LSU Tigers dismantle Tulane in first game of Baton Rouge regional

Tre Morgan 18 at first as The LSU Tigers take on Oregon State in the 2023 NCAA Div 1 Regional Baseball Championship at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA. Sunday, June 4, 2023.
Tre Morgan 18 at first as The LSU Tigers take on Oregon State in the 2023 NCAA Div 1 Regional Baseball Championship at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA. Sunday, June 4, 2023. /

The LSU Tigers baseball team dismantled the Tulane Green Wave in the first game of the Baton Rouge regional. So far, so good for our Super Regionals hopes.

The Tigers earned the fifth overall seed in the NCAA baseball tournament. They play host to two seed Oregon State, three seed Sam Houston State and four seed Tulane this weekend.

Many thought we could see Thatcher Hurd or Ty Floyd take the mound in the first game versus Tulane in order to save Paul Skenes for a potential matchup with OSU. Instead, Jay Johnson turned in the lineup card and fans found the SEC Pitcher of the Year earning the start against 18-40 Tulane.

The decision came as a bit of a head scratcher for Tiger fans. Many believe LSU would’ve beaten the Green Wave with any of their starting pitchers and they should save Skenes for the matchup tomorrow. We’ll see how everything shakes out, but if the Tigers drop a game with Hurd or Floyd on the mound in the winners matchup Saturday, Johnson will have some explaining to do.

Either way, what’s done is done, and Skenes rebounded from one of his worst performances of the year with another jaw dropping performance, totaling 12 strikeouts and allowing just two runs on seven hits in the win.

Dylan Crews led the way offensively for LSU, going 3-for-4 at the plate with one RBI and one run scored. Hayden Tranvinski, Jordan Thompson and Cade Beloso both put together two hit performances while Tommy White and Gavin Dugas also added on a hit.

Skenes started the game by retiring Tulane in order to bring the Tigers up to bat. The Tigers found themselves with Crews on third and two outs before Travinski doubled to left center to cross the Tigers first run of the game.

Skenes continued to dominate, retiring the next six batters for the Green Wave while the offense put three more runs on the board during the next two innings. In the top of the fourth, Tulane got their first hit of the afternoon with two outs, but Skenes answered by retiring the third batter of the inning on strikes to keep the score at 4-0.

In the top of the fifth inning, Skenes made some more magic happen. With no outs and a runner on first, Skenes caught a line drive between his legs and tossed it over to first to record the double play.

The LSU Tigers offense yet again took advantage of Skene’s dominance by adding two more runs in the bottom of the fifth. For the third time in the game, LSU had two runners on with no outs, and a Gavin Dugas sac fly brought Travinski home. With the bases loaded, Josh Pearson hit another sac fly to score Beloso to increase the lead to 6-0.

Skene’s first mistake of the night came in the top of the seventh. In a 3-1 count, Brennan Lambert squared one up and hit a two-out, two-run shot to cut the lead to 6-2.

After not scoring in the seventh, LSU added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. With the bases loaded, Travinski drew a walk to bring home a run and give LSU a five run lead heading into the top of the ninth.

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Skenes threw the first complete game of his career and once again retired the side in the top of the ninth. The LSU Tigers will face the winner of Sam Houston State and Oregon State Saturday night at Alex Box.