Da Boot Sports
By: David Penn
NEW ORLEANS, LA - The #17 LSU Tigers (27-13, 10-8) took to Maestri Field on Tuesday night in a tilt against the UNO Privateers (22-16).
The night began with UNO honoring Ron Maestri and his accomplishments as the skipper of the program and his contributions to UNO athletics, Coach Maestri through the ceremonial first pitch to retired LSU coach and former UNO player Paul Mainieri to the applause of everyone in attendance.
The story of the night was UNO reliever Beau Blanchard who came on with one out in the second and then went the distance, pitching 7.2 innings and limiting LSU to two runs on six hits. Blanchard threw a stunning 117 pitches.
Ty Floyd started for LSU but only lasted 1.1 innings after surrendering four runs (three earned) on four hits with two walks and no strikeouts.
LSU would go to the bullpen early and then often as the pen attempted to limit the UNO offense. The staff recorded eight strikeouts but gave up eight hits and with early miscues on defense the Privateers were able to keep themselves ahead on the scoreboard.
“We didn’t handle the baseball the way we needed to early in the game and gave them too many free passes, UNO has a very good lineup, and they will make you pay when you give them free opportunities." said Jay Johnson. "I think when some things didn’t go our way early in the game, our guys started to press at the plate and we didn’t produce enough quality at-bats.”
Josh Pearson and Tre’ Morgan each had a pair of hits including Pearson’s homerun to lead off the ninth inning. Pearson had two RBIs and Morgan picked up an RBI on a single. After the game Morgan stated that the team didn’t come out with the right energy and that at times the offense was chasing pitches trying to make something happen. LSU stranded ten base runners on the evening as the Privateers turned the necessary plays on defense to stifle any rally LSU attempted.
Up next for LSU is a home series against the Georgia Bulldogs that will begin Friday night at 6:30pm CT. The Tigers currently sit in third place in the west standings but are only two games out of the top spot currently held by Arkansas.
The Tigers are hoping to get through some injuries and clean up on defense and make a final push to take the west before heading to Hoover, AL.