Lions vs. Tigers: The long history of rivalry


Elana Guillory/The Lion's Roar

Eli Johnson, senior third baseman, leads off second base in the Lions victory over Tulane University on March 3. The Lions will face LSU with a 11-4 record, the best start the Lions have had in over seven seasons. Southeastern will take on LSU on March 16 at Alex Box Stadium at Skip Bertman Field.

Lions baseball has faced plenty of opponents throughout their career, but one team stands out as one of their toughest.

Ever since their first match-up in 1937, Lions baseball has gone head-to-head with the LSU Tigers and has put up a tough fight, but ultimately, the Lions have the most losses at a staggering 74 out of 93 contests with LSU.

Last year, the Lions fell 6-3 to the Tigers on the road at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge.

Head coach Matt Riser said he is hopeful that the Lions can pull out a win in Tuesday’s match against the Tigers.

He said, “Hopefully it is a different result, but obviously the process is still the same. We’re going to go and have some different arms and opportunities in that game to improve ourselves even though it is a different format now than it was last year.”

Riser pointed out that this game is going to be in between two conference series. Since this is the case, Riser is not planning to go too long on one pitcher in the match as to not wear them down before the conference series this weekend.

When facing an opponent like the LSU Tigers, Riser said he treats them as any other opponent and stated that there are no special preparations or considerations regarding a tough opponent.

“It doesn’t matter who is in the dugout. It could be the Bad News Bears, Mississippi Valley State, Arizona or the LSU Tigers. Our preparation and what we put into it is separate. We always talk about if we’re executing what we are trying to execute gameplan-wise and take care of ourselves, we can have success. The preparation is the same, nothing out of the ordinary,” Riser said.

Coach Riser commended the LSU Tigers for their program and commented on the environment of the Tigers’ “homeland.”

He said, “They obviously have a great program and historically, they have always been one of the top programs in the country in the last 30 years and it’s always a tough stadium and environment when playing in the Alex Box Stadium.”

In regards to the environment of Alex Box Stadium, junior outfielder Matt Taylor recalled his experience of the Lions game against the Tigers’ last March.

“They were well-prepared and I mean it is LSU and it is a bigger environment and something you dream about. The experience was awesome. Obviously, the nerves were going the first two to three innings but that is to be expected. But overall, it was pretty lit,” Taylor said.

Taylor said he felt as though he and his team are more prepared this year because they are more adept both offensively and defensively coming into the game.

Lions baseball will face off against the LSU Tigers Tuesday, March 16 at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge at 6:30 p.m.