NCAA Baseball Tournament: Baton Rouge Regional Preview

After sitting atop the rankings for a good chunk of the end of the season, the LSU Tigers find themselves as the No. 2 National Seed heading into the NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers will be hosting UNC-Wilmington, Tulane, and Lehigh.

After winning the SEC Regular Season Championship by a game and a half, the Tigers fell to Florida in the SEC Tournament on Saturday, coming up just shy of an SEC sweep in 2015.

LSU has one of the top offenses in the game, checking in with the third-best batting average, 12th-most runs, sixth-most doubles, and sixth-most stolen bases (10th in steals per game).

In fact, there’s a lot of base stealing prowess heading to Baton Rouge.

The 2-seed in Baton Rouge is UNC-Wilmington. The Seahawks went 18-5 in the Colonial, and are coming off two-straight wins against fellow tournament team College of Charleston in the CAA Tournament.

This is another team that can get it done with the bats. Their .306 team batting average ranks 11th in the nation, and their 7.2 runs scored per game is 12th. The thing that’s worrisome about UNCW is its pitching staff. They walk a lot of batters, resulting in a team ERA of 4.43, which is not spectacular, and not a good matchup with LSU.

It would be entertaining if 3-seed Tulane advanced to the Regional Final against LSU to set up the in-state rivalry meeting. The thing that stands out about the Green Wave is that they have thrown nine shutouts this season, which is the third-most in college baseball. So they certainly have the capability of putting up an incredible pitching performance at any given time.

Last is Lehigh, who have an overall record of just 25-29 this season. The Mountain Hawks are in thanks to series wins over Holy Cross and Navy in the Patriot League semifinals and finals to earn the automatic bid. Lehigh is not good at anything except stealing bases, and I can’t imagine them coming close to beating any of the other three teams.

This is a nice draw for LSU, and they should get through with relative ease. None of these teams size-up well with the Tigers, and the lack of pitching prowess at UNCW certainly helps make it easier for one of the best offenses in the game.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

NCAA Baseball Tournament: Gainesville Regional Preview
NCAA Baseball Tournament: Gainesville Regional Preview