BATON ROUGE, La. – The 2017 LSU baseball squad takes the field for the first time at 1 p.m. CT Sunday, as the Tigers begin their six-week fall practice period in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The fall practice session continues through November 6. All workouts in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field are free and open to the public.
The Tigers have engaged for the last month in strength and conditioning drills and individual workouts on the field. The 2017 season begins on February 17, when the Tigers play host to Air Force in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri, who has directed the Tigers to five consecutive NCAA Tournament National Seeds, said that fall practice is significant in the growth of his team.
“What we do in the fall is going to have a direct effect upon the kind of product we put on the field in the spring,” said Mainieri, entering his 11th season at the helm of the program. “Our job right now is to develop this team so that we can get to Omaha and play for a national championship.”
LSU returns eight of its nine starting position players from last season’s team, including senior shortstop Kramer Robertson, senior second baseman Cole Freeman, junior first baseman Greg Deichmann, sophomore third baseman Chris Reid, junior catcher Michael Papierski, junior left fielder Beau Jordan, sophomore right fielder Antoine Duplantis and junior designated hitter Bryce Jordan.
Senior catcher Jordan Romero, sophomore outfielder Brody Wofford, senior infielder Bryce Adams and sophomore outfielder Brennan Breaux are other returning players with starting experience.
Senior left-hander Jared Poche’ and All-American junior right-hander Alex Lange are back for their third straight season as one of the best 1-2 weekend starting combinations in the country. The pitching staff will also feature senior right-handed closer Hunter Newman, who led the Tigers with eight saves last season.
Other veteran pitchers include senior right-handers Russell Reynolds, Collin Strall and Alden Cartwright; junior right-handers Doug Norman and Austin Bain; and sophomore right-handers Caleb Gilbert and Cole McKay.
The returning players are complemented by a talented 13-man signing class that includes seven pitchers and six position players.
“Every fall we’re trying to accomplish the same thing,” Mainieri said. “We’re trying to lay the groundwork for the style of play we want our players to utilize, which is a hustling, attacking, confident approach. The intrasquad games this fall will give us the opportunity to evaluate our players and determine the roles in which they can best help our team win ball games.”