By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
BATON ROUGE: The Tigers would look to bounce back from their upset loss to Nicholls State on Wednesday night, but would continue to struggle badly at the plate, as they fall to the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, 2-0 in game one of their three game weekend series.
Cole Henry would start the game for the Tigers, and was solid as he took the Colonels down in order, three up- three down to take us quickly to the bottom of the inning.
Eastern Kentucky starting pitcher, Kelly Brennan would also have a strong first inning on the mound, as he would get the Tigers three up- three down quietly.
Henry would again quickly sit each Colonels batter down in order, with another three up- three down inning.
LSU would continue to struggle at the plate as they would go quietly three up- three down for the second straight inning, as the ball game would begin to start shaping up as a pitchers duel.
Eastern Kentucky's Charles Ludwick would lead off the top of the inning with a walk, then would reach second base on a successful sacrifice bunt by Michael Brewer. Henry would then walk, Christian Lucio to put runners at first and second with only one out. Nick Howie would come up next to the plate and single to left field. Wes Toups would quickly get the ball back into the infield to keep a run from scoring, as the bases would now be loaded with one down. Henry would strike out Chris Botsoe for the second out. AJ Lewis would then hit an infield single to plate a run for the Colonels. With the bases still loaded, Cole Henry would get Coleb Henry to ground out in a fielder's choice to second base to get the Tigers out of the top of the third inning with Eastern Kentucky up, 1-0.
Kelly Brennan would continue to handcuff the Tigers, as he would now have retired nine in a row. LSU once again going three up- three down to end the third inning of play.
Henry would once again issue a lead off walk to start the inning. After recording the first out of the inning on a fly ball to center field, Alex Milazzo would gun down Logan Thompson attempting to steal second base for out number two. Henry would dig down and strike out Charles Ludwick to send us to the bottom of the fourth inning.
LSU bats would remain as cold as the weather as they could only manage a Daniel Cabrera walk, but would leave him stranded to end the 4th.
Cole Henry would continue to struggle. Brewer for the Colonels would lead off the inning with a single to left field, then would move up to second in scoring position. Nick Howie would then step up to the plate and bring Brewer home with a single through the right side og the Tiger infield to put Eastern Kentucky up, 2-0. Henry would settle down and get the next two Colonels' batters to fly out to stop the bleeding.
LSU would finally show a sign of life at the plate to start the fifth inning as Cade Beloso would rip a lead off single to right field. Followed by a walk by Milazzo. With two on and no outs, Maurice Hampton would fly out to very deep left field. Wes Toups would draw a walk to load the bases, setting up Hal Hughes with a big opportunity at the plate. Eastern Kentucky would then pull Kelly Brennan for Junior, Louis Davenport. The pitching change would look to pay off as Davenport would strike out Hughes, then force Cade Doughty to fly out to left field as the Tigers would leave the sacks loaded to end the fifth inning.
Jaden Hill would replace Cole Henry to start the sixth inning, and would take the Colonels down in order, three up- three down, sending the Tigers back to the dugout and back up to the plate.
With the Tigers desperately needing base runners, Daniel Cabrera would draw a lead off walk. But Cabrera would be left on first base as no help from his teammates would surface. Both teams would head to the seventh inning with the score still, Eastern Kebtucky 2, LSU 0.
Hill would return to face the Colonels to start the seventh inning. Eastern Kentucky would threaten to extend their 2-0 lead as they would position runners at second and third with two outs. Everyone in the park would hold their breathe, as Chris Botsoe would hit a deep fly ball to left field, that Wes Toups would catch up against the wall to get the Tigers out of the inning with no damage done.
For the second straight inning, the Tigers would get the lead off hitter on base via a walk. For the second straight inning the LSU base runner, Alex Milazzo would be left stranded to end the inning, as the next three Tigers batters would show no sign of a pulse at the Plate.
Jaden Hill would start to struggle, as AJ Lewis would drive the ball into the gap in left center field to end up with a lead off double. After recording the first out of the inning, Hill would then walk Logan Thomason. Hill would battle to get the second out of the inning, striking out Daniel Harris. Coach Mainieri would then go to the dugout to bring in Mathew Beck. Beck would quickly record the last out of the inning to once again keep LSU within striking distance.
For the third straight inning LSU would manage to get their lead off hitter on base by drawing a walk. After reaching base on a fielders choice, Daniel Cabrera would then advance to second base as Saul Garza would single up the middle. But Cade Beloso would then ground out to short stop to end the scoring threat.
Mathew Beck would stay in and start the ninth inning for LSU, and would quickly sit the first two batters down before hitting Nick Howie to give the Colonels a runner on base. Frustration would continue to mount as Beck would walk Botsoe, bringing up red hot AJ Lewis to the plate. Lewis would ground out to second base to end the top of the ninth.
LSU would look for ninth inning heroics as they would now find themselves down to their final three outs. Alex Milazzo would lead off for the Tigers, but ground out to first base. Maurice Hampton Jr., who has been quiet all night long, would step up next and would come through with a single right up the middle over the second base bag, giving LSU a sign of life. Wes Toups would strike out looking. Gavin Dugas would pinch hit and try to keep the inning going. Dugas would walk, setting up Cade Doughty with the next Tiger with an opportunity to win the ball game. With runners on first and second and two outs, Eastern Kentucky would go to their bullpen for another pitching change. Jacob Abbott would be their fifth pitcher used in the ball game. Abbott would get the job done, as he would strike out Doughty to end a long, frustrating baseball game.
With the loss, LSU is now 3-3 on the season. Eastern Kentucky improves to 4-0. Cole Henry (1-1) would suffer the loss. Next up for LSU will host game two against Eastern Kentucky on Saturday at 3pm.