Da Boot Sports
By: David Penn
BATON ROUGE, LA - The Tigers of LSU and the Southern University Jaguars met for LSU’s second game of the weekend at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field and it was the Tigers that pounced all over the Jaguars in a 9-2 win.
With the win the Tigers are now 5-1 while Southern falls to 2-4 on the season.
The Jags would get on the board first, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, but LSU would find the scoreboard in the fifth frame and then break the game open with five runs in the sixth inning.
Ma’Khail Hilliard started for the Tigers and would lay down four innings of work, striking out four hitters, giving up two hits, two runs, and a pair of walks.
Javen Coleman, Paul Gervase (1-0) would pull middle relief assignments with Trent Vietmeier grabbing his first work of the season, closing the affair for the Tigers over the final two frames. Coleman and Gervase would punch out a pair each and the Jags would not find their way back to home plate after their two-run fourth inning.
Dylan Crews singled in the fifth inning which would score Alex Milazzo for the Tigers' first run of the game.
The bats for the Tigers heated up in the sixth inning. Gavin Dugas would double to center which drove home both
Jordan Thompson and Brayden Jobert. Jack Merrifield then laced a hit down the left field line which would score Dugas. Tre’ Morgan singled to the left side gap which would set up an attempted pitch out at home plate, but Merrifield would be called safe initially and then confirmed safe after the umpire would look at the film. The attempt at home plate allowed Morgan to advance to second base. Jacob Berry put up a sacrifice fly to left field that would bring home Morgan for the fifth run of the frame putting LSU up 6-0.
Milazzo continued his impressive weekend at the plate with his second and third sacrifice bunts. His sacrifice bunt in the seventh frame scored Thompson. Morgan would finish off the scoring for the game in the seventh inning with a two RBI single that would plate Merrifield and Giovanni DiGiacomo.
“It was a good day for us at the plate,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “We made good contact, and we came through with runners in scoring position. We have a new tradition here, we call it the ‘magic moment’ of the game when we win. It’s the moment of the game that tips the scales in our favor, and that was Gavin today staying behind the ball, driving it the other way. He’s great in clutch situations, and that’s a tribute to his maturity and his ability to slow the game down.”
Anthony Fidanza started for the Jaguars, going four innings and holding the Tigers scoreless. Fidanza recorded two strikeouts, one walk, and three hits. Jerry Burkett (0-1) came on in relief for Southern in the fifth inning, but after giving up six runs in 1.1 innings of work was taken off the mound.
Hunter Tabb and Tremaine Spears provided the two runs for the Jags with Tabb hitting a triple that scored O’Neill Burgos, Spears would then hit a single up the middle that would score Tabb.
LSU will take on Towson on Sunday February 27 at 11:00am CT followed by the second game of their double header when they take on Southern at 5:00pm CT at Alex Box Stadium.