By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
BATON ROUGE, LA: The Tigers would pound on Nicholls in their second game of the day in Alex Box Stadium, as they would improve to 6-1 with a 14-0 victory.
The bats came back alive after struggling earlier in the day against Youngstown State. Landon Marceaux would get the win for the Tigers, his first of the season. Marceaux would pitch six complete innings while striking out ten batters, a career high.
The Tigers would go to work in the bottom of the 1st inning. Dylan Crews would get things going with a lead off solo home run over the right field wall. After a Tre' Morgan flyout, Cade Doughty would triple to deep center field.
Cade Beloso would then draw a walk putting runners on the corners with only one out.
Gavin Dugas would then fly out to left field, setting up Brody Drost at the plate. Drost would fly out
to center field stranding two runners on base. 1-0 Tigers....
LSU would get on the board again in the 2nd as Drew Bianco would hit his first home run of the season to left field. Jordan Thompson would step up next and keep the crowd cheering as he would smash the ball over the left center field wall for back to back homers for the Tigers. 3-0 LSU on top as we would head to the 3rd...
Landon Marceaux would continue to keep the Colonels in check with another easy inning against the Nicholls hitters.
LSU would again get a threat going in the bottom of the 4th. Brody Drost would lead off with a single to right field, then move up to second on a wild pitch.
Bianco would walk putting runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. After Jordan Thompson would strike out, both Drost and Bianco would execute a double steal to perfection.
Alex Milazzo would come up to the plate and rip a double down the left field line scoring both runners to extend the Tigers lead to 5-0. The double would chase Nicholls starting pitcher Tyler Theriot from the game as the Colonels would bring Nico Saltaformaggio in from the bull pen.
Nico would walk Crews. Then Tre' Morgan would step up next and hit a single to left field, scoring Milazzo giving the Tigers a 6-0 lead.
Nico would get into trouble quickly as he would next walk Will Safford to load the bases with still only
Up next steps Cade Beloso, and he would draw a RBI base on balls. 7-0 Tigers with the bases still loaded. Gavin Dugas would then hit a ball hard towards short stop. Parker Coddou would make a great stop for the Colonels and throw out Beloso at second, but Morgan would score from 3rd. 8-0 Tigers.
LSU would now have runners on the corners with two outs as Nicholls would make a pitching change.
Colin Kramer would now take the mound for Nicholls.
Drost would hit off of Kramer on his first pitch hitting a single to right field and moving up to 2nd on the throw, Dugas would advance to third while Stafford would cross the plate for another run. Thompson would ground out next to end the inning as we head to the 5th inning with LSU up 9-0.
Landon Marceaux would continue to pitch strong, dominating the Colonel batters with another three up-three down inning in the top of the 5th.
LSU would once again threaten to add more runs, as the Colonel pitchers would all struggle against the Tigers powerful lineup. After Milazzo would ground out, Crews would single to left field. Maurice Hampton Jr. would pinch run for Crews.
Morgan would step up and get hit by a pitch putting runners on 1st and 2nd. Both Hampton and Morgan would move up on a wild pitch.
After Safford would strike out, Cade Beloso would rip a double to center field scoring both runners. Sanford would go down swinging for the final out, but the Tigers would have another inning, scoring two more runs for a 11-0 lead at the end of five.
LSU would build on their lead again in the bottom of the 6th. Drost would lead off with a double to right center, then would advance to third on a Bianco fly out to right field.
Cranford would ground out to short stop to score Drost giving the Tigers a 12-0 lead heading into the 7th inning.
Freshmen Ty Floyd would enter the game for the Tigers to pitch in the top of the 7th ending Marceaux's fantastic night. Floyd would get the Colonels three up-three down, striking out two of them, easily taking us to the bottom of the inning.
Will Stafford would draw a one out walk, bringing Hayden Travinski to the plate. Travinski would hit a single to left field, but would be able to advance to second base when the Nicholls left fielder would miss play the ball allowing it to roll to the wall. Stafford would score from first to add another run to LSU's lead, 13-0 after seven.
Drew Bianco would extend the Tigers lead again as he would lead off the bottom of the 8th with a solo home run over the left field wall. Nicholls pitcher Beau Balado would manage to get the Tigers out without anymore damage done. We head to the top of the 9th with LSU up 14-0.
“It was a long day today, but a good day,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We had a very emotional victory in the first game, and you’re always worried about a letdown after a game like that, but we came out like gangbusters in the second game. Landon Marceaux set the tone and pitched outstanding all night, and we hit some homers that gave us an early lead against a pitcher that beat us last year.
“With the prevailing wind, there was more of a hitters’ environment here today, and we took advantage of it. I really like the way the middle of our order is shaping up right now, (rightfielder) Dylan Crews is an intimidating force at the top of the lineup, and our hitters are swinging with a lot of confidence.”
Freshmen Michael Fowler would replace Ma'Khail Hilliard in the top of the 9th to try and finish things off. Fowler would finish the Colonels off quietly and quickly, as LSU wins the ball game, 14-0.
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
BATON ROUGE, LA: The Tigers would win this one with a walk off two run homer by Cade Doughty, as LSU would beat the pesky Penguins of Youngstown State 5-3. YSU gave the Tigers all they could handle as the Penguin pitchers did an outstanding job cooling off LSU's hot bats. It would take six LSU pitchers to finish off a well hitting Youngstown team. Alex Brady would earn the victory. His first win of the season. LSU showed toughness and grit battling hard for a victory on a night when they were off of their game. With the win, the Tigers are now 5-1.
AJ Labas would find himself in a bind in the top of the first. After a leadoff out, Youngstown State's Phillip Glasser would double to right center. Labas would then hit Andre Good, then walk Blaze Glenn to load the bases with only one out. Labas would step up and register a strike out then a ground out to get out of the inning with no damage done.
Dylan Crews would get things going offensively for the Tigers with a lead off double to the gap in left center. Tre' Morgan would single to left field advancing Crews to third. Cade Doughty would then step up to the plate and hit a double to left center, scoring Crews and moving Morgan to third. Cade Beloso would then ground out to second base picking up a RBI as Morgan would come home to score. The next two Tigers would fail to reach base and we would go to the 2nd inning with LSU on top 2-0.
The game would remain quiet until the end of the 5th inning as both starting pitchers would do a masterful job of keeping the bats under control.
Coach Mainieri would lift AJ Labas after four straight solid innings and the 1st inning hick up
bringing Trent Vietmeier out to the mound to start the 6th. Vietmeier would only face two batters, managing a ground out then a walk.
Mainieri would then insert Jacob Hasty onto the mound. Hasty would struggle giving up a single, then allowing the runner to take second and then third base on wild pitches. Turner Grau would step up to the plate and hit a ground out RBI to cut LSU's lead to 2-1.
Will Hellmers would enter the game to replace Hasty, getting the final two outs to protect the Tigers lead.
The Tigers would continue to have trouble hitting Penguins starting pitcher Collin Floyd as they
would leave Zach Arnold stranded on 2nd base to end the 6th inning.
LSU would threaten in the bottom of the 7th as Jake Wyeth would hit a lead off single, finally chasing off Floyd as the Penguins would go to their bull pen, putting Joel Hake on the mound. Will Stafford would pinch run for Wyeth, advancing to third base on back to back ground outs. Tre' Morgan would step up and finally bring in the Tigers first run since the 1st inning, singling to center field, scoring Stafford. 3-1 Tigers.
Doughty would step up next hitting a single to left field to put runners one 1st and 2nd with two outs. Both runners would advance on a wild pitch. Cade Beloso would then get hit by a pitch to load the bases. Zach Arnold would pop up for the final out, leaving the bases loaded. We would head to the 8th with LSU up 3-1.
Devin Fontenot would come in to relieve Hellmers in the top of the 8th with two outs and a runner
on first. After walking the first batter he would face, Fontenot would then give up a RBI single to Nick Caruso. With the score now 3-2 Tigers, the scrappy Penguins were still not finished. Lucas Nasonti would drive a RBI single to center field to tie the game at 3-3.
After a Mainieri visit to the mound, Fontenot would still struggle to get the final out as he would issue a walk to load the bases. Phillip Glasser would step up and line out to Brody Drost in center field for the 3rd out of the inning. We would go to the bottom of the 8th all tied up at 3-3.
The Tigers would be unable to score in the bottom of the 8th as Youngstown State pitcher Chad Coles would sit the LSU batters down three up-three down.
Alex Brady would enter the game to pitch the 9th for the Tigers. After striking out the lead off hitter, Blaze Glenn would hit a routine ground ball to short stop. Zach Arnold would bobble the ball, then throw wild to Morgan at first base allowing Glenn to advance to scoring position at 2nd base. Next up Brae O'Shaughnessy would pop up behind home plate. Alex Milazzo would make a fantastic catch diving into the back stop for the 2nd out of the inning. Brady would then strike out the next Penguin batter to ring up out number three. We head to the bottom of the 9th inning with a 3-3 tie.
YSU would send Gary Clift Jr. to the mound to pitch the bottom of the inning. Jordan Thompson would pop out to the infield for out number one. Crews would step to the plate and head to first base after getting hit by a pitch. Tre' Morgan would then fly out in left field foul territory. Cade Doughty would stand between keeping it going or an extra inning ball game.
Clift would try to pick off Crews at first and throw wildly. Crews would advance to 3rd on the error. Doughty would step back to the plate and rocket the next pitch out of the park over the left field wall for a two run home run. Tigers win 5-3 in walk off fashion.
Photo Below By: Jonathan Mailhes
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
BATON ROUGE, LA: The Tigers returned home on Friday night and would improve to 4-1 with a 6-2 win over Youngstown State.
Jaden Hill would get the win for the Tigers has he would pitch six outstanding innings, giving up only one hit with four strike outs. Hill is now 2-0 on the season.
LSU would continue their Gorilla Ball attack at the plate, while making tremendous plays on defense throughout the night.
The Tigers would strike first, after Jaden Hill took the Penguins down in order. Tre' Morgan would rip a one out single right up the center over the second base bag. Cade Beloso would step to the plate two batters later and blast his first home run of the season over the right field bleachers. We would head to the 2nd inning with LSU up 2-0.
LSU would increase their lead in the bottom of the third. After a Milazzo fly out and a Crews strike out, Tre' Morgan would single to right field, then quickly steal safely to second base. Cade Doughty would step to the plate and hit a two run home run to left field, his first homer of the season. After three innings, the Tigers held a 4-0 lead over the Penguins.
The Tigers would extend their lead in the 4th. After a Zach Arnold strike out, Gavin Dugas would step up and send the ball screaming deep over the left center field wall for a solo homer to put LSU up 5-0 as we would head to the 5th inning.
Cade Doughty nearly added to the LSU lead in the bottom of the 5th inning. With Dylan Crews on 2nd base, Doughty took the ball for a ride to deep right field. Penguin right fielder Turner Grau would make a nice grab up against the wall to steal a hit from the Tigers. 5-0 LSU as we head to the 6th inning.
Coach Mainieri would replace Jaden Hill with senior lefty Brandon Kaminer to start the 7th.
Kaminer would surrender a run before the Tigers could get the 3rd out of the inning on a laser throw out to 2nd base from LSU catcher Alex Milazzo.
Mainieri would then replace Kaminer after only one inning of work, sending freshmen Blake Money to the mound. Money would ring up the Penguins three up-three down quickly to take us to the bottom of the 8th inning.
After two Tiger outs, Zach Arnold would step up and hit his second home run of the season to left center field to make the score 6-1. Dugas would then step up and line a single to right field. With the hit and run on, Will Safford would single to the left side, moving pinch runner Drew Bianco to third. Stafford would move up to second base on the throw in. However, the Tigers would be unable to plate another score, leaving both runners on base to end the 8th.
Money would remain in the contest to finish off the Penguins, but Youngstown wouldn't go down without a fight. With one out, Jeff Wehler would send a solo home run over the left field wall to cut LSU's lead to 6-2. The next two hitters for the Penguins would single, then double to chase Money from the ball game.
Devin Fontenot would come in to try and stop the Penguins surge, with runners on second and third with only one out. Fontenot would quickly get the 2nd out on his first pitch with a weak blooper to Morgan. Then on his second pitch, Blaze Glenn would pop up to LSU catcher Jake Wyeth to end the game and a 6-2 Victory for LSU....
LSU has played well over their last two contest as they seem to have found themselves in a nice zone at the plate as they would total 11 hits on the night, while the pitching has been stellar.
Can these young Tigers keep up this level of play? It will be fun to watch and see. Next up the Tigers will play Youngstown State at 2:00pm on Saturday, followed by a second game against Nicholls at 6:30pm.
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
LAFAYETTE, LA:: The Tigers (2-1) traveled down the road to Lafayette to play the UL Ragin Cajuns (3-1) on Wednesday night and would come away a 11-2 victory over their in-state rivals. LSU continued to show case the strength of their pitching staff, while at the plate the LSU hitters had a solid night with 14 hits and showed patience at the plate drawing seven base on balls. The Tigers would also benefit from five Cajun errors.
The Tigers would get on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning. Mitchell Sanford would start the inning off with a lead off walk.
Gavin Dugas would follow with a single off of the UL pitcher's glove putting runners at 1st and 2nd with no outs.
Jordan Thompson would be next up to the plate and would hit a routine fly ball to left field, that would be dropped by Cajun outfielder Conner Kimple. The error would load the bases with no outs.
Alex Milazzo would ground out to short stop, scoring Sanford from third while moving the other runners up.
Two batters later Cade Doughty would single, then advance to second on an error by the UL short stop Sam Riloa. Thompson and Dugas would both score on the play to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead.
The Tigers would manage another run in the top of the third to increase their lead to 4-0, but would miss an opportunity to deliver a huge blow to the Cajuns as they would leave two runners in scoring position.
UL would get on the board in the bottom of the inning as Bren Breaux would hit a solo home run over the right field wall. We would go to the 4th with LSU up, 4-1.
LSU would plate a run in the top of the 6th when UL pitcher Austin Perrin would walk Dylan Crews home with the bases loaded. The Tigers would hold a 5-1 lead going to the 7th.
The Tigers would pad their lead with a run scored in the top of the 7th inning... 6-1 LSU..
The Cajuns would try to mount a comeback in the bottom of the 8th as LSU pitcher Alex Brady would struggle.
Brady would give up a lead off single, then back to back walks to load the sacks with no outs. Carson Roccaforte would then hit a RBI single to right field, running the score to 6-2, and chasing Brady from the ball game with the bases still full with no outs.
Senior Devin Fontenot would enter the game for the Tigers and quickly get his team out of trouble. Fontenot would grab a line drive hit back at him, then double up the runner on 1st base. Kevin Fitzgerald would step up to the plate next for UL, for Fontenot to strike out swinging for the third out of the 8th inning.
The Tigers would add five insurance runs in the top of the 9th as freshmen Brody Drost would hit a two run homer over the right field fence. After back to back singles by Milazzo and Crews, Cade Doughty would hit a double to bring home Milazzo for a 9-2 lead. Tre' Morgan would then single in Crews, followed by a ground out RBI by Cade Beloso.. 11-2 Tigers.
Freshmen Theo Millas would make his first appearance as a LSU Tiger in the bottom of the 9th and would get the Cajun hitters three up-three down to end the ballgame. FINAL: 11-2 LSU.....
“It was a great team victory for us tonight; I thought we played well in all facets of the game,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “I thought we really swung the bats well all night, and the story of the game was the two freshmen pitchers, Edwards and Hellmers. Garrett got us off to a great start, and Will looked fantastic in his two innings. Getting an early lead really helped both of those guys and allowed them to challenge the hitters. We had a lot of great at-bats, and it was just a total team effort. I’m really proud of the guys; it was fun to win a game on the road against a really good team.”
With the win, LSU is now 3-1 on the season.. Up next the Tigers will host Youngstown State on Friday night at 7:00pm. Then play two games on Saturday. First against Youngstown State at 2:00pm, then against Nicholls at 6:30pm.
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
BATON ROUGE, LA:: The Tigers would bounce back from their disappointing loss to Air Force with an impressive 16-7 victory over a good Louisiana Tech team at Alex Box Stadium on Monday night.
The Bulldogs had their way with Tigers starting pitcher AJ Labas as they would build a 6-2 lead halfway through the game. Freshmen pitcher Javen Coleman would enter the game and shut down the Tech attack earning his first win of the season.
The Tigers would also begin to heat up at the plate and end up scoring 14 runs in their final four innings at bat. It was nice to see this young, talented LSU team seem to begin to put things together. With a group of freshmen earning playing time so early in the season, look for steady improvement in each game.
After a quiet first two innings, the Bulldogs would ignite a four run inning in the top of the third. It began quickly as Taylor Young would lead off with a home run to left field. Then with runners on 1st and 2nd base with no outs, Steele Netterville would blast a ball deep to right field that would land off the bottom of the wall just over the reach of LSU right fielder Dylan Crews. The hit would score two more runs as Netterville would end up with a stand up triple. Manny Garcia would step up to the plate and rip a single to center field to bring Netterville home for run number four. AJ Labas and the Tiger defense would be able to get the next three Bulldogs out to end the bleeding, as we would head to the bottom of the 3rd with Louisiana Tech leading 4-0.
LSU would answer with a run in the bottom of the inning as Dylan Crews would send one into orbit deep over the right center field wall for a two out, solo home run, cutting the lead to 4-1 as we would head into the 4th.
Tech would get that LSU run right back as they would respond in the top of the fourth inning. Parker Bates would hit a solo shot over the left center field wall to extend the Bulldogs lead to 5-1. Mainieri would then chose to make a pitching change bringing in freshman Javen Coleman who would help get the Tigers out of the 4th with no more damage done.
LSU would mount a threat in the bottom of the 5th as they would load the bases with only one out. Dylan Crews would step to the plate and single to left field scoring Mitchell Sanford from 3rd. One run is all the Tigers could manage as a base running mistake would cost them an out, along with their struggles at the plate. We would head to the 6th inning with Tech up 5-2.
Coleman would continue to pitch well for the Tigers, facing only four batters in the top of the 6th. Unfortunately, one of them, Hunter Wells would blast a solo home run deep over the left field bleachers putting the Bulldogs back up by four runs, 6-2.
LSU would find themselves with the bases loaded again for the second straight inning. This time a Tiger would step up and make the big hit. Gavin Dugas would rocket a grand slam over the left field wall to even things up at 6-6. Freshmen Jordan Thompson would step up to the plate next and hit his first home run as a Tiger over the left center field wall to give LSU their first lead of the ball game, 7-6 after six innings...
The Tigers began to heat up at the plate as they would have another solid inning in the 7th scoring four more runs to take a 11-6 lead.
After doing a great job of shutting down the La Tech bats, Javen Coleman would be replaced by Matthew Beck to start the 8th. Beck would pick up where Coleman left off as the Bulldogs remained handcuffed through the inning, going down quietly.
LSU continued to stay aggressive at the plate and once again would load the bases. Jake Wyeth would then step up to the plate a hit a shot down the left field line to clear the bases with a stand up double. Two batters later Cade Doughty would hit a single to bring Wyeth in for a four run 8th.
Tech would add a run in the top of the 9th, but Jacob Hasty would do a great job on the mound to finish the game off.
“Tonight’s game showed that our players have a maturity about them; they turned the page after a tough loss (to Air Force) yesterday,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We had a great pregame batting practice and pregame infield, and you could see the guys were focused and enthused about playing. They went out there and played their hearts out tonight.
“You never heard any negativity in the dugout when we were down by four runs. Javen Coleman came in and settled the game down for us, Dylan Crews gave us a spark with a solo homer, and then the sixth inning was huge for us.”
With the win LSU is now 2-1 on the season...
Up next the Tigers will travel to Lafayette to play the UL Ragin Cajuns on Wednesday, Feb. 24th
Photos below by: Jonathan Mailhes
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
BATON ROUGE, LA:: The Tigers (1-0) return to action on Sunday afternoon as they again would play host to Air Force (0-1) at The Box. LSU opened up their 2021 season with a 6-1 victory over the Falcons on Saturday. As expected LSU's pitching was phenomenal ringing up 14 strikeout, but the Tigers lacked production at the plate. Air Force walked 11 LSU batters and the Tigers ended up stranding 15 runners on base. Hopefully this young LSU team will improve offensively so the all important timely hit will become a often occurrence.
Air Force lead off batter Blake Covin would start the 1st inning off with a slow dribbling bunt towards third base. A tough defensive play, as Covin would beat out the throw. The Tigers would then turn two on a nice double play from 2nd (Cade Doughty) to 1st base (Tre' Morgan). Marceaux would get a pop out to right field for the final out.
Falcons pitcher John Barnes would make quick work of the first two LSU batters as Dylan Crews
would foul out to the 1st baseman, followed by a pop up to 2nd base by Cade Doughty. Tre' Morgan would draw a walk, then steal 2nd base to set up LSU's first scoring opportunity. Cade Beloso would then advance to 1st base on a hit pitch. With runners on 1st and 2nd and two down, Gavin Dugas would be unable to move the runners as he would strike out swinging to end the 1st inning.... LSU would once again leave runners on base.
Marceaux would put the Falcons down in order, three up-three down while registering his first strike out in the process.
Giovanni DiGiacomo would start the bottom of the 2nd inning with a bang as he would hit a deep well hit fly ball to right field just out of the reach of the Air Force out fielder. The ball would bounce and roll into the corner. DiGiacomo would end up with a beautiful lead off, stand up triple. After a Will Hellmers fly out, Drew Bianco would ground out, but bring in DiGiacomo to plate the first run of the ball game. Alex Milazzo would strike out to end the 2nd inning with LSU up 1-0.
Landon Marceaux would continue to pitch at a high level as he again would sit the Falcons, three up-three down, with a quick ground out and two more strike outs...
Dylan Crews would lead off the bottom of the inning with a nice single to left field. Cade Doughty would then reach 1st base on a fielders choice. Tre' Morgan would step up to the plate and ignite the crowd with a RBI double to deep left field, scoring Doughty from 1st. Beloso and Dugas would each fly out to end the inning, LSU up 2-0.
Air Force would get it going in the top of the fourth with some help from a couple of LSU errors. Covin would single right over short stop for a single to left field. Covin would then steal his first base of the season ending up on 2nd. Gabriel Garcia would reach 1st base safely on a throwing error. Then a ground out would advance Garcia to 3rd base while scoring Covin. Garcia would then score from 3rd base on a LSU throwing error to tie the game at 2-2.
The Tigers were unable to make any noise in the bottom of the 4th inning, as Hellmers would draw a one out walk, then advance to 2nd on a wild pitch, but would be left on base to end the inning.
Marceaux would put the Flacons down quietly in order, three up- three down in the 5th..
John Barnes would continue to pitch a solid game for Air Force as LSU's woes at the plate continued on. Barnes would hit Morgan to put him on 1st base, then Morgan would advance to 2nd on a wild pitch, but the Tigers would strand him there. We would head to the 6th inning still tied up at 2-2.
Ma'Khail Hilliard would relieve Marceaux to start the 6th inning. Blake Covin would continue to be a thorn in the Tigers side as he would lead off the inning with a single up the middle. After a fly out, Covin would steal 2nd base safely and would then score on a LSU throwing error. Hilliard would finally get the Tigers out of the inning...
Robert Martin would replace John Byrnes on the mound for Air Force and would quickly register three straight strike outs for a three up-three down LSU inning... We would head to the 7th inning with Air Force holding a 3-2 lead.
Paul Mainieri would bring in freshman Blake Money to start the top of the 7th. Cole Blatchford would lead off the inning with a double to left field, but Money would settle down and ring up the first strike out of his LSU career. Next Falcon batter up would hit the ball towards the left side and the Tigers would do a great job of tagging out Blatchford trying to advance from 2nd to 3rd base for the 2nd out of the inning. After issuing a walk, Money would strike out Garcia to end the frame.
The Tigers were still unable to get to Martin in the bottom of the 7th as Bianco and Milazzo would both strike out to start the inning. After Crews would draw a walk, Cade Doughty would fly out to end the 7th quietly.... We would head to the 8th inning with the score still 3-2, Air Force...
Trent Vietmeier would replace Money to start the 8th inning for the Tigers, and he would hit the mound smoking. He would strike out the first two Falcon batters, then register a fly out to shallow left field for a quick three up-three down inning.
Tre' Morgan would lead of the LSU 8th with a walk. Next Beloso would have a nice at bat drawing a walk. Will Safford would pinch hit for Dugas. A wild pitch would advance the Tiger runners to 2nd and 3rd with no outs. After Safford would strike out, Zack Arnold would step up and make the timely hit, ripping a single to left field scoring both Morgan and Beloso. Air Force would make a pitching change. Joe Martinez would come in and get the last two outs for the Falcons. We would head to the top of the 9th with LSU leading 4-3.
LSU would head into the top of the 9th with Ty Floyd taking the mound to try and close things out. After striking out the lead off batter, Floyd would struggle as he would walk the next two hitters, then give up a week single to short stop to load the bases with only one out. Mainieri would pull Floyd and replace him with Aaron George. George would walk Covin sending a run home to tie the game at 4-4. With the bases still loaded with only one out Gabriel Garcia would step up to the plate. Garcia would hit a deep fly ball to center field. Deep enough to score another run for the Falcons. The Tigers would finally record the third out of the frame and head to the bottom of the 9th with some work to do as Air Force leads 6-4.
Mitchell Sanford would lead off the inning for the Tigers and go down swinging. Dylan Crews would step to the plate and hit a solo home run to left field to pull the Tigers to within 6-5. Cade Doughty would then ground out as LSU would be down to their final out. Tre' Morgan would step up to bat but would strike out on a 3-2 count. Air Force would escape with a well earned 6-5 victory....
Photos below by: Jonathan Mailhes
LSU Sports Information
By: William Franques
BATON ROUGE - No. 7 LSU opened the 2021 season with a 6-1 victory over Air Force, Saturday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
"It's been so long, almost 350 days, to get back on the field," head coach Paul Mainieri said. "It was great to have people in the stands and to have my family here. It just felt normal. I am appreciative to get here. I'll remember today for a long time."
The Tigers (1-0) return for the second game of their opening weekend at noon Sunday against Air Force (0-1). The game will be available live on SEC Network+ through WatchESPN.com and the app.
LSU's Jaden Hill (1-0) earned the second victory of his career on Saturday. Hill pitched four scoreless innings and allowed just four hits. The junior struck out five on the day, including three in the first inning. The LSU pitching staff allowed just one run on six hits in nine innings. The group struck out 14 and allowed just one walk.
"Our whole pitching staff was the story of the game," Mainieri added. "Jaden (Hill) pitched an extra inning. He had a really good outing after only planning for three. Garrett (Edwards) was great and then Matthew (Beck) said it was the best he felt in five to six weeks so I adjusted the plans for that. He was tremendous today. The whole bullpen was fantastic."
Air Force's Stevan Fairburn (0-1) was charged with the loss. Fairburn pitched four innings and gave up just one run on three hits. The junior lefty walked four and struck out a pair of batters.
LSU opened the first inning with a bases-loaded walk by freshman first baseman Tre' Morgan. LSU left five men on base between the second and fourth innings before crossing home plate again.
In the fifth, Air Force reliever Jason Shuger walked the first two batters and they advanced into scoring position on a passed ball. Giovanni DiGiacamo then singled through the left side to score Gavin Dugas and give LSU a 2-0 lead.
In his LSU debut, Morgan recorded his second RBI with a single to left field. The hit scored Cade Beloso from second and extended LSU's lead to 3-0.
The Tigers improved their lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh. With the bases loaded, Zach Arnold scored on a sac fly to left field by Cade Doughty.
Air Force's lone run came in the top of the eighth on a wild pitch.
Arnold boomed the Tigers' first home run of 2021 to left field. The two-run homer came on a 2-2 pitch and gave LSU the 6-1 lead.
Photos Below By: Jonathan Mailhes
LSU Sports Information
By: William Franques
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Due to COVID issues within its team, Notre Dame will not be traveling to Baton Rouge this weekend for the games it was scheduled to play in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU was scheduled to face Notre Dame on Sunday, so the Tigers will now meet Air Force at 12 p.m. CT Sunday.
LSU opens the season at 1 p.m. Saturday versus Air Force, and the Tigers will take on Louisiana Tech at 6:30 p.m. Monday to conclude the opening series.
All three games may be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, and they may be viewed online on SEC Network +.
Air Force and Louisiana Tech will also meet at 4 p.m. CT on Sunday, though that game will not be open to the general public.
Below is the updated schedule for the opening weekend:
LSU Baseball Games This Weekend
Saturday, February 20 – Air Force at LSU, 1 p.m. CT
Sunday, February 21 – Air Force at LSU, 12 p.m. CT
Monday, February 22 – Louisiana Tech at LSU, 6:30 p.m. CT
Other Scheduled Game at Alex Box Stadium This Weekend
(not open to the general public)
Sunday, February 21 – Air Force vs. Louisiana Tech, 4 p.m. CT
LSU Sports Information
By: William Franques
BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU has adjusted the starting times for its baseball games on Friday and Saturday due to the forecast of extremely cold weather this weekend at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU will now meet Air Force in its 2021 season opener at 4 p.m. CT on Friday, instead of the originally-scheduled 7 p.m. CT start time.
The first pitch for Saturday’s LSU-Notre Dame game has also been moved to 4 p.m. CT from his original 7 p.m. CT time slot.
Sunday’s LSU-Louisiana Tech game will still be played at 3:30 p.m. CT, as originally scheduled. All three games may be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, and they may be viewed online on SEC Network +.
Air Force, Notre Dame and Louisiana Tech will also play each other this weekend at Alex Box Stadium in a round-robin format; however, those games will be not open to the general public.
Louisiana Tech-Notre Dame is set for 11 a.m. CT Friday; Air Force-Louisiana Tech will be played at 11 a.m. CT Saturday; and Notre Dame meets Air Force at 11 a.m. CT Sunday.
LSU Baseball Games This Weekend
Friday, February 19 – Air Force at LSU, 4 p.m. CT
Saturday, February 20 – Notre Dame at LSU, 4 p.m. CT
Sunday, February 21 – Louisiana Tech at LSU, 3:30 p.m. CT
Other Scheduled Games at Alex Box Stadium This Weekend
(not open to the general public)
Friday, February 19 – Louisiana Tech vs. Notre Dame, 11 a.m. CT
Saturday, February 20 – Air Force vs. Louisiana Tech, 11 a.m. CT
Sunday, February 21 – Notre Dame vs. Air Force, 11 a.m. CT
LSU Sports Information
By: William Franques
BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU is No. 9 in the 2021 USA Today preseason poll released Thursday, marking the Tigers’ third Top 10 preseason ranking.
LSU is No. 7 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and No. 10 in the Baseball America rankings that have been released in prior weeks. The Tigers will begin the season ranked among the Top 10 teams in the nation for the ninth time in 10 years.
The Tigers begin preseason workouts last Friday, and LSU opens the 2021 season at 7 p.m. on February 19 versus Air Force in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU has a 38-man roster that includes a recruiting class ranked No. 2 in the country by Baseball America. The Tigers also return 10 position players with starting experience and 10 pitchers who recorded innings last season.
LSU is one of nine Southeastern Conference teams appearing in the USA Today 2021 preseason Top 25, along with No. 1 Florida, No. 3 Vanderbilt, No. 5 Ole Miss, No. 7 Mississippi State, No. 8 Arkansas, No. 16 Tennessee, No. 20 South Carolina and No. 24 Georgia.
The Tigers’ 2021 schedule features 18 games against teams ranked in the USA Today Top 25.
2021 USA Today Preseason Poll (last season’s records in parentheses)
1 Florida (16-1)
2 UCLA (13-2)
3 Vanderbilt (13-5)
4 Texas Tech (16-3)
5 Mississippi (16-1)
6 Louisville (13-4)
7 Mississippi State (12-4)
8 Arkansas (11-5)
9 LSU (12-5)
10 Texas (14-3)
11 TCU (11-4)
12 North Carolina State (14-3)
13 UC Santa Barbara (13-2)
14 Virginia (14-4)
15 Miami (12-4)
16 Tennessee (15-2)
17 Georgia Tech (11-5)
18 Oklahoma State (13-5)
19 Arizona (10-5)
20 South Carolina (12-4)
21 Florida State (12-5)
22 West Virginia (11-5)
23 East Carolina (13-4)
24 Georgia (14-4)
25 Wake Forest (10-8)
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
BATON ROUGE, La.:: The Tigers will enter the 2021 season with a high level of optimism as they return a majority of last season's team along with a dynamic freshman class.
Once again, the pitching staff is loaded as Jaden Hill, Landon Marceaux, and AJ Labas should open the season as the weekend starters, after the departure of their Friday night starter, Cole Henry. The weekend starters will be backed by a bullpen full of solid, experienced talent.
The team will also look to bounce back and avoid the slow start at the plate that happened last season, as they look to replace their three top hitters.
Defensively the Tigers are young but talented, something that coach Paul Mainieri is not concerned about, as he feels his LSU squad will be one of the best in the SEC in 2021.
Below are a few quotes from Coach Mainieri's press conference with the media on Friday, Jan. 29th...
“It’s good to be with everybody, today’s an exciting day, to say the least. It’s a beautiful day. … We’re going to have a beautiful to get everything done that we want to get done. We’re going to simulate February 19th as best we can with our pregame batting practice, pregame infield, scrimmage game—we’ve got all three flags up behind center field. The players will be in game uniforms for the first time. We’ll have umpires, the field will be lined like it would be on game day. Hopefully the guys will respond well and be excited about being out there and it’ll take a little bit of the nerves away from what they normally would feel on Opening Day, which is February 19th against the Air Force Academy. So, we’re excited.
“I’m thrilled about the way our team is looking thus far. It’s been well chronicled; we have a very veteran pitching staff. We lost Eric Walker and Cole Henry from last year’s team, but I believe that Jaden Hill has the capability of stepping in and picking up for Cole Henry as a big-time starting pitcher. I think we’re going to see him continue to improve as the season goes on. Obviously, Landon Marceaux and AJ Labas give us the veteran rotation and then we’ve got so many guys coming out of the bullpen that have had experience with us and have done a tremendous job. When you add that to some of the young freshman pitchers, the pitching staff has so much to be excited about.
“Position player wise, we’re probably as young as our pitchers are veteran but that’s not scaring me at all. I think we have a very talented group of position players and I’m excited about them. As the season goes on, they’ll get experience. I just believe they’re going to continue to get better and better. I think our team is primed to be one of the top teams in the SEC.
“The SEC is going to be as tough as it’s ever been, if not tougher because so many schools like us have had players return or not get drafted because of the shortened draft. So, the talent level in the SEC is going to be extreme. I’m not sure how many first-round pitchers are going to come out of the SEC, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a third of the first round is SEC pitchers or position players. It’s going to be an exciting season. Today is three weeks from Opening Day and we’ve got three weeks to get everything tightened up a bit and start the non-conference segment of our schedule.”
On managing All-American pitcher Jaden Hill to the best of his abilities …
“Well, when Jaden was in high school in Arkansas, he played third base a lot and pitched. He told me he hardly ever threw a bullpen session when he was in high school. All of a sudden, he comes to college and he wants to focus on pitching. We all felt that was the right thing to do and of course (LSU pitching coach) Alan Dunn has his throwing program that he develops the pitchers with, and it’s been extremely successful through the years. We’ve hardly ever really had injuries throughout the years with the way that Alan has handled those guys. But for Jaden, it was a little bit much for what he was used to in high school, so the adjustment was pretty dramatic for him.
“He started the first two weekends his freshman year and then went down with a sore arm. There was nothing structurally wrong with his arm. We did multiple MRIs, etc., and it was just a matter of the muscles getting used to the quantity of throwing for a college pitcher. Last year, it was a very concerted effort on Alan and I, with Cory Couture, our trainer, to bring him along slowly in the spring so we moved him into the bullpen. We managed very carefully how many pitches he threw, how many innings he threw, with the idea that we would stretch him out as the year went on. The intention was to start him out in the bullpen and ultimately, he might move into the rotation. Of course, the season got ended before we could realize that expectation.
“This year, there’s no real holding him back. He’s going to start the season in the rotation. We may hold him back a little more than what Marceaux and Labas do because those guys are such veterans and have done it so much. Whereas opening weekend, for example, say Marceaux and Labas went five innings because they pitched effectively enough, we may not have Hill go quite that long and just constantly be building it up. I really want the kid to feel confident, not only in his ability to succeed and dominate but also to feel that he’s healthy. Rather than push him too much early, we might take it a little bit slower than we do with the other guys.
“I think he’s going to be fine. He's probably the best athlete on our team and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t have the endurance to be able to stretch it out but we want to make sure we’re doing the right thing. If everything goes according to plan, he should have 19 starts. 14 in the regular season, SEC Tournament, a Regional, a Super Regional, and then hopefully a couple starts in Omaha. So, the first weekend of this season is not going to make or break his season. We want to be careful about that.”
On managing the expectations of freshman outfielder/infielder Dylan Crews…
“Listen, I could sit here all day and talk about Dylan. Dylan is one of those kids that arrives at LSU and you know there’s something different about him. (DJ) LeMahieu had that same aura, (Alex) Bregman had that aura, (Antoine) Duplantis had that aura. Not only is Dylan an extremely talented player, but he has a tremendous attitude. He’s coachable as anybody we have; he works hard as anybody we have. You can coach him hard if you want to but there’s hardly ever a need to because the kid is so in love with the game.
“He has the Bregman qualities as far as his passion for the game. I tell him he has Bregman’s passion, but he’s got LeMahieu’s swing. He hits the ball with such authority to the opposite field. The other day he hit a home run off AJ Labas in a simulated game about halfway up the right field stands, in the opposite field. You don’t see right-handed hitters hitting them like that very frequently.
“The kid has a lot of talent. Now of course, LSU fans, when you start promoting a guy like this, they expect him to hit 100 home runs, bat .500, and never make an out. We have to keep reminding yourself that he’s an 18-year-old youngster. He’s going to have some days. The game is a humbling game. He’s going to have days. One of the things he’s going to have to learn to do, because he hasn’t had a lot of failure in his career, is be able to manage the failure without losing confidence and so forth. I would not be surprised at all, because of the maturity level of this kid, that he’s going to be fine.”