LSU baseball at Texas A&M: Pitching matchups, preview and prediction

Jun 14, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; LSU Tigers pitcher Jared Poch (16) throws against the TCU Horned Frogs during the first inning at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; LSU Tigers pitcher Jared Poch (16) throws against the TCU Horned Frogs during the first inning at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports /

Pitching matchups, preview and predictions for the LSU baseball team’s series with the Texas A&M Aggies.

After playing 17 of its first 20 games at Alex Box Stadium and 19 of its first 20 in the state of Louisiana, the 13th-ranked LSU baseball team (15-5, 1-2 SEC) will travel to College Station on Thursday night to begin a three-game series with second-ranked Texas A&M (19-2, 2-1 SEC). The Tigers managed to take two out of three from the Aggies last year in Baton Rouge when the two teams were ranked first and second, respectively.

A disappointing 0-2 start to SEC play last weekend ended with LSU salvaging the series finale with a six-run eighth inning on Sunday against Alabama. The Tigers struggled at the plate through the first two games of the series before scoring seven runs on Sunday. The team followed up with an 8-5 win Tuesday night against Louisiana Lafayette in the Wally Pontiff Jr. Classic.

The Aggies opened up conference play last weekend with a series victory over Auburn, scoring 31 runs in three games. They picked up a 13-3 win on Tuesday over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in seven innings. The nation’s no. 2 team is hitting .341 with 19 home runs, scoring 185 runs in 21 games. The pitching staff has pitched to a 2.98 ERA, but it struggled last weekend, giving up 27 runs.

Below are the pitching matchups for the weekend, as well as a look at the key players to watch for each team:

Pitching Matchups

Thursday (3/24)- LSU: Jared Poche (2-2, 2.37 ERA), Texas A&M: Jace Vines (3-0, 3.81 ERA)

Friday (3/25)- LSU: Alex Lange (2-1, 4.50 ERA), Texas A&M: Tyler Ivey (2-0, 2.39 ERA)

Saturday (3/26)- LSU: John Valek III (4-0, 2.20 ERA), Texas A&M: Kyle Simonds (4-0, 3.18 ERA)

Players to Watch

Texas A&M

J.B. Moss- Moss is leading the Aggies in batting average, hitting .415 (34-for-82) while hitting three home runs, eight doubles and three triples. He has reached base in all 20 games he’s started in addition to driving in 22 runs and scoring 27.

Hunter Melton- The senior is tied for the team lead in home runs (four) while leading in RBIs (26). With a .338 average (27-for-80) in 21 games, he is tied for fifth among the regular nine starters.

Boomer White- White is second on the Aggies in batting average, hitting .407 (33-for-81). He has six doubles, one home run and 17 RBIs.

Tyler Ivey- The freshman right-hander will start on Friday, looking to build upon his 2-0 record and 2.39 ERA. In 26 1/3 innings, he has walked 11 batters and struck out 34, which leads the team. In his first five collegiate starts, he has three shutouts.


Antoine Duplantis- Duplantis’ season-long hitting streak ended at 19 games with an 0-for-4 night on Wednesday, but the freshman outfielder is still hitting .377 (29-for-77). He has six doubles and two triples and on top of his offense, he has provided the Tigers with solid defense in right field this season, posting a 1.000 fielding percentage in 20 games.

Kramer Robertson- Out of the leadoff spot, Robertson has given LSU a spark in recent weeks. The junior shortstop is hitting .312 (24-for-77) with a .436 on-base percentage. He leads the team in walks (15) and doubles (eight).

Cole Freeman- Freeman is coming off of a 2-for-3 night on Wednesday in which he drove in two runs and scored one. The junior transfer from Delgado Community College is hitting .338 (23-for-68) with three doubles, eight RBIs and 14 runs scored.

Jared Poche- Poche will start the series opener on Thursday night coming off of his second loss of the season. Last Saturday against Alabama, the junior left-hander threw five innings and gave up three runs, but only one was earned. Last year against the Aggies, he threw seven innings and gave up two runs (one earned) in a no-decision.

The Aggies come into the weekend as the better team. The Tigers’ youth showed last weekend against Alabama, but a comeback in the series finale saved them from being swept. The A&M offense has been on a tear through the first 21 games while getting enough pitching to win. Like LSU, the Aggies will be playing their first game against a ranked opponent on Thursday night.


The Tigers’ growing pains will continue, but their talent could make this an intriguing series. Texas A&M’s offense will just be too much for an LSU pitching staff still struggling to find its stride. The Aggies will take two of three, extending their record to 21-3 while the Tigers drop to 16-7 and 2-4 in SEC play.