By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
BATON ROUGE: With the 2020 LSU Baseball team off to a rocky 3-3 start, Head Coach Paul Mainieri has made some more changes to the starting lineup, looking to find the right combination that will get these group of young men headed in the right direction. The big problem thus far has been the hitting, as the Tigers have struggled at the plate. LSU will look to snap their two game losing streak as they host Eastern Kentucky for game two of their three game series. The Colonels won game one, 2-0 on Friday night.
Landon Marceaux would take the mound for LSU and would only face four batters in the inning, stranding a base runner who made it to first safely on a fielding error by Cade Doughty. The outs coming in the form of two ground outs and a strike out.
Zack Mathis would lead off for the Tigers and smash a ball down into the right field corner as he would end up at second base with a double. Cade Doughty would ground out to short stop for out number one. Then Daniel Cabrera would step up to the plate and launch his first home run of the 2020 season, putting LSU up 2-0. Colonels pitcher, Jacob Ferris would get the next two Tigers out to end the first inning of play.
After a lead off strike out, Daniel Harris would single up the middle, then advance to second on a Marceaux wild pitch. Marceaux would then stike out Michael Brewer. The Tigers would get out number three when LSU catcher, Alex Milazzo would gun down Harris at second base after taking too large of a lead.
LSU would go quietly in the bottom of the inning, three up-three down.
Marceaux would pitch another strong inning. After Charles Ludwick would lead off for the Colonels and make it to first base on the second fielding error by LSU second baseman, Cade Doughty, Marceaux would retire the next three batter quickly to get out of the top of the third.
The Tigers once again would geaux down quietly in the bottom of the inning. After Zack Mathis would single up the middle with one out, then reach second on a wild pitch, CJ Willis and Daniel Cabrera would fail to bring him in. We would head to the fourth inning with the Tigers still up, 2-0.
Landon Marceaux and the LSU defense would sit down the Colonels' batters, one, two, three quickly to send us to the bottom of the fourth inning.
After giving up the two runs to LSU in the first inning, Eastern Kentucky pitcher, Jacob Ferris continued to pitch well against the Tiger batters, as he would get them three up- three down to end the fourth inning.
Marceaux would start the fifth inning and continue to pitch nasty to the Colonels' batters, as Eastern Kentucky would go three up-three down for the second straight inning.
LSU would get the lead off man on base as Giovanni DiGiacomo would single up the middle to center field, then steal second base safely a couple of pitches later. But the Tigers still couldn't manage to string multiple hits together, as Sanford, Cranford, and Mathis would fail to reach base or advance DiGiacomo, leaving him on base to end the fifth inning.
The first two Colonels batters would ground out, before Chris Botsoe would rocket a single up the middle. LSU would record the third out of the inning, as they would catch Botsoe in a rundown after attempting to steal, tagging him out as he tried to dive back to first base.
Ferris would keep the Tigers handcuffed, as he would strike out all three LSU batters, three up-three down to send the game to the seventh inning.
AJ Lewis would start the inning off with a lead off single. After Marceaux would get the next batter to fly out for the first out, Logan Thomason would crank a ball into the gap in right center field for a double. Daniel Cabrera's quick throw back into the infield would hold Lewis at third base. With two runners in scoring position, and only one down, Marceaux would step his game back up and retire the next two batters to end the Eastern Kentucky scoring threat.
Ferris would take the Tigers down in order quickly, three up-three down to end the seventh.
The top of the eighth inning would see the Colonels' batters go three up-three down to quickly sending LSU back to the dugout, as Landon Marceaux continued to pitch at a high level.
Jacob Ferris would start the inning where he left off, as he would easily retire the first two Tigers who stepped up to the plate. But would suddenly seem to run out of gas as he would walk Zack Mathis, then Gavin Dugas would single to left field, chasing him from the game, as he would be relieved by RHP, Jacob Abbott. With runners on first and second, two outs, Daniel Cabrera would step to the plate with a huge opportunity to punch insurance runs across the plate. Abbott would walk Cabrera to load the bases, setting up Saul Garza. Abbott would continue to struggle to find the strike zone, as he would walk Garza, bringing Mathis home for a 3-0 lead. Beloso would come up to bat next and would ignite the Alex Box Stadium crowd with a three RBI single into the deep right field corner, clearing the bases. The 6-0 score would send Abbott to the bench as Eastern Kentucky would again make a pitching change. Nick Borek would take the mound to try and record the final out of the eighth inning, and that he would do, as Saul Garza would fly out to center field.
Senior Aaron George would enter the game to replace Marceaux, and found out that Eastern Kentucky wouldn't go away quietly. George would walk the first two batters of the inning. Then, Caleb Upshaw would single to left field scoring the Colonels first run of the day from second base. George would then throw a wild pitch, allowing the runners to advance to second and third. Logan Thomason would single to bring in another run. Mainieri would quickly call to the bullpen to bring in Junior, Devin Fontenot to try to stop the Colonels rally attempt. With the score, 6-2, runners on second and third, and still zero outs, Fontenot would get Daniel Harris to ground out for out number one, but another run would cross the plate, with a runner advancing the third base. Pinch hitter, Christian Lucio would strike out swinging. Then with the crowd on their feet cheering, Fontenot would strike out Charles Ludwick for the final out. Tigers Win! Final Score 6-3.
Landon Marceaux (1-1) had a very solid performance as he would go eight innings, with six strike outs. Devin Fontenot would record his second save of the season.
Next up, the Tigers will play Eastern Kentucky in the series rubber match on Sunday morning, first pitch is for 11am. With the victory LSU is now 4-3 on the season, while Eastern Kentucky falls to 4-1.