By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
The Tigers (8-5) return home to "The Box" this weekend to host UMass Lowell (4-6) in a three game weekend series. LSU would start slow at the plate, but would finally get to the River Hawks' pitchers to win game one, 11-2.
Both teams would go down quietly in the first two innings as Cole Henry would pitch well to the River Hawks and the Tigers would still continue to struggle at the plate.
UMass Lowell would plate the first run of the ball game in the top of the third. Henry would give up a single and walk a batter to put runners on first and second with two outs. River Hawks' short stop, Keagan Calero would double down the third base line to put the UML up 1-0, setting up two runners in scoring position. Henry would issue a strike out for the final out to end the River Hawks' scoring threat.
LSU would answer in the bottom of the third, as they would manage to load the bases with only one out. Zack Mathis would then get hit by a pitch to score Giovanni DiGiacomo from third to tie the game 1-1. The Tigers would leave the sacks full, as both Daneil Cabrera (strike out) and Cade Beloso (ground out to second base) could not come up with a timely hit.
The River Hawks would mount a scoring threat in the top of the fourth, putting runners on first and second with only one out. But the Tigers would turn a double play to get out of the inning with no damage done.
LSU would finally begin to open things up a bit, sending nine batters to the plate, scoring five runs to take a 6-1 lead. Collier Cranford would record two RBIs on a single, while Cade Doughty would step up next and hit a RBI single. Zack Mathis would add a RBI on a sacrifice fly to left field. The final run scored in the inning would come when Cade Doughty would score from second on a Daniel Cabrera single to left center field.
Matthew Beck would replace Cole Henry to start the fifth inning. Beck would sit the River Hawks down in order with a three up-three down inning.
The Tigers would then have another nice inning at the plate, as Saul Garza would lead off the bottom of the fifth with a double to right field. Garza would then move to third base on a passed ball. After a Milazzo walk, Giovanni DiGiacomo would single bringing Garza home. Cade Doughty would drive in two more runs with a single to center field. Zack Mathis would add the fourth run of the inning, driving in Bianco from third base. We would head to the sixth inning, with LSU up, 10-1.
Each team would quietly score a run in the sixth inning bringing the score to 11-2. The Tigers would score their run (Drew Bianco from 3rd) on a wild pitch by UML's pitcher, Blake Bennett with the bases loaded.
Eric Walker would come in the game in the top of the ninth to try and finish off the River Hawks after a nice outing by both Mathew Beck and Jacob Hasty. Walker would get the UMass Lowell batters three up-three down to end the game. Mathew Beck (1-0) would earn his first win of the season.
With the win, LSU is now 9-5 overall. The win is also Paul Mainieri's 600th victory as head coach of the Tigers. Coach Mainieri is now in his 14th season at LSU and has a record of 600-260-3. Now in his 38th season as a college head coach, his overall coaching record is 1,464-752-7.
Next up LSU will host UMass Lowell on Saturday March 7th, at 4pm, then again on Sunday March 8th at 2pm.