By: Brittney Achord
Da Boot Sports
The Tigers would take the field for their second game of the day after defeating Nicholls earlier today, 5-4. Coach Mainieri would continue to use the mid-week games to give his younger pitches some needed game experience. Freshmen Will Hellmers would draw the start on the mound for the contest.
Hellmers would throw two balls and a strike before Southern’s Isaiah Adams would hit a grounder
to short. Drew Bianco was there to scoop the ball and make the throw to first to get the out. Hellmers would then strike out Judah Wilbur bringing Tramaine Spears to the plate for the Jaguars. Spears would hit a single to left field, but O'Neill Burgos would fly out to left field, keeping the Jags scoreless going into the bottom of the first.
Dylan Crews would get things started at the plate for the Tigers, Crews would send the ball flying to the right field wall with a double that was inches away from sailing out the park.
Tre’ Morgan would step up next for the Tigers and head to first after being hit by a pitch. LSU’s lefty, Brody Drost would be next to bat. Crews and Morgan would pull off a double steal before Drost would strike out. Designated hitter Hayden Traviski would draw a walk to load the bases for Gavin Dugas. With Dugas up to bat, Crews would steal home, on a pass ball error by Southern's catcher. Morgan and Traviski would advance to 2nd and 3rd on the play.
Dugas would walk loading the bases again as Zach Arnold would step up to bat. Jaguars starting pitcher Daren Smith would walk Arnold scoring Morgan from third. The second straight walk would end Smith's night as the Jags would go to their bullpen sending Austin Haensel to the mound. Haensel would walk Bianco scoring Traviski for another LSU run. Jordan Thompson would line out to shortstop, leaving the bases loaded for Alex Milazzo. But Milazzo would ground out to third bringing the 1st inning to an end with the Tigers holding a 3-0 lead.
Hellmers would continue to pitch very well taking the Jags down in order, three up three down as we would head to the bottom of the second inning.
Crews once again would start the bottom of the inning with a lead off walk. With Tre’ Morgan up to bat, Crews would steal second base and then advance to third on a throwing error by the Jags' catcher.
After Morgan would ground out to the pitcher, and Drost would strike out, Hayden Traviski would step up and hit a single to left field scoring Crews to extend the Tigers lead to 4-0.
Next up Gavin Dugas would hit a single to center field scoring Traviski, then advancing to second base on an error.
Zach Arnold would send the ball sailing to the left field wall, inches from leaving Alex Box
Stadium. Arnold would advance to second on a throwing error, while Dugas would cross the plate scoring another run.
Bianco would fly out to right field for the final out of the inning. We would head to the 3rd inning with LSU leading 6-0.
Neither team would threaten to score in the 3rd inning as Hellmers would only give up a one out single before retiring the next two Jags and new Southern pitcher Jerry Burkett would get the Tigers out, three up-three down.
Hellmers would remain in total control of the Jaguar hitters as he would face the minimum in the top of the 4th, three up-three down in order.
Tre’ Morgan would lead off the bottom of the inning with a homerun into the Diamond Deck in right field, his first of the season. Unfortunately, the lead off solo homerun would be all the Tigers could muster in 4th as we head to the 5th inning with LSU on top 7-0.
Hellmers would continue to bring the heat on this cold March night with his fourth straight three up-three down inning, sending us to the bottom of the 5th.
Once again for the second inning in a row, LSU would hit a lead off homerun. this time it was Zach Arnold's turn. Arnold's homer would fire up the crowd in Alex Box Stadium as he would send the ball screaming over the wall into the Left Field Landing zone.
Once again, the lead off homer would be all the Tigers could manage in the bottom of the 5th inning as we would head to the top of the 6th with LSU now leading 8-0.
Freshmen Ty Floyd would replace Hellmers on the mound to start off the top of the 6th. Floyd would start out strong facing four batters in the inning, only giving up a lone single to keeping Southern off the scoreboard and still trailing 8-0.
The Tigers would hammer the final nails in the coffin in the 6th inning and Dylan Crews would kick it off with a dinger over the left field wall putting the Tigers up 9-0.
Cade Beloso would pinch hit for Morgan and draw a base on balls. Before a Mitchell Sanford fly out to center field, Beloso would move up to 2nd base and then to 3rd both on Southern errors.
Traviski would strike out looking before Maurice Hampton Jr. would step up to the plate and rip a double scoring Beloso.
Arnold would reach first on a throwing error by the Jag's 3rd baseman. Hampton would advance to 3rd of the throw.
Collier Cranford, would pinch hit for Bianco, hitting a single to right field, scoring Hampton
and advancing Arnold to third.
With Cranford on 1st and Arnold on 3rd, Thompson would rocket a three run homer over the left center wall. The six run inning would increase the LSU lead to 14-0 after six....
The Tigers would bring in left-hander Jacob Hasty for Floyd. Hasty would bring the heat to open the 7th with taking down the Jaguars three up-three down.
Will Safford would start the 7th inning off for the Tigers pinch hitting for Crews. Safford would pop up to 2nd base. Beloso would follow with a pop up to 3rd. Sanford would end the 7th with a fly out to right field.
The Tigers would bring in left-hander Brandon Kaminer to start the 8th inning. After getting the lead off batter to ground out, Kaminer would begin to struggle with his control giving up three straight singles to load the bases with only one out. With a grounder to shortstop, Adams would single to plate a run for Southern. Kaminer would send the next two batters back to the dugout on strikeouts. The Tigers remain in the lead 14-1 going into the bottom of the 8th.
Hayden Travinski and Hampton would both strike out to start the inning, before Arnold would get things going for the Tigers with a single to left field.
After a game of hot potato, Cranford’s grounder to 3rd would put him on first advancing Arnold to 2nd base.
Thompson would bravely take a hit pitch allowing to load the bases. Braden Doughty would seize
his opportunity with a huge timely hit sending the ball jetting into left field for a 2 RBI single scoring both Arnold and Cranford, and advancing Thompson to 2nd. Safford would then keep his cool with a full count taking the walk and advancing Thompson and Doughty. But Beloso would go down swinging to end the 8th inning with the Tigers up 16-1.
The Tigers would bring out Ma’Khali Hilliard to close out the 9th inning for the Tigers. With two up and two down, Southern’s Nelson would single to left field. LSU would get the final out with a grounder to first base, ending the game for the Tigers second victory of the day defeating the Southern Jaguars 16-1.
“We hit four home runs, including the third homer of the season each for Arnold and Thompson, and I didn’t expect that kind of power from those guys,” Mainieri said. “Overall, it was a good win to complete a long day, but a productive day, for us.”
The Tigers are now 8-1 overall, with conference play right around the corner. Will Hellmers would get the win to improve his record to 2-0.
Up next, the Tigers will host Oral Roberts for a three game series in Alex Box Stadium starting on Friday, March 5 at 7:00pm
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