LSU's JaCoby Jones catches the ball at second base as Tulane's Brandon Boudreaux slides into the bag during a 2012 game in Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge. (Associated Press)
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 12:23 PMThe last time LSU faced Tulane, it was the start of the unquestioned low point of the season for the Tigers.
The rematch tonight finds LSU riding high and looking to build on an impressive weekend.
But back on March 25, the Tigers were coming off of a frustrating tie to Georgia at home when they stopped in New Orleans to drop a 3-2, 11-inning game to the Wave, then continued on to Florida where they were swept in a three-game series by the Gators.
LSU (30-10-1, 10-7-1) has to feel much better heading into tonight’s regionally televised game at Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers have won 10 of their last 12, including the first road series win of the season by taking two of three at Ole Miss over the weekend.
The Tigers also beat Southern Miss in a midweek game in New Orleans to go 3-1 on the week.
LSU passed the Rebels for second place in the SEC West, still trailing Alabama by 1.5 games, as well as Florida in the overall race.
The Tigers also will have the reigning SEC player of the week, as second baseman Conner Hale carried the Tigers’ offense in Oxford.
LSU is still scattered throughout the various rankings, but the impressive week did move the Tigers into the top ten of all of the major polls.
They moved up in all five, now ranging from No. 6 in Perfect Game and USA Today to No. 10 in Collegiate Baseball.
The hottest Tiger is Hale, a New Port Richey, Fla., native who may have solidified his spot in the order by hitting .625 (5-for-8) in the weekend series.
The Tigers as a team hit only .221 but managed to get out of Oxford with a rare road series win.
Hale scored five of LSU’s seven runs in the series, including the winning run (after doubling) in the 4-3, 13-inning victory Thursday night and both runs in LSU’s 2-0 win in the rubber game Saturday.
The second run Saturday was a solo leadoff home run that broke a string of 10 straight Tigers retired by Ole Miss starter Sam Smith.
Hale has been bouncing back and forth between first base and alternating with Kramer Robertson at second base. But Robertson has struggled at the plate.
Meanwhile, it’s likely Alden Cartwright will get another Sunday start when the Tigers host Tennessee (25-13, 7-11) in an SEC series this weekend.
Cartwright, making his first SEC start in the final game against the Rebels, gave the Tigers four scoreless innings. Three more pitchers also held Ole Miss scoreless for the Tigers’ school-record 12th shutout of the season.
Tonight against Tulane the Tigers will start lefthander Kyle Bouman (3-2, 3.24), who will be making his first appearance since losing his spot in the weekend rotation with a shaky outing 10 days ago against Arkansas.
Tulane (15-22) will counter with one of its weekend starters, senior righthander Tyler Mapes (4-2, 1.97), whose scheduled start last Saturday was rained out.