Da Boot Sports
By: Davis Penn
RUSTON, LA - LSU (3-1) rode into Ruston, LA hoping to expound upon its opening weekend success but those hopes were dashed in short order as La Tech (4-0) jumped out to a five run lead and completed a wire to wire victory over the Tigers.
The hot bats of the Bayou Bengals were cooled off for much of the game against the Bulldogs, managing a paltry .206 average as a team. To compound the meager offensive output were the defensive miscues that the Bulldogs took advantage of time and time again as LSU committed five errors in the game.
Coach Jay Johnson said, “I was pleased with getting down 5-0 and getting it back to 5-4; I think that’s a good sign, and I think the energy in the dugout was a positive. I felt like we were engaged in the game, but we’ve got to play baseball better.”
Don’t be too surprised though, while #2 LSU carried the better ranking into the game, #15 La Tech is continuing to
carry momentum from a season ago where they hosted a regional of their own and returned a fair amount of talent from last season.
Sixth year senior LHP Cade Gibson (1-0) got the start for La Tech and went five innings, striking out eight batters and limiting the Tigers to three runs on three hits.
Fifth year seniors Taylor Young and Steele Netterling got the Bulldogs offense going with Young producing a pair of hits in the first and second frame and Netterling hitting a solo HR in the third to give the Techsters a 5-0 lead after the three innings.
Riley Cooper (0-1) started on the mound for the Tigers but only lasted two innings before Will Hellmers took over in the third inning. Javen Coleman, Eric Reyzelman, and Paul Gervase would each come on in middle relief before Grant Taylor would come in to close out the game.
The defense would not help the pitching efforts in the contest, as three plays to first base that were all but routine allowed runners to reach safely. LSU was charged with five errors in the game but could’ve easily been charged with an additional two or three more.
Brayden Jobert hit his third HR of the season, a two run shot that scored Jordan Thompson in the fourth inning. The Tigers were led by Thompson and Gavin Dugas who each had a pair of hits and helped the Tigers climb back into contention by narrowing the La Tech lead to 5-4 in the top of the sixth inning.
Unfortunately for LSU though, two walks and three errors in the bottom of the sixth inning allowed La Tech to reclaim it’s five run lead. Taylor Young would add a two run homer in the seventh inning for the Bulldogs to give Tech an 11-4 advantage, then Gavin Dugas would hit a two run double in the eighth that would finish out the scoring for the contest. The LSU batting order struck out 14 times in the contest.
Next up for LSU, the Tiers will play four games at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field this weekend..
Friday, 2/25: LSU vs. Towson, 6:30 p.m. CT,
Saturday, 2/26: LSU vs. Southern, 1:30 p.m. CT,
Sunday, 2/27: LSU vs. Towson, 12:00 p.m. CT, and LSU vs. Southern, 5:00 p.m. CT