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It's newcomer versus perennial powerhouse as Utah Valley heads into an NCAA Regional matchup with LSU Friday afternoon.
The Wolverines clinched the program's first NCAA Tournament berth with a WAC Tournament title, while the Tigers have won six World Series titles and made 17 CWS appearances.
On the mound for UVU will likely be ace Danny Beddes, who racked up 96 strikeouts, a 9-3 record and a 4.33 ERA in 99 innings pitched in the regular season.
The Wolverines will hope their best hitters get off to a hot start. Seniors Craig Brinkerhoff and Mark Krueger combined for 81 RBIs and 18 home runs in the regular season.
LSU could trot out either lefty Jared Poche (7-4, 3.61 ERA) or right-hander Alex Lange (7-3, 3.56 ERA) on the mound. Offensively, the Tigers are well-rounded and dangerous with seven players producing at least 30 RBIs in the regular season.
Jordan Romero and Greg Deichmann are hitters to watch after combining for 16 home runs and 85 RBIs for LSU in the regular season.
Both teams enter the NCAA Regional on a hot streak, UVU closing the season winning nine of the last 10 games and LSU winning 14 of its last 16. UVU also accrued a 5-3 record against NCAA Tournament teams this season, including a three-game sweep over Utah.
The game is set for 1 p.m. MDT, but could be delayed with a 70 percent chance of rain and likely thunderstorms forecasted Friday in Baton Rouge by the National Weather Service.
UVU will then play either Rice or Southeastern Louisiana at 1 p.m. or 6 p.m. Saturday.
P At Alex Box Stadium
Baton Rouge, La.
Game 1 • Utah Valley (37-21) at LSU (42-18), 1 p.m.
Game 2 • Southeastern Louisiana (39-19) vs. Rice (35-22), 6 p.m.
Game 3 • Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 1 p.m.
Game 4 • Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 5 • Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 1 p.m.
Game 6 • Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 7 • Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner (if necessary), 6 p.m.