The LSU baseball team takes the field for the first time at 4 p.m. Sunday, as it begins a six-week fall practice period at Alex Box Stadium.
The fall session continues through Nov. 5. All workouts in Alex Box Stadium are open to the public.
The 2013 season begins on Feb. 15, when the Tigers host Maryland in Alex Box Stadium.
LSU, the reigning Southeastern Conference champion, was the No. 7 national seed in the NCAA Tournament and fell just one win shy of reaching the College World Series.
“In a lot of ways we overachieved last year,” said seventh-year LSU coach Paul Mainieri, a three-time national coach of the year.
“We came so close to realizing all of our goals; however, we recognize there are areas in which we need to improve and we’re confident that
we’re heading in the right direction.”
The Tigers feature 20 returning lettermen, including senior outfielder Raph Rhymes, the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, senior All-SEC outfielder/first baseman Mason Katz and sophomore pitcher Aaron Nola, a 2012 first-team freshman All-American.
LSU will have 15 newcomers, including two players that were selected in the major league draft.
AUBURN WINS 3-1: LSU’s soccer team is still seeking its first Southeastern Conference win after dropping a 3-1 decision to SEC West rival Auburn on Friday night at the LSU soccer stadium.
Freshman midfielder Fernanda Piña scored the Tigers’ only goal in the 55th minute. It was her second goal of the season.
The Tigers (4-3-3, 0-2-1 SEC) suffered their third straight defeat in the series.
With LSU trailing 2-0 at halftime, Piña pulled one back when senior Carlie Banks drew Auburn’s center backs out at the top of the box and played Piña in behind one-on-one with goalkeeper Amy Howard. Piña took a touch and fired a 10-yard strike inside the right post to.
Piña is the Tigers’ leading scorer this season with seven points on two goals and three assists.
But it only took three minutes for Auburn (5-5, 1-2) to regain a two-goal lead once again. Striker Tori Ball scored an unassisted goal in the 58th minute on a class run into the area. She battled one of LSU’s center backs for position and buried a strike from the top of the 6-yard box at the 57:27 mark to provide the final margin of 3-1.
The visitors struck twice in the first half to take a 2-0 lead into the break.
Midfielder Mary Coffed scored the breakthrough in the 31st minute with a 14-yard strike off the right post and into the back of the net following a centering pass from Tatiana Coleman. Coleman then pushed the Auburn lead to 2-0 in the 41st minute when she buried a shot inside the left post from the top of the box.
LSU INVITATIONAL SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY: After placing fifth in the first cross country meet of the season, LSU senior Laura Carleton is prepared to continue leading the LSU cross country teams into their lone home meet of the season, the LSU Invitational, on Saturday at Highland Road Park.
The women will kick off the meet at 8:05 a.m. covering 6,000 meters, followed by the men running 8,000 meters at 9:15 a.m.
At last weekend’s season opener, the Commodore Classic held in Nashville, Tenn., the LSU women finished ninth and the men finished 19th.
“When you know your course and run the hills a few times a week at practice it does give you a little bit of an advantage,” Carleton said of the LSU Invitational. “It is just fun to stay here for the weekend and have your family out to support you.”
Last weekend, senior Roger Cooke led the Tigers by posting a time of 26 minutes, 15.64 seconds. Expectations are higher for this weekend’s race.
“When dealing with the men, I hope to see the biggest improvement from Week 1 to Week 2,” said LSU coach Mark Elliott.
Jackson State, Lamar, Loyola-New Orleans, Mississippi College, Nicholls State, Southeastern Louisiana and Southern University are set to compete.
SEASON OPENER SET FOR SATURDAY AGAINST CENTENARY: The LSU men’s and women’s open their season at Centenary on Saturday.
The Tigers will be competing against Centenary for the first time in the program’s history.
The LSU women’s returns five NCAA qualifiers from a year ago in senior Sara Haley, juniors Torrey Bussey and Rainey White and sophomores Amber Carter and Marlene Niemi.
The men’s team returns two-time NCAA honorable-mention All-American senior Craig Hamilton and SEC bronze medalists senior Andrei Tuomola and sophomore Frank Greeff.
Also, five men and eight women make their collegiate debuts.
The meet will feature a revised format with 50-yard and 100-yard stroke swims.
The teams will swim the 200 freestyle and 200 medley relays.
The divers will join the swimmers in the annual Purple
and Gold Intrasquad Meet
next Friday at the LSU Natatorium. Admission to LSU swimming and diving home meets is free.