LSU Baseball: Tigers sweep Houston College Classic behind stellar pitching


Stellar pitching, great defense, and timely hitting propelled LSU baseball to a weekend sweep in the Houston College Classic, played at Minute Maid Park.

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The Tigers defeated Houston on Friday night, 4-2, shutout Baylor on Saturday night 2-0, and capped off the weekend sweep with a 4-2 defeat of Nebraska on Sunday.

With the three wins, LSU improves to 15-1 on the year, and in the process extended its winning streak to 12 straight games. The win streak is the longest for LSU since 2013.

Friday night — LSU 4, Houston 2

LSU grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back in this one.

Sophomore left-hander Jared Poche’ (4-0) pitched a season-high 7.2 innings for the win, allowing two runs on four hits. He struck out four and walked three. Poche’ showed why he’s the ace of the Tigers’ pitching staff this year.

Houston starter Andew Lantrip (3-1) took the loss, the first of his collegiate career after winning his first nine decisions. He allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits, while striking out two and walking none in eight innings.

The Tigers scored all the runs they would need in the first inning. Shortstop Alex Bregman doubled, and came around to score on an RBI-single by DH Chris Chinea. Third baseman Conner Hale then smacked his first homer of the year to make it a 3-0 lead.

LSU added its fourth run in the fourth inning when Hale led off with a single, took second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a throwing error by Houston shortstop Connor Wang, who misplayed a grounder by catcher Kade Scivicque.

Tigers’ right-hander Jesse Stallings closed it out in the ninth for his sixth save of the year.

Here’s Friday’s box score.

Saturday night — LSU 2, Baylor 0

LSU didn’t have to do too much on offense in game two. In fact, the game was scoreless through seven innings in a great pitcher’s duel before the Tigers finally broke through.

LSU threatened early in the contest and had two baserunners thrown out at home.

Freshman right-hander Alex Lange (4-0) threw seven shutout innings for the win, allowing seven hits, all singles. He walked two and struck out four.

Baylor starter Daniel Castano (0-2) pitched well in the losing cause. He allowed just one run on eight hits in his eight innings. He walked three and struck out two.

LSU finally drew first blood in the eighth inning. Right fielder Mark Laird doubled to lead things off, and advanced to third on shortstop Alex Bregman’s single. DH Chris Chinea grounded out to third, allowing Bregman to take second, but Laird had to hold at third. Laird eventually scored on third baseman Conner Hale’s sacrifice fly.

The Tigers added a second run in the ninth. Center fielder Andrew Stevenson tripled, and was plated on an RBI single from second baseman Kramer Robertson.

The bottom of the ninth was almost an adventure for the LSU bullpen. Jesse Stallings got himself into a jam by loading the bases, but escaped by striking out Baylor DH Darryn Shepperd looking to end things. For Stallings, it was save number seven in seven opportunities.

Here’s Saturday’s box score.

Sunday afternoon — LSU 4, Nebraska 2

Another great pitching performance? Ho hum…

For this one, freshman right-hander Jake Godfrey (3-0) piched a career-high seven innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out four.

Nebraska starter Derek Burkamper (1-1) took the loss. He allowed three runs on six hits in six innings,while walking two and striking out three.

The Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead. They would add single runs in the third and eighth innings.

LSU right-hander Parker Bugg pitched the ninth to earn his first save of the season and the third of his career. The Tigers usual closer, Jesse Stallings, was unavailable for the final game after pitching in the first two. He threw 29 pitches on Saturday night when he had to work harder than usual to secure the save.

Here’s Sunday’s box score.

Up next for LSU

The Tigers return to action at Alex Box this Wednesday, to take on McNeese State. First pitch is set for 6:30 pm CT.