LSU, Tulane to meet in first round of Baton Rouge Regional as Tigers begin quest for Omaha
BATON ROUGE - LSU will begin its quest for another trip to the College World Series against a familiar foe at Alex Box Stadium on Friday.
The Tigers will play Tulane on Friday at 2 p.m. as LSU hosts an NCAA Regional. The Tigers are the No. 5 national seed and will be the top seed in the regional. Tulane is the fourth seed in Baton Rouge.
Also in the Baton Rouge Regional are Oregon State and Sam Houston State. Oregon State is the second seed in the regional and Sam Houston is third, and they will play Friday at 7 p.m.
Wake Forest is the top national seed, followed by Florida, Arkansas, Clemson and then LSU. Ten Southeastern Conference teams are in the field of 64 teams, and half of the 16 national seeds are from the SEC.
In addition to LSU at No. 5, the SEC has Florida (2), Arkansas (3), Vanderbilt (6), Kentucky (12), Auburn (13), South Carolina (15) and Alabama (16) as national seeds. Tennessee and Texas A&M also made the tournament as teams seeded second in their regionals.
The Tigers were ranked No. 1 for most of the regular season, but poor pitching performances out of the bullpen knocked LSU down in the rankings and the Tigers finished with a 43-15 mark. LSU had a 1-2 record in the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Tulane is 19-40, but qualified for the tournament by winning the American Athletic Conference tournament Sunday by beating East Carolina 8-6. East Carolina is also in the field.
Oregon State is 39-18. The Beavers finished the Pac-12 season in second place, but failed to advance out of pool play at the conference tournament.
Sam Houston is 38-23. It won the Western Athletic Conference title on Saturday.
LSU played road games in its last two NCAA tournaments. It failed to get out of the Hattiesburg Regional last year, dropping a pair of games to Southern Mississippi. Two years ago, the Tigers upset Oregon to win the Eugene Regional but then dropped two games at Tennessee in the Super Regional. Four years ago, LSU dropped two games to Florida State in the Baton Rouge Super Regional.
There was no tournament in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
LSU and Tulane have played each other more than 310 times in a series dating to 1893. The only teams the Tigers have played more often are Alabama, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
If the Tigers win the regional, they would host a Super Regional against the winner of the Kentucky Regional the following weekend, with a trip to the College World Series in Omaha on the line.
Other Louisiana schools in the tournament:
--Louisiana-Lafayette of the Sun Belt Conference is the third seed in the Coral Gables Regional hosted by the University of Miami. It will play Texas at 1 p.m. Friday.
--Nicholls from the Southland Conference is the fourth seed in the Tuscaloosa Regional and will play Alabama at 6 p.m. Friday.
Since appearing in the 2017 College World Series, LSU is 11-5 in Regional games and 0-4 in a pair of Super Regionals.
Oregon State blew out the Tigers twice in the Corvallis Regional in 2018, a year after LSU knocked the Beavers out of the College World Series.
LSU last played Tulane in an NCAA tournament in 2003, when it beat the Green Wave 13-5 on its way to that year's College World Series.
LSU beat Sam Houston in the 2013 Regionals, also a College World Series year for the Tigers.
In games this season, LSU beat Sam Houston 16-4 on Feb. 26 and Tulane 11-5 on April 11.
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