By: Brittney Achord
Da Boot Sports
The Tigers would look to find redemption after losing two of three against Oral Roberts this past weekend as they checkmate Texas Southern 10-4. The Tigers are now 10-3 overall with SEC play just around the corner.
1st Inning was Going...Going...GONE!
Javen Coleman would start on the mound for the Tigers to face Texas Southern. After walking the first two hitters, Nic Garza would hit a RBI single to center field scoring Oscar Ponce. This would give Texas Southern a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers would regroup in the dugout before stepping up to bat. With Dylan Crews on 3rd, Cade Doughty would step up to bat..... Going….going...GONE over the left field wall into the Left Field Landing. Tigers lead going into the second inning, 2-1 over Texas Southern.
A Scoreless 2nd Inning
Blake Money would take the mound for Coleman in the top of the 2nd. Money and the Tiger defense would face the minimum as TSU would go three up-three down.
TSU would match the Tigers' determination with three up-three down leaving both teams scoreless in the 2nd.
3rd Inning: The inning of many errors...
The Tigers would struggle to find a rhythm in the top of the third. Errors would cost them three runs and the lead. After a double to 2nd, Oscar Ponce would steal 3rd on a wild pitch by Money. With two outs and the bases loaded, Tyrese Clayborne would get a single RBI on an error by 2nd baseman Zach Arnold scoring Ponce. Dean Salzar would then score on a passed ball. After advancing another runner on a hit, Coach Mainieri would send in Ma’Khail Hillard to the mound. A wild pitch would allow Jordan Vidato to score and advance Tyrese Clayborne to 2nd. The Tigers finally were able to end the top of the 3rd on a pop fly to the catcher, Texas Southern would now lead, 4-2.
The Tigers would step up to the plate trying to redeem the errors made in the top of the 3rd. After a Dylan Crews walk, Morgan would finally get the crowd cheering with a single to left field, advancing Crews to 2nd. While Doughty would fly out to left field inches from the wall, Crews would tag up and advance to 3rd. Beloso would ground out to 2nd allowing Crews to score. Gavin Dugas then brought Alex Box Stadium to life with a powerful RBI double to the center field wall scoring Morgan. As “Callin’ Baton Rouge” blared over the stadium speakers, the Tigers were now tied 4-4 forcing Texas Southern to change pitchers. Dugas, would fast as lightning steal 3rd on a wild pitch. Another wild pitch would allow Dugas to score to giving the laed back to the Tigers, 5-4.
4th Inning Explosion
Hillard and the Tigers would make a statement of perseverance as they would sit down the TSU batters, three up-three down to start the 4th.
After a Thompson single to first, Crews would hit a shot up the center past the shortstop, advancing Thompson to 2nd. The crowd would enjoy Tre’ Morgan dancing on 2nd base after hitting a fierce double two RBI down the left side to the corner, scoring both Thompson and Crews. Tigers lead 7-4 going into the 5th inning.
The 5th Inning Matchup
Hillard would continue to pitch well, defending their lead with another three up - three down inning.
Texas Southern would answer back, closing out the 5th with a double play at 3rd and first to end a LSU threat keeping the Tigers lead at 7-4.
Stalemate in the 6th
Hilliard and the Tigers defense would continue to dominate the Texas State's hitters with another three up - three down.
TSU pitcher Alex Olguin would keep the Tigers scoreless in the bottom of the 6th inning as both teams would stalemate 7-4 going into the 7th.
7th Inning Showdown
Top of the 7th, LSU would bring in Devin Fontenot in for Hilliard. Fontenot would struggle early in
the inning. With runners on 2nd and 3rd and two outs, Nic Garza would strike out looking. The Tigers would hold TSU from scoring again in the 7th.
The Tigers would load the bases with one out with Zach Arnold stepping up. Arnold would hit a hard line drive to shortstop that Texas Southern would turn into a double play to end the 7th inning with LSU still leading 7-4.
8th Inning Brings Life for the Tigers
LSU would throw in Aaron George to pitch for Fontenot and George would produce another three up-three down for the Tigers, as the TSU batters struggle against him.
With runners on 1st and 3rd, Tre’ Morgan would sent the ball flying to the center field wall for a triple scoring Thompson and Will Safford (pinch running for Wyeth). Doughty would then hit a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing Morgan to tag up and score to bring the Tigers lead to 10-4.
9th Inning Checkmate
Jacob Hasty would take the mound to finish out the night for the Tigers. With one out and a runner on first, right fielder Dylan Crews raced past the foul line, stretched out like Stretch Armstrong, securing the ball and the out for the Tigers. With two down, a groundout to shortstop Jordan Thompson would give the Tigers victory over Texas Southern with a final score 10-4.
“This Texas Southern team was very well-coached and battle-tested, and they challenged us tonight,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “They had played a very difficult schedule entering tonight’s game and hadn’t backed away from anybody. We had to work for everything we got tonight, and Texas Southern made some tremendous plays on defense. It took everything we had to win, and that’s due to the way Texas Southern competed. I thought Ma’Khail Hilliard’s outing was the key to the victory. He entered the game in the third inning, got a big out for us, and then cruised through the next three innings. He could have continued, but I wanted to get him out of the game to have him available for this weekend.”
The Tigers hit the road tomorrow to take on UNO in New Orleans. The game is set to start at 6:30 pm CT and can be viewed on Cox Sports Television, ESPN+, or listened to through Eagle 98.1 FM.