FINAL: LSU 5, ULL 0
Early offensive explosion enough to propel Tigers over Cajuns
LSU entered Wednesday’s contest with ULL having just 10 home runs on the season. That was tied for eighth in the SEC.
However, Gorilla Ball was back for a brief time in the early innings as Mason Katz and Grant Dozar each went yard in the first three frames.
“Let’s mark this game down in history. Two home runs in a three-inning period. All right! All my friends in the media won’t be asking me why we aren’t hitting any home runs anymore,” joked LSU coach Paul Mainieri following the 5-0 victory over the Cajuns.
Katz gave LSU a 1-0 lead in the first with his fifth dinger of the year on ULL starting pitcher Austin Robichaux. He did it with a good eye both before and during his plate appearance.
“The pitcher tends to drop down low sometimes, and when I saw him do that in warmups he threw a fastball when he did it,” Katz explained. “Then he threw it to Hanover and missed up and in. It was a 1-1 count so I had a pitch to work with before I got to two strikes so when he dropped down I looked up and in to try and get a pitch and it came to the right spot.”
LSU added another run in the inning on the first of three Ryan Leonards errors at shortstop.
Then in the third, Katz and Rhymes were at the corners, and Grant Dozar crushed a three-run bomb to right to put LSU five runs ahead.
“I was looking to get in there and try to lift something, not out the ballpark but out of the infield to get the run home, and luckily the ball just carried out,” Dozar said.
However, the rain immediately came thereafter and drowned any more offensive firepower following a 1-hour and 17-minute delay. Neither team scored in the final six-plus innings, and the squads combined for just five more hits.
“We came out and we got a little complacent and we can’t do that,” Dozar said. “As an offense, we have to put teams away when we get an opportunity, and that’s something we’ll have to improve on.”
Apart from Dozar’s three-run jack, the Tigers didn’t do much with runners on base. They stranded 11 baserunners and hit a pitiful 2-for-13 with ducks on the pond tonight.
LSU’s only other hitter to write home about was Raph Rhymes, who contributed with three singles and continues to knock the cover off the ball to the tune of a .479 batting average. Austin Nola was the only other Tiger to get a base hit versus the Cajuns.
Luckily for the Tigers, ULL’s hitters did far worse thanks to the tremendous efforts of 10 LSU pitchers.
Joe Broussard started and pitched two innings. No Tiger would exceed that total, and his one walk was his only blemish. Cody Glenn (1.0 innings), Brent Bonvillain (1.0 innings), Kevin Berry (1.0 innings), Chris Cotton (1.0 innings), Joey Bourgeois (0.1 innings) and Nick Goody (0.2 innings) had flawless outings, while Kurt McCune (0.1 innings) joined Broussard with nothing but one walk on the stat sheet.
“Every one of them went out there and they competed hard,” Mainieri said. “They threw the ball over the plate, and the more they get out there the more confidence you gain in them as a coach because they’re gaining more confidence in themselves.”
Carson Baranik (two hits and one walk) and Nick Rumbelow (one hit) didn’t fare as well, but they both kept their composure after allowing runners to reach. In fact, give credit to Cotton, who got Baranik out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth thanks to great defense from he and Dozar. It was the only real threat the Cajuns had all night long.
“I don’t think he we played tremendously after the rain delay. We didn’t even score a run after the rain delay, but we did continue to pitch well,” said the skipper. “We made some good plays on defense, and we hung on and got the victory.”
The shutout was LSU’s seventh of the season - the most any Tiger team has had since the 1996 squad that had 10 and went on the win the national championship.
The Tigers will next take the field Friday to begin a three-game set with No. 3 Arkansas.
LSU: 5 runs, 6 hits, 0 errors
ULL: 0 runs, 3 hits, 3 errors
CLICK HERE for LSU head coach Paul Mainieri.
CLICK HERE for LSU right fielder/first baseman Mason Katz.
CLICK HERE for LSU first baseman Grant Dozar.
CLICK HERE for LSU left fielder Raph Rhymes.
Below is Richard Fischer’s chronological blog of tonight’s game.
It’s just another Wednesday night at the Box, but it’s not.
Tonight is breast cancer awareness night. The scoreboard is bright pink as we sit here an hour before first pitch. The Tigers have wrist bands and helmets to support the cause.
Also, this one always carries a little bit more weight. Generally a good number of Cajuns take the trip over on I-10 to grab a seat. That will surely be the case tonight. This rivalry has cooled a bit since the regional fight across the street. It’s still played with more intensity that many of the other in-state games. It should be a nice tune-up for the Hogs invasion this weekend. That series will be huge for both sides.
It’ll be another multi-arm effort from Mainieri tonight. I’d expect to see Broussard, Glenn, Cotton, Goody, Rumbelow, McCune and Bourgeois.
Mainieri did decide to go with Foster in center and JaCoby at leadoff. That makes the most sense, but Foster has to hit the ball. .210 won’t get it.
1. Tyler Frederick 1B .327
2. Jace Conrad 2B .284
3. Dylan Butler RF .275
4. Chase Compton DH .348
5. Daniel Nichols LF .262
6. Ryan Leonards SS .356
7. Jordan Bourque 3B (0-6)
8. Chris Sinclair C .190
9. Brian Bowman CF .284
SP- Austin Robichaux RHP (0-2, 3.60ERA, 15IP, 19H, 11R, 6ER, 6BB, 6K, OPP BA- .311)
1. JaCoby Jones 2B .272
2. Tyler Hanover 3B .345
3. Mason Katz RF .360
4. Raph Rhymes LF .473
5. Grant Dozar 1B .289
6. Austin Nola SS .295
7. Ty Ross C .342
8. Beau Didier DH .333
9. Jared Foster CF .210
SP- Joe Broussard RHP (2-0, 5.27ERA, 13.2IP, 8H, 10R, 10ER, 8ER, 4BB 12K, OPP BA- .305)
Top of the First:
Broussard’s first pitch is a ball at 6:30… Frederick then pops out to Nola. One down… Conrad foul tips it off Ross’ man-zone. He needs a few minutes. Don’t blame him… Broussard then gets Conrad swinging, and Ross lobs it to third as slow as he ever has before. He’s still hurting. Two down… Butler looks at strike three and Ross nor the rest of the defense has to make a play the rest of the half inning… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 0, ULL 0
Bottom of the First:
Jones loops it to second for out No. 1… Hanover chops it high to third. Two out… Katz smacks his fifth HR of the season to left… Rhymes singles up the middle… Dozar takes a four-pitch walk… Nola two-hops short, where Leonards’ throw is wild. Nola is safe on the errors, and Rhymes scores on heady baserunning…. Ross grounds out to third… Two runs. Two hits. One error. Two left on base (1st base, 2nd base)… LSU 2, ULL 0
Top of the Second:
Compton pops out to Rhymes. One gone… Nichols walks on a full count… Leonards pops out to Dozar by LSU’s dugout. Two away… Nichols takes second on a wild pitch… Bourque takes a backwards K on the next pitch… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 2, ULL 0
Bottom of the Second:
Didier hits a can of corn to center on the first pitch. One out… Foster bounces out to center on his first pitch. Two pitches. Two outs… Jones grounds to short, and Leonards completely air mails first this time. Jones goes all the way to third and it’s a three base error. Would have been a five-pitch inning for Robichaux… Hanover smacks it into the third baseman’s glove and instead it’s a six-pitch inning… No runs. No hits. One error. One left on base (3rd base)… LSU 2, ULL 0
Top of the Third:
Cody Glenn in to pitch for LSU… Sinclair rolls out to Jones. One away… Bowman pops up sky high to Jones. Two away and ULL hitless the first time through the order… Frederick grounds out to Hanover, and it’s an easy inning for Glenn. That’s a welcome sight… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 2, ULL 0
Bottom of the Third:
Katz walks… Katz steals second… Rhymes singles to left. Katz stops at third… BOOM! Dozar crushes a three-run HR to right, and that’ll be all for Robichaux… Derek Howell in to pitch plus it’s starting to rain… Nola singles to left… Ross sac bunts Nola to second. One down, and as the rain picks up the umpires call for a delay at 7:19.
Game resumes at 8:36… Howell induces a fly ball to left off the bat of Didier… Two outs… Foster takes a breaking ball off the shoulder… Jones flies out to deep left, but Nichols was playing him by the wall… Three runs. Three hits. No errors. Two left on base (1st base, 2nd base)… LSU 5, ULL 0
Top of the Fourth:
Brent Bonvillain in to pitch for LSU… Conrad can’t hold up on a pitch in the dirt. One out… Butler grounds up the middle, but Nola makes a play from near centerfield to get him out. He’s so amazing on a consistent basis, it’s just not surprising anymore. Two away… Compton grounds softly back to Bonvillain for a second-straight perfect inning of relief for LSU… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 5, ULL 0
Bottom of the Fourth:
Hanover pops out to second. One gone… Katz rolls out to short for out No. 2… Rhymes singles to left, and he’s 3-for-3. He’s also approaching .500 for the season. He’ll need a hit in his next two at-bats to get there… Dozar pops up to short, and what-da-ya-know Leonards drops it for his third error tonight. Runners on the corners… Nola walks to load the bases… Ross chases high heat on a full count to leave them loaded… No runs. One hit. One error. Three left on base (bases loaded)… LSU 5, ULL 0
Top of the Fifth:
Kevin Berry in to pitch now… Nichols takes a breaking ball on the outer edge. Could have been a generous call for Berry, but he’ll take it. One down…Leonards lines out to Rhymes. Two away… Bourque grounds out up there middle, where Nola shows his range again. It’s another 1-2-3 inning for LSU’s bullpen… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 5, ULL 0
Bottom of the Fifth:
Cord Cockrell the new pitcher for ULL… Didier chases a low breaking ball for the first out… Foster pops out to short, where Leonards finally makes a play. Two gone… Jones flies out to the left field warning track. With the pre-rain wind, that would have easily been a HR, but it’s since died down… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 5, ULL 0
Top of the Sixth:
Carson Baranik in to pitch for LSU, and Jordy Snikeris will join him as his battery mate. About time they got Ross out of there… Sinclair walks on four pitches, and Baranik looks wild. That’s ULL’s first baserunner since the second inning… Bowman whiffs on a tremendous curveball. One away… Frederick singles up the middle. Sinclair to second… Conrad singles to right, so sharp that Sinclair has to stop at third. Bases loaded… Butler flails on a 1-2 slider. Two down, and Chris Cotton will go lefty-on-lefty to try and get the last out… Compton grounds to Dozar, who momentarily struggles with it before firing it over to Cotton covering on a bang-bang play to get LSU out of the jam by the skin of their teeth… No runs. Two hits. No errors. Three left on base (Bases loaded… LSU 5, ULL 0
Bottom of the Sixth:
Hanover watches strike three, and Cockrell is throwing heat… Katz flies out to left-center for two quick outs… Rhymes crushes it into the glove of Conrad at second. Only bad luck can slow him down… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 5, ULL 0
Top of the Seventh:
Cotton stays in the game despite ULL having three righties up in the order… Nichols swings and misses. One out… Righty Logan Preston pinch hits for Leonards who has had a misreable day. He gives it a ride to right, but Katz is there. Two down… Nick Rumbelow in to pitch… Bourque turns around Rumbelow’s first fastball for a single to center… Sinclair rolls out to Jones so no damage done… No runs. One hit. No errors. One left on base (1st base)… LSU 5, ULL 0
Bottom of the Seventh:
Preston stays in the game at third, and Bourque goes from third to SS. Lefty Henri Fauchex the next pitcher for ULL… Alex Edward pinch hits for Dozar and gets plunked on the arm… Nola pops out to second. One down… Snikeris pops up to shallow center, where Conrad retreats and squeezes it. Two outs… Casey Yocom pinch hits for Didier and walks… Foster flails to end the inning… No runs. No hits. No errors. Two left on base (1st base, 2nd base)… LSU 5, ULL 0
Top of the Eighth:
Edward stays in the game in right field so Katz moves to first… Bowman lines out to Foster… Frederick reaches out over the plate and grounds out to Jones. Two outs… Joey Bourgeois in to pitch, and he gets Conrad swinging… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 5, ULL 0
Bottom of the Eighth:
Joe Zimmerman in to pitch for the Cajuns… He gets Jones to ground weakly back to him. One gone… Hanover rolls out to second. Two down… Katz walks… Rhymes one-hops it back to the mound, and LSU has only two hits since the rain delay… No runs. No hits. No errors. One left on base (1st base)… LSU 5, ULL 0
Top of the Ninth:
Kurt McCune in to pitch for LSU… Left-handed hitting Almann Snowden pinch hits for Butler. He works the count full and walks… Right-handed hitting Nick Jones pinch hits for Compton, and he goes down swinging on three pitches. One away… Nick Goody replaces McCune on the mound… He flames it by Nichols with high heat for the second out… Preston watches strike three… No runs. No hits. No errors. One left on base (1st base)… Gametime: 2:29
Final: LSU 5, ULL 0