Wichita State’s baseball power ranking is strong and a weekend series at LSU will help, especially if the Shockers can avoid a sweep.
The Shockers (8-3) are No. 24 in the warrennolan.com RPI after Tuesday’s win at Oklahoma. WSU is 1-3 against the top 50 and 3-0 vs. teams ranked 51-100. The 4-2 win over the 45th-ranked Sooners is WSU’s best.
WSU starts its three-game series at LSU, ranked No. 6 in Baseball America’s poll with a 7 p.m. game on Friday. The Tigers (9-4) are ranked No. 22 in the RPI, after losing three of their past four games.
LSU and WSU last played in the 1996 College World Series, a win for the Tigers that capped a three-game stretch of Omaha meetings. This is WSU’s first trip to Baton Rouge since 1987, when it lost three time to the Tigers.
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WSU, swept last weekend at Louisiana Tech, returns to Louisiana for another homecoming. Coach Todd Butler is from Sulphur and sophomore outfielder Dayton Dugas is from Lake Charles.
Jim Schwanke, father of pitcher Willie Schwanke, worked as an assistant coach at LSU from 1995-2000. Schwanke will start Friday’s game for WSU.
Troutwine on Bench list – WSU junior catcher Gunnar Troutwine is one of 85 athletes nominated by coaches to the Johnny Bench Award watch list. The list will be narrowed to semifinalist on May 17. Three finalists will be selected by vote from a national panel on June 5. The winner is announced at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 29.
Worth noting — WSU will start lefty Cody Tyler (2-1, 3.86 ERA) on Saturday, followed by Zach Lewis (0-0, 3.00) on Sunday. … LSU Friday starter Alex Lange, a junior, was the 2015 Collegiate Baseball Freshman of the Year. He attended Lee’s Summit (Mo.) West, as did Shocker freshman OF Jacob Katzfey.… LSU is coming off a 5-4 loss at McNeese State on Wednesday. The Tigers are 8-0 at home with wins over Army, Air Force, Hofstra, Maryland and Nicholls State. … Missouri State (10-2) is No. 23 in the RPI. Dallas Baptist (8-4) is No. 29. No other MVC school ranks in the top 200.… WSU junior catcher Gunnar Troutwine is one of 85 athletes nominated by coaches to the Johnny Bench Award watch list.
Wichita State at No. 6 LSU
- When: 7 p.m. Friday
- Where: Alex Box Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.
- Records: WSU 8-3, LSU 9-4
- Radio: KNSS, 1330-AM
- TV: SEC Network plus
- Online: ESPN3.com