Even though they’re working on a short week with a three-game Southeastern Conference series against Mississippi State starting Thursday night in Starkville, LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri is glad his team has another game to play tonight.

Second-ranked LSU (38-14) will take on Centenary (31-14) at 6:30 p.m. in Alex Box Stadium in the Tigers’ final nonconference contest of the regular season, and Mainieri had more than one reason to smile about it Monday.

Just one day after a 9-3 loss to Florida, he wants the Tigers — who have completed finals — to try and get back in a groove before they leave Wednesday for Starkville.

The Tigers can win the SEC regular-season title outright with a three-game sweep of the Bulldogs, so a game against a quality foe after Sunday’s loss is welcomed, said Mainieri.

“The guys are out of school now, so I didn’t want them sitting around their apartments all day,” he said.

“You can only practice so many hours a week, so I’d rather have them at the ball park playing a game rather than having idle time on their hands. This will keep their minds sharp and focused.”

the advocate