LSU baseball head coach Paul Mainieri previews the 2018 Tigers - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

LSU baseball head coach Paul Mainieri previews the 2018 Tigers

Paul Mainieri (Source: WAFB) Paul Mainieri (Source: WAFB)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

LSU baseball head coach Paul Mainieri will preview the 2018 Tigers around noon Friday at Champion’s Club in Alex Box Stadium. We will stream the news conference live when it begins. 

The Tigers (52-20, 21-9) lost to Florida in the 2017 CWS championship 4-3 and 6-1.

LSU will have to replace several key members from last year's squad, including right fielder Greg Deichmann, shortstop Kramer Robertson, second baseman Cole Freeman, catcher Michael Papierski and starting pitchers Alex Lange and Jared Poché.

Starters returning this season are third baseman Josh Smith, outfielders Zach Watson and Antoine Duplantis, pitchers Zack Hess and Caleb Gilbert. 

Also returning for Tigers: Bryce and Beau Jordan, Jake Slaughter, Chris Reid, Nick Coomes, Todd Peterson and Austin Bain. 

Watson, Duplantis, Hess and Gilbert have been named to the D1 Baseball Top 100 College Prospects list. 

Watson has been named to the 2018 Perfect Game third-team preseason all-America squad. 

Last season, he was a Freshman All-America and Freshman All-SEC selection and hit a team-best .317 with nine doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 37 RBI, 42 runs and 12 stolen bases. 

LSU begins this year's journey to the College World Series against Notre Dame on Friday, Feb. 16 at Alex Box Stadium.

PRESEASON RANKINGS:
No. 9 USA Today 
No. 10 Collegiate Baseball
No. 12 Perfect Game
No. 16 D1Baseball.com
No. 17 Baseball America

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