Da Boot Sports
By: David Penn
BATON ROUGE, LA - For fans that want to see more offense from the LSU baseball team the first two games at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field have been a real treat. The Tigers followed up their opening season win in which they scored 13 runs in eight innings with a 17 run outburst in game two of the series to defeat Maine 17-8. The eighth inning was the only inning of the game on Saturday that LSU failed to plate a run. The Tigers had scored a run in 12 straight innings going back to yesterday’s contest.
LSU started early, as second baseman Cade Doughty blasted a home run that scored outfielder Dylan Crews and first baseman Tre’ Morgan in the first frame. Gavin Dugas would pick up an RBI in the first inning when DH Brayden Jobert came across. Doughty would go 3-6 in the batter’s box adding a double and accounted for five RBIs.
Jacob Berry sent two over the fence in the game, flashing the power that earned him Freshman All-American honors last year at Arizona. Berry was 3 for 5 at the plate with three RBIs. Third baseman Jack Merrifield and Jobert had three RBIs each.
Coach Jay Johnson was pleased with the offense today, “I thought we had a much better approach at the plate today,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “We were under control, and we have some talented players, and when they’re in the right mindset, they do a good job of controlling the strike zone and hitting mistakes by the pitcher.”
Ma’Khail Hilliard got the start for the Tigers and put in four innings of solid work, Hilliard recorded two strikeouts, one walk, and three earned runs which all came in the third inning.
Javen Coleman (1-0) earned the win with his three innings of middle relief allowing one earned run and recording two strikeouts. Coleman threw 24 strikes on 30 pitches.
“Ma’Khail got us off to a good start on the mound today,” Johnson said. “I know he was really excited to start the game, and he got us out of the first two innings quickly and then slowed down Maine’s momentum with a scoreless fourth. I thought Javen Coleman was outstanding; he just pounded the strike zone in his three innings and was really solid.”
Noah Lewis (0-1) started on the mound for the Black Bears. In three innings Lewis gave up seven runs, six earned, walked four batters, and failed to record a strikeout.
Colin Fitzgerald entered the game for Maine in the fourth inning but didn’t fare much better as the Tigers plated 10 runs with Fitzgerald on the mound. Fitzgerald recorded five strikeouts and walked two Tigers. First baseman Joe Bramanti would get a pair of hits and RBIs for Maine, including his solo homerun in the sixth inning. Outfielder Jordan Schulefand hit .333 in the game, his double scored two runs for the Black Bears.
The Tigers will look for a 3-0 start to the season tomorrow at Alex Box Stadium. First pitch to be delivered at 1:00pm CT.