By Jeff Palermo
Weather permitting LSU will begin the Baton Rouge Regional by hosting Texas Southern on Friday at 2:30 PM. Southeastern Louisiana and Rice are scheduled to play on Friday at 7 PM. The Lions and Owls are in Baton Rouge for regional play for a second straight season.
Here's a brief scouting reporting on the teams.
Texas Southern Tigers:
Started the season 0-9 and enter Friday's game with a record of 20-32. They played 36 of their 48 regular season games on the road. They have never won an NCAA Regional game.
Team ERA of 6.56, but pitched well in the SWAC Tournament, allowing 14 runs in four games.
Top offensive player is Guadencio Lucca, who is hitting .315, 6 home runs and 28 RBI. The junior from California also has 14 doubles and 5 triples.
31-29, started the season 6-17. Won the Conference USA Tournament to receive an automatic bid to their 23rd straight NCAA Tournament. Beat LSU in a regional game last year and had the Tigers on the ropes in the championship game. Rice led 2-0 in the 7th inning. But Greg Deichmann hit a two-run homer and LSU went on to win 5-2.
Keep an eye on freshman pitcher Matt Canterino. The right-hander is 5-4 with a 3.92 ERA, but has 105 strikeouts in 91.1 innings.
Dane Myers has also played well. The junior from Katy, Texas, is hitting .360, with 6 home runs and 38 RBIs. He also has 11 doubles, five triples and leads the team with 13 stolen bases.
Southeastern Louisiana Lions
36-20. Finished the regular season winning 12 of their last 15. SLU has six victories against top 50 RPI teams. Might have lost some momentum with their play in the Southland Tournament, where they went 1-2.
The Lions have three players with 10 or more home runs, Taylor Schwaner, Carson Crites and Ryan Byers. This team is also speedy on the base paths with 110 steals.
They need ace pitcher Mac Sceroler to get back on his game. The junior right-hander from Denham Springs has nine wins of the year, but he's given up 13 earned runs in his last two starts.