LSU baseball focusing on exams

By By Scooter Hobbs / American Press

LSU baseball faces some major tests this week.

“They are students, you know,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said after the Tigers completed a three-game sweep of Florida Saturday.

So the players will scratch their academic side of the student-athlete hyphen as the school goes through the spring semester’s

final exams this week.

“The reports I’m getting are all very positive,” Mainieri said of the academics. “They’re in the ninth inning of the semester

and they need to finish up.”

As a result, there will be no midweek game, although once again LSU’s “weekend” series begins on Thursday night against Texas

A&M in College Station.

All three of the games at Texas A&M will be televised — Thursday at 8 p.m. on ESPNU, Friday at 6:30 p.m. on Cox Sports and

Saturday at noon on ESPN.

The Tigers (43-6, 19-5 SEC) remained the consensus No. 3 in the major polls for the week, trailing No. 1 North Carolina (42-4)

and No. 2 Vanderbilt (42-6, 21-2).

Also Monday, LSU’s Aaron Nola was named SEC pitcher of the week for the third time this season after shutting out Florida

on four hits in Friday night’s middle game last weekend.

It was Nola’s fourth straight complete game, two of them shutouts. He’s the first LSU pitcher to complete four straight games

since Mike Sirotka in 1993.

In those four straight complete games, Nola (9-0) has allowed just four runs, for an easy-to-compute 1.00 ERA, while giving

up just 17 hits in the 36 innings, only three for extra bases. He’s struck out 31 while walking three.

It’s lowered his season ERA to 1.92 and he continues to lead the league in strikeouts with 93 in 89 innings.

Nola was also named Louisiana pitcher of the week — for the fourth time this season — while Tiger second baseman JaCoby Jones

was selected as the state’s hitter of the week.