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A Look At Where LSU Baseball Stands After Auburn Series Win

Tigers still in control of postseason hopes but strong final push is needed

LSU baseball has won consecutive SEC series for the first time all season and will need to win at least four more conference games to secure a spot in the SEC Tournament and make a case for the NCAA Tournament. 

The Tigers are coming off a productive series at Auburn, taking two of three in a competitive weekend that likely would've been a sweep if the LSU bats hadn't inexplicably gone cold in game three. It was perhaps one of the more positive series from a pitching perspective but not because of the performance from the starters.

Landon Marceaux and AJ Labas in particular had struggles throughout their outings but were picked up by stellar bullpen performances and late offensive surges to earn the Tigers the wins needed. It wasn't a typical form this team has become accustomed to winning as finishing games has been a recurring theme all season. The bats came alive down the stretch of those first two games and the bullpen was magnificent to close them both out. 

But old habits die hard and hitting and bullpen pitching were the crux of not pulling off the series sweep. At 9-15 in SEC play, there's still plenty of work to be done. A midweek game over top 20 Louisiana Tech certainly can't be overlooked, but as coach Paul Mainieri has said for many weeks now, it's about time this team starts stringing together winning series.  

This becomes the most important week of the season for the Tigers with LSU's RPI being No. 22, Louisiana Tech at No. 24 and Alabama at No. 29 in the country. A solid showing this weekend would go a long way in making a postseason statement.

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"I've told our players this is the most important week of the season," Mainieri said. 

LSU is in a precarious position as it is still likely on the outside looking in of the NCAA tournament and could really use a sweep over the next two weeks against Alabama or Texas A&M. A 2-1 loss to Auburn, 10-9 loss to Ole Miss and 13-4 loss to Kentucky all in game threes kept the Tigers from sweeping a series earlier in the schedule but those experiences need to start having more of an effect on the team down the stretch.

"When you have an opportunity to sweep a series and you don't get the job done, it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth," Mainieri said. "It's happened to us three times this year and we didn't finish on a high note. We've recovered from it but there are opportunities lost that you can't get back."

In fact, LSU has lost all but two game threes in conference play against Mississippi State and Arkansas. If this team has any chance of making it to the postseason beyond the SEC Tournament, it needs to learn to finish series off the right way.

That all starts with a game against No. 17 Louisiana Tech on Tuesday, the second time the Tigers and Bulldogs have played this season after a 16-7 win back in February. The game is still on for Tuesday evening but with heavy weather expected all week, there are still meetings that need to be had as to whether the game can be played. 

"When you're playing a team with a high RPI, it can help you," Mainieri said. "This is a week of four games with really good RPI and the more solid it makes your resume. This is a very critical week, there's no sugarcoating it."