The LSU baseball team came off one of its best performance of the season at Florida and are playing with a lot of confidence, so a let down performance, or two, should have been expected. Both Alcorn State and Southern Miss were inferior opponents and the Tigers won the two game by a combined score of 15-5, but wasn’t exactly poetry in motion.
In the two game, LSU only batted .214 (12/56), but did have a on-base percentage of .571 (32/56). Against Alcorn St., LSU lacked the big inning but scratched together multiple two-run innings that were led by Mason Katz and back-up catcher Jordy Snickeris. Katz continues his dominance of mid-week pitching as he went two for three from the plate with a double and home run. He accounted for four of the Tigers runs and was LSU’s lone multi-hit batter. Snikeris was the first batter to score a run when he blasted a homerun in the second inning, giving LSU a 1-0 lead.
Joe Brossard earned the win against Alcorn St., pitching 6.1 innings, striking out eight, gave up one walk and two earned runs. The rest of the bullpen (Kevin Berry, Nick Rumbelow, Chris Cotton and Joey Bourgeois) combined to throw 2.2 innings, allowed just one hit, struck out four and gave up a walk.
Wednesday night, LSU traveled to Metairie to play its annual Wally Pontiff Classic against the Golden Eagles. The Tiger’s offense was on cruise control thanks to the lack of pitching control from Southern Miss. The Eagles limited LSU to only four hits all game (.153 batting average), but LSU had an on-base percentage of .653 (17/26) thanks to ten walks and three HBP. Making matters worse for Southern Miss, five Tigers accounted for a run and RBI even though they did not record a hit in the game (Mason Katz, Austin Nola, Tyler Moore, Ty Ross and Jared Foster).
LSU scored four runs in the bottom of the first without recording a hit (six walked, one HBP). The Tigers would stretch their lead to 5-2 thanks to a Arby Fields RBI single in the bottom of the third. Fields went two for three from the plate and continues to make noise on the Tigers bench that he should be considered as a starting outfielder.
Poor pitching would continue to hamper Southern Miss. In the bottom of the seventh, LSU stretched its lead from 5-2 to 8-2 with only one hit. Three HBP, two walks and a error would help account for the three runs that eventually put a game out of reach for the Eagles.
Once again LSU used their mid-week schedule to give the bullpen a little work in-between its weekend series. LSU used seven pitchers on the night. Aaron Nola earned the win by pitching just the first inning. This was Nola’s first action since he tweaked his shoulder a few weeks ago against Arkansas. In the inning, Nola allowed two hits and two run (one earned) as the tries to shake off the rust and prepares for his Sunday Start. Kurt McCune continues to become more comfortable in his role as a utility pitchers. McCune had the best performance of the night from the pen, striking out the side in his only inning of work (eighth inning). The bullpen as a whole pitched eight innings, allowed one run, struck out 11 to only two walks.
In both outing the pitching staff continues to remain sharp, but it is amazing at times how dead the LSU offense can become. After last weekend I was ready to anoint Jacoby Jones the best all around hitter on the team, but then he goes hitless in the two game (0-9). I guess that’s baseball. Arby Fields, Tyler Moore and Jordy Snikeris continue to show improvements with each at bat and it will be interesting to see how Paul Maineri juggles the line up this weekend with Raph Rymes expect to make his return.
The two wins improve the fifth ranked Tigers to 27-7 on the season and now await the arrival of Alabama to start their weekend series. Check back this week for Alabama preview.