FINAL: LSU 5, Maryland 1
Tiger offense comes alive in the seventh with help from Maryland miscues
LSU head coach Paul Mainieri says it over and over.
“College baseball is a game of pitching and defense.”
Saturday, both starting pitchers submitted fine performances, throwing six scoreless frames. Then, the seventh inning told the story of the game.
LSU starting pitcher Ryan Eades got one out in the seventh before letting two runners reach and was pulled.
Then in the bottom of the seventh, Maryland starting pitcher Brady Kirkpatrick left the game in the same situation. One out and runners on first and second.
LSU’s bullpen got it done. Maryland’s did not.
When Eades left the contest, Kevin Berry retired both batters he faced with help from freshman Mark Laird’s speed in right field, one play in right-center and another in foul ground. A frame later, Laird ended the Maryland threat with a diving catch moving in.
“He made three tremendous plays really when we needed him the most,” Mainieri said. “That catch over in right-center field was really a two-run saving catch. That kid really hit that ball well, and it was tough with the wind and the sun and everything else and he made a phenomenal catch. And then going practically into the stands over by the bullpen he made a tremendous catch. Then later on made a diving catch when he came in on a ball.”
Then when the Terps took the field in the seventh, three walks (two from Kirkpatrick), an error, a passed ball and a wild pitch - coupled with three Tiger hits - pushed across four runs and essentially clinched the game in cold and windy conditions in Alex Box.
Pinch hitter Alex Edward got LSU on the board with an RBI-single as the first batter versus lefty reliever Ben Brewster.
“Pinch hitting you gotta stay ready,” Edward said. “Once I saw the lefty warming up, I knew there was a chance that I could come in and hit. Coach started the runners. It opened up a hole, and fortunately I was able to hit a hard ground ball that found a hole.”
Ty Ross and Christian Ibarra followed suit with RBI singles of their own, and then a fourth Tiger came around to score on a passed ball. In total, six consecutive LSU batters reached in the seventh after just two got on base in the first six innings.
Then in the eighth, pinch hitter Sean McMullen had a dream debut in an LSU uniform by driving a fifth run home on a single to right.
“The key to your first at bat is just be ready for it,” the junior college transfer explained. Coach Mainieri, “He told me at the beginning of the game that he was calling me if the situation came about, and really it was just about me being ready.”
Chris Cotton took the ball for the final two innings and although he surrendered a run in the eighth, he finished off the contest for the Tigers. He wasn’t totally sharp - allowing three hits - but he struck out three and was good enough on this day.
“I just left a few pitches up,” the lefty explained. “I left that slider up, and [Jordan Hagel] just went the other way with it and ended up scoring that run. Same with the changueup that [Blake Schmit] in the first inning to leadoff.”
Ryan Eades didn’t pick up a decision, but he got the job done going 6.2 innings and allowing no runs, six hits and one walk with six strikeouts. He was dominant at times and caught a bit too much of the plate at times. Your typical Ryan Eades performance.
Brent Bonvillain will take the ball for LSU tomorrow. Neither Cotton (46 pitches in games one and two) and Kurt McCune (back spasms) will be available out of the pen.
Maryland will likely counter with lefty Alex Robinson.
First pitch is at noon, and hopefully it’ll be a bit warmer tomorrow with a high of 63 compared to today’s 52.
LSU: 5 runs, 6 hits, 0 errors
MU: 1 run, 9 hits, 1 error
Below is Richard Fischer’s chronological blog of today’s game.
Hello and welcome back to Alex Box Stadium for Game Two between LSU and Maryland.
Last night was a squeaker, but it was a Tiger victory. LSU out-hit the Terps 9-to-4 but could only muster a single run on an Alex Bregman RBI single. Fortunately for LSU, that’s all the Tigers needed as Aaron Nola followed by Joey Bourgeois and Chris Cotton were lights out.
Today, LSU hopes for a better effort at the plate and an equally efficient outing out the mound. Junior right-hander Ryan Eades will have a lot to do with the ladder.
He’ll get his 2013 started at 1 p.m. with the temperature slightly over 50 degrees. As always for Eades, it’ll be about control. If he’s hitting his spots, he’ll look like a major leaguer. If not, he could let an inning or two get away from him like we’ve all seen before. The story of how his career in TigerTown is written begins today.
His opponent on the mound is righty Brady Kirkpatrick. He was 3-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 50.1 innings last year. He struck out 31 but walked 32, so look for LSU to take pitches and make the junior work as it appears he has control issues.
LSU’s lineup looks very similar to yesterday’s. 3B Christian Ibarra slides down to the nine hole, and Tyler Moore will start at DH with a right-handed pitcher on the mound. Of course, Chris Sciambra is back in as LSU’s leadoff hitter after a storybook 4-for-4 start to the season last night, and five-hole hitter Mason Katz will surely look to attone for a poor night at the plate (0-for-4, 3K, GIDP).
Eades’ first pitch will come slightly after 1 p.m., and today’s game is televised by CST. The wind is blowing just like it was yesterday, hard from left field to right field and slightly in. Could be another low scoring contest.
1. Cheis Sciambra (4-4) CF
2. Mark Laird (0-4) RF
3. Alex Bregman (1-4) SS
4. Raph Rhymes (2-4) LF
5. Mason Katz (0-4) 1B
6. JaCoby Jones (1-1) 2B
7. Tyler Moore (0-0) DH
8. Ty Ross (1-3) C
9. Christian Ibarra (0-3) 3B
P-Ryan Eades RHP
1. Charlie White (0-3) CF
2. Jordan Hagel (0-4) RF
3. Kyle Convissar (2-4) 2B
4. K.J. Hockaday (1-4) 3B
5. Michael Montville (0-3) LF
6. LaMonte Wade (0-3) 1B
7. Matt Bosse (0-0) DH
8. Kevin Martir (0-0) C
9. Blake Schmit (1-2) SS
P- Brady Kirkpatrick RHP
Top of the First:
Eades’ first pitch is a fastball for a strike at 1:07… Eades gets ahead 0-2 then nibbles twice before White loops a 2-2 pitch to left. Single. Nice piece of hitting there… Hagel flies out to deep center. Sciambra got a late jump, but he backs up in time for out No. 1… Mainieri picks the perfect time to pitch out as White was headed for second on an 0-1 pitch. Ross nails him. Two away… Convissar then fists it to center for a single… Hockaday fans to retire the side. Not an ideal first inning for Eades, but no runner got past first. LSU up to bat… No runs. Two hits. No errors. One left on base (first)… LSU 0, Maryland 0
Bottom of the First:
Sciambra one-hops second and is retired for the first time this season. One away… Laird singles up this middle for his first hit in purple and gold… Bregman chops it in front of third, and Hockaday goes the short way to second and just beats Laird for out No. 2. Bregman safe at first… Rhymes grounds it up the middle. Convissar bobbles it but flips to second just in time to beat Bregman to end the inning… No runs. One hit. No errors. One left on base (first)… LSU 0, Maryland 0
Top of the Second:
Montville is frozen on the outside black for strike three. Great pitch. One down… Bye bye Ware on three pitches. Big swing and miss on an 0-2 breaking ball. Man, Eades looks strong in the second… Bosse weakly grounds to Jones, and this is the Eades we’ve been waiting for. Let’s see if he can build on it… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 0, Maryland 0
Bottom of the Second:
Katz grounds out to short and is now 0-for-5 on the season. One away… Jones takes a backwards K. Two down… Moore rolls it to first for a quick 1-2-3 frame… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 0, Maryland 0
Top of the Third:
Martir grounds to Ibarra. One down… Schmit smacks a rope with some English to Bregman. He stays with the spin and makes the play. That one was not easy. Two outs… White’s bunt attempt goes nowhere, and Ross makes an easy third out. Another 1-2-3 frame for Eades… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 0, Maryland 0
Bottom of the Third:
Ross lines out to left… Ibarra fans. Two down… Back to the top, and Sciambra lines out to center. Two straight 1-2-3 frames for LSU… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 0, Maryland 0
Top of the Fourth:
Hagel lines a single to left… Convissar grounds into a 5-4-3 DP. Ibarra to Jones to Katz. Two away… Hockaday bounces up the middle. Bregman moves to his left and makes the play. Eades has faced the minimum over the past 10 batters… No runs. One hit. No errors. None left on base… LSU 0, Maryland 0
Bottom of the Fourth:
Laird hits what should be a routine grounder to second, but he almost beats it out. One down none the less… Bregman singles between third and short… Mainieri sends Bregman, and Rhymes grounds to third. Hockaday’s throw pulls Wade off the bag so both runners are safe. E-5… Katz crushes it to left, but the wind kills it and makes it look like a routine fly ball. Two down… Jones takes strike three on a breaking ball. Second time he’s done that but this one was much worse with two ducks on the pond. Inning over… No runs. One hit. One error. Two left on base (first, second)… LSU 0, Maryland 0
Top of the Fifth:
Montville pops out to left. No chance in this wind. One down… Wade lines it right at Sciambra. Two down… Bosse singles to center… Martir does the same, and it’s first and second now… Schmit fans on a curveball and the threat is averted… No runs. Two hits. No errors. Two left on base (first, second)… LSU 0, Maryland 0
Bottom of the Fifth:
Moore hits a swinging bunt back to Kirkpatrick. He tags him along the line for out No. 1… Ross flies out to center. Two away… Ibarra one-hops short, and it’s three 1-2-3 frames out of five for LSU… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 0, Maryland 0
Top of the Sixth:
White flies to right center and Sciambra treks over to make the play. One away… Hagel goes down looking. Two outs… Convissar two hops the first pitch he sees to Ibarra. This is becoming a pretty nice outing from Eades… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 0, Maryland 0
Bottom of the Sixth:
Sciambra walks on four pitches… Laird’s sac bunt attempt goes a foot making it an easy play to get the lead runner at second. One down… Bregman grounds to second. Convissar tags Laird then throws to first for a twin killing. Inning over. Tigers do nothing after the leadoff man reaches… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 0, Maryland 0
Top of the Seventh:
Hockaday singles up the middle… Hockaday steals second… Montville is called out on a 3-2 pitch that appeared to be a bit outside. Eades and LSU will certainly take it. One away… Eades falls behind behind Wade 3-0 so LSU puts him on intentionally. First and second. That’ll be the end of Eades as Berry comes in to relieve him… Bosse lines it to right center, and Laird gets on his horse and makes the play. There’s that speed we’ve been hearing out. It just saved at least one run. Both runners retreat. Two down… Martir pops out near the stands in foul ground, and Laird runs over and makes another fine play bumping into it. The freshman just made two great plays about 60-70 yards apart… No runs. One hits. No errors. Two left on base (first, second)… LSU 0, Maryland 0
Bottom of the Seventh:
Rhymes bounces out to short… Katz walks and reaches for the first time this season… Jones walks on five pitches, and Kirkpatrick appears to be losing it a bit… Lefty Ben Brewster comes in for Maryland so LSU counters with righty Alex Edward for Moore in the DH slot… LSU sends the runners, and Edward smacks it right where the second baseman had left to cover the bag. Katz comes around to score the game’s first run, and LSU has runners on the corners… Ross lays down a perfectly placed bunt with Jones breaking for home. Both are safe. 2-0 LSU… Foster pinch runs for Edward at second… Ibarra goes the other way and scores Foster from second. 3-0 LSU. Ross to third on an error in right field… Jake Stinnett the new Terp pitcher… Passed ball scores Ross. 4-0 LSU. Ibarra to second… Sciambra walks… Laird whiffs and didn’t look good on that swing. Two down… Wild pitch moves the runners up… Bregman swings and misses… Four runs. Three hits. One error. Two left on base (second, third)… LSU 4, Maryland 0
Top of the Eighth:
Schmit leads off the inning with a single to center… White sac bunts the runner to second. Gotta question that decision down four with only six outs to play with. Now five outs. One away… Hagel singles to right to score Schmit. 4-1 LSU… Convissar chases. Two gone… Hockaday loops it to shallow right, and there’s Laird again with a diving play moving in. He might not be doing it with his bat in the very early stages of his career, but good luck getting that glove out of the lineup… One run. Two hits. No errors. One left on base (first)… LSU 4, Maryland 1
Bottom of the Eighth:
Jack Cleary (C) and Kevin Mooney (RHP) are the new Maryland battery mates… Mooney hits Rhymes… Katz shows warning track power the other way, but Hagel is there. One down, and Katz will likely take his .000 bating average into Sunday… Jones ropes a grounder into Wade’s glove. He steps on first for out No. 2. Rhymes to second… Sean McMullen pinch hits for the DH spot (occupied by Foster who pinch ran in the seventh), and he ropes a single to right to score Rhymes in his first LSU appearance… Then McMullen is thrown out trying to take second… One run. One hit. No errors. None left on base… LSU 5, Maryland 1
Top of the Ninth:
Montville can’t check his swing, and that’s out No. 1… Wade doubles just inside first base and into LSU’s pen. That’s the third hit Cotton has allowed today… Bosse works the count full but swings and misses. Two down… Cleary hits a can of corn to Sciambra, and LSU is 2-0. Cotton struck out three but allowed three hits. Not totally sharp but he didn’t need to be… No runs. One hit. No errors. One left on base (second)… Gametime: 2:36
FINAL: LSU 5, Maryland 1