Tigers move up in polls, Katz earns national honor

By By Scooter Hobbs / American Press

With the regular season at the halfway point, LSU is now No. 2 in three of the four major baseball polls, and Tiger first

baseman Mason Katz is the SEC and national player of the week for the second time in the last three weeks.

Katz, who leads the nation with 49

RBIs, had a home run in all three games of a weekend sweep at Missouri —

he also had three

home runs in the Tigers SEC opening series two weeks ago at

Mississippi State when Collegiate Baseball Magazine also awarded

him the national honor.

Counting LSU’s win at Tulane last Tuesday, Katz for the week hit .611 (11 of 18), adding a double, triple, eight RBIs and four runs to the three home runs at

Missouri.

It left the Tigers 26-2 overall, 8-1 in the SEC, leading the West Division by a game over Alabama and tied with Vanderbilt

for the overall lead.

“We had a great first half,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “Our record the second half of the season may not be 26-2, but

it’s our goal to be a better team than we are right now.”

Several streaks will be on the line this week. LSU hosts Alcorn State tonight, travels to New Orleans for a game against Southern Miss Wednesday and resumes SEC play this weekend with a home weekend

series against No. 7 Kentucky.

The Tigers 26-2 start matches the best in school history. The 1986 team — Skip Bertman’s first College World Series team —

made it to 28-2 before losing its third game. LSU is also 8-1 in the SEC for the first time the 1997 national championship

team made it to 12-1 before losing its second conference game.

LSU trails No. 1 North Carolina (24-1)

in all four polls, with Vanderbilt (25-4) edging the Tigers for the

second spot in

the Baseball America poll. The Tigers are No. 2 in USA Today’s

coaches’ poll, the Collegiate Baseball poll and the NCBWA (writers)

poll.

Katz raised his season average to .411 and also leads the SEC in RBIs, as do his 93 total bases and 13 home runs, the latter

matching his season total of last season.

Freshman Alex Bregman also had a big week, now leading the SEC in hitting after raising his average to .442, and also leads

the league with 53 hits and 33 runs.

LSU leads the SEC as a team with .351

batting average and is third in pitching ERA at 2.47. The Tigers are

also first in fielding

percentage.