their season last weekend with a series win over Louisiana that could’ve easily been a series sweep. They followed that up with a solid performance in terrible weather conditions on Wednesday against Lamar. In the midweek game, the bottom half of the order produced all five RBIs for Texas and first baseman D.J. Petrinsky went 3 for 4, with a double and RBI after going 0 for 9 over the weekend against Louisiana.
Bottom 7. Catcher @DjPetrinsky, who's got three knocks on the night, will lead things off for the Horns.
WHO’S HOT: Masen Hibbeler, 2B
Even after going 1 for 4 with a walk against Lamar, second baseman Masen Hibbeler is still hitting .471 on the season. Over the weekend, Hibbeler went 7 for 13 with an RBI, two runs and two stolen bases. Hibbeler has been a key cog in the offense so far for the Horns. In Saturday’s come from behind win over Louisiana, Hibbeler drove in the tying run in the ninth inning before Austin Todd hit a walkoff two-run homer to give Texas the series victory.
WHO’S NOT: Duke Ellis, CF
Ellis has been downright bad so far. He is currently hitting 1 for 13 (.077) with a team-leading five strikeouts. His one hit was a comebacker off the pitcher’s ankle to spark the rally to tie and then win the Saturday game against Louisiana. Ellis wasn’t expected to be the best hitter on the planet coming in from JUCO, but at times he’s looked lost at the plate. He also was very close to causing a collision in the outfield on a ball that was easily the right fielder’s. On the positive side… it can’t get much worse from here on out for Ellis.
Texas Longhorns Player to Watch
DH Zach Zubia
Zach Zubia came out of his shell on Wednesday against Louisiana. Coming into the season, Zubia was thought to be the first choice at designated hitter, but Coach Pierce opted to go with freshman Sam Bertelson in the season opener. Zubia didn’t get his first nod until the Lamar game on Wednesday. Although, Texas doesn’t technically start their designated hitter, because they wait to see who to put in for situational purposes. Zubia is said to have the most power on the team and can hit balls 400+ feet. But over the fall and early spring, he wasn’t consistently getting contact on the ball. If not for the weather on Wednesday, Zubia could have had at least two, and possibly three, home runs. Look for a potential big weekend in a very hitter-friendly ballpark in Baton Rouge.
LSU Tigers Player to Watch
SS Hal Hughes
LSU lost a big-time player in the middle of the diamond in shortstop Josh Smith. Smith will be out of the LSU lineup for four to six weeks with a back injury. In his place will be freshman Hal Hughes, son of former Virginia Tech and Oklahoma baseball coach Pete Hughes. The Tigers won’t be asking Hughes to fill in Smith’s shoes offensively but will need him to play a solid shortstop defensively. In his first start on at shortstop on Wednesday versus New Orleans, Hughes went 2 for 4 with two RBI. Any offensive production similar to that will be a positive for the Bayou Bengals.
Projected Pitching Matchups
Friday (Game 1): Texas RHP Nolan Kingham (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs LSU RHP Zack Hess (0-1, 30.86 ERA)
Saturday (Game 2): Texas RHP Chase Shugart (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs LSU RHP Caleb Gilbert (0-0, 10.38 ERA)
Sunday (Game 3): Texas RHP Blair Henley (0-0, 1.80 ERA) vs LSU RHP Todd Peterson (0-1, 6.75 ERA)