LSU Baseball: Will Tigers live up to poll projection?

It is most certainly going to be an exciting year for the LSU Baseball Tigers – if the team lives up to the expectations of this year’s Collegiate Baseball poll.

The 2017 Collegiate Poll has LSU Baseball predicted to be the No. 2 team in the nation this college baseball season. This is the sixth season in a row that the poll has put the team in the top ten.

Will the Tigers be able to live up to the hype this year?

“We are honored to be recognized in this poll, as it is nice to see that others believe we have a quality team as well,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “However, we realize that we will have to earn everything that we get. Nothing is handed to you in college baseball, and particularly in the SEC. We embrace the challenge and can’t wait to get started.”

Last season, LSU ended their season by getting swept in the Super Regional at home for the first time ever in a walk-off loss against Coastal Carolina. This ended the era of the rally possum – perhaps one of college baseball’s most odd icons of all time.

The new Tigers team will feature a number of returning starters like senior second baseman Cole Freeman, senior shortstop Kramer Robertson, sophomore infielder Chris Reid, junior outfielder Greg Deichmann, junior outfielder Beau Jordan, junior designated hitter Bryce Jordan, sophomore outfielder Antoine Duplantis and junior catcher Michael Papierski, in addition to 13 promising newcomers.

The year’s recruiting class was rated No. 4 in the country at its highest in annual recruiting rankings.

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LSU kicks off the 2017 season at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17 versus Air Force in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.