Da Boot Sports
By: David Penn
BATON ROUGE, LA - With the sun shining upon the championship gold jerseys of the LSU Tigers (13-3) on a gorgeous day for baseball in Baton Rouge, the Tigers swept the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (5-10) with a 15-0 trouncing at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The offense would come early and often for LSU who put up five runs in both the first and second innings.
“Any time you don’t let them score, it makes it much easier to win,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “A really good outing by Ma’Khail today, we really needed that to allow us to level off our pitching staff. We played four games in five days, and we had to push some pitch counts up earlier in the week, so to have Ma’Khail throw the ball so well today was tremendous for us.”
Ma’Khail Hilliard pitched six scoreless innings for the Tigers and struck out six batters in his best outing of the season. Hilliard (1-0) faced 21 batters, throwing 59 strikes on 78 pitches, giving up no runs on two hits without walking a batter. His performance, along with Ty Floyd’s gem from Saturday was a welcomed sight given the injury that Friday night starter Blake Money suffered.
Riley Cooper and Cale Lansville each pitch an inning of middle relief giving up no runs, a hit, and striking out three
without allowing a walk. The closing duty went to Trey Shaffer who walked a batter but allowed no hits or runs to keep the shutout for the Tigers in tact.
Dylan Crews and Giovanni DiGiacomo each went 3-4 at the plate and each belted a homerun in the contest. Crews would earn three RBIs and DiGiacomo would bring in two. Jordan Thompson went 4-4 at the plate and knocked in three RBIs to pace the offense for the Tigers. Cade Doughty also blasted a homerun in the contest, going 2-3 in the box and bringing in three RBIs scoring three runs himself. Brayden Jobert also went 2-3 on the day and was the fourth Tiger to earn three RBIs in the contest.
Hector Vazquez (1-2) started the affair for Bethune-Cookman but was pulled from the mound in the second inning with Tigers having already scored eight runs on seven hits. Things didn’t get better for the rest of the Wildcats’ bullpen as LSU attacked pitches from the next three pitchers Bethune-Cookman would bring in with LSU getting to fifteen runs in just six innings.
The Tigers will host the 10-5 Tulane Green Wave on Tuesday March 15 at Alex Box Stadium before hosting the
Texas A&M Aggies for their first conference series of the season.