Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

LSU baseball is ranked No. 2 in Baseball America’s preseason poll that was released earlier today. The defending National Champions are surpassed only by Wake Forest in the rankings. 

LSU completed its historic 2023 season following its national championship win in Omaha, beating Florida in the final game 18-4 to seal the title. The Tigers were one of the most electric and dominant teams in college baseball history, led by star pitcher Paul Skenes and outfielder Dylan Crews.

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Finishing last year’s ranking as the No. 1 team by Baseball America, the Tigers lost the best two players in college baseball to the MLB after Skenes was drafted No. 1 overall and Crews followed at No. 2 overall.

Talent isn’t an issue for LSU though, who have notable returners like All-American third baseman Tommy White, Freshman All-American first baseman Jared Jones and the catcher/co-captain duo of Alex Milazzo and Hayden Travinski. 

The Tigers remain strong on the mound, led by returning star pitcher Thatcher Hurd, Nate Ackenhausen, Gavin Guidry and Griffin Herring.

In the field, the Tigers also have returning outfielder Paxton Kling, second baseman Josh Pearson and catcher Brady Neal. 

Having 13 players drafted to the MLB following their historic 2023 season, Head Coach Jay Johnson reloaded the program with star transfers and elite potential talent.

Shortstop Michael Braswell III leads the transfer class coming from South Carolina, as well as pitcher Gage Jump from UCLA, pitcher Luke Holman from Alabama and outfielder Mac Bingham, who reunites with Johnson from Arizona. 

Pitcher Cam Johnson and outfielder Jake Brown are two incoming true freshman who will impact the team early with their talent, and sophomore athlete Ethan Frey will be an important asset for the Tigers in 2024 as well.

LSU’s schedule remains one of the most difficult in college baseball, with eight other SEC teams ranked in the top 25. LSU will play series against No. 3 Arkansas, No. 4 Florida, No. 7 Vanderbilt, No. 8 Tennessee, No. 11 Texas A&M, No. 12 South Carolina and No. 23 Auburn.

The pressure is on for the Tigers as they look to defend their title this season, but Coach Johnson says the mentality for the Bayou Bengals is more aggressive toward establishing a new legacy for the 2024 team.

“We’re not defending anything. We’re attacking 2024.” Johnson said.

The season begins at home in Alex Box stadium against VMI, where the Tigers will begin their journey back to Omaha.

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