Da Boot Sports
LSU Sports Communications
By: William Franques
BATON ROUGE, La. – Sophomore right-hander Thatcher Hurd recorded 11 strikeouts in six scoreless inning Monday night to lead top-ranked LSU to an 11-0 win over Butler in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU, which won its sixth straight game, improved to 11-1 this season, while Butler dropped to 2-10. Monday’s game was halted after seven innings due to the implementation of the 10-run rule.
The Tigers return to action at 6:30 p.m. CT Wednesday when they play host to Lamar in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The game will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network, and it will be streamed online on SEC Network +.
Hurd (1-0) allowed just three hits in six innings with one walk and 11 strikeouts, firing 73 pitches. The 11 Ks were just one shy of his collegiate career high – he posted 12 strikeouts for UCLA last season in a game versus Long Beach State.
“Thatcher executed all four of his pitches at a high level,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “It was one of those game you felt like you could sit in a rocking chair on defense when the pitcher is going like that. It was just a great performance by him – he had great velocity and movement on his fastball, and the downward break on his curveball was really special.
“He threw everything in every count, and he can be really hard to deal with for hitters when he pitches like that.”
Centerfielder Dylan Crews led the Tigers’ 14-hit output with a homer, a double and three RBI. Rightfielder Paxton Kling was 3-for-3 with a double and his first collegiate home run, and catcher Brady Neal also contributed his first career college homer.
“I thought overall that this was our best offensive game of the season,” Johnson said. “The way we executed, the way the lineup flowed; we did a lot of things well. We really moved the ball around the field and displayed professional hitting all the way through.”
Butler starting pitcher Aaron Barokas (1-1) was charged with the loss, as he surrendered six runs – five earned – on six hits in one inning.
Crews’ two-out solo homer in the first inning – his third dinger of the season – gave LSU a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers expanded the advantage to 7-0 with a six-run second inning highlighted by Neal’s solo homer, an RBI double by leftfielder Tre’ Morgan and a run-scoring single by designated hitter Tommy White.
Kling’s solo shot in the fourth widened the gap to 8-0, and the Tigers added a run in the fifth when Morgan tripled and scored on Crews’ groundout to second base.
LSU plated two more runs in the sixth as third baseman Ben Nippolt lined a two-run double.
Reliever Blake Money retired the side in order in the top of the seventh, firing two strikeouts.
Photos Below By: Michael Bacigalupi
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