Tigers top Lamar, 8-1
LSU pulls away late and remains unbeaten
LSU won all 14 midweek games on last season’s schedule by using an assembly line of relievers to silence opposing bats while the Tiger offense raked together just enough production to win.
Tuesday night the Tigers picked up right where they left off last season by trotting out five arms who combined to allow just one unearned run. The offense came around late, and it needed a little help, but in the end it was all enough for an 8-1 win over visiting Lamar.
LSU’s bullpen backed up a 10 inning, two earned run effort in a weekend sweep of Maryland by dominating the Cardinal bats in relief of starter Cody Glenn.
Freshman Hunter Devall needed just 13 pitches to mow down all four hitters he faced, including a strikeout to end the sixth. Junior Nate Fury took the baton and retired two men to end the seventh.
Senior Joey Bourgeois allowed a single after recording a pair of outs. He gave way to senior Chris Cotton who spun the final inning and a third, striking out a pair of Lamar hitters and earning his second save of the season.
“I thought it was another outstanding pitching performance by our entire staff,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “I was really happy with the way we threw the ball. Nine innings and no earned runs? Not bad. I’ll take that every time.”
The Tiger offense showed up when it was needed.
After Glenn gave up an unearned run in the first when Jude Vidrine reached on a dropped third strike and came around to score on a pair of walks and a misplayed groundball by LSU’s Christian Ibarra, JaCoby Jones answered in the second with a home run into the teeth of the chilly breeze and off the chain link fence over the wall left field.
Senior Mason Katz shook off a 1-10 weekend and 0-2 start to the game by blasting a double over the Lamar right fielder’s head to score Raph Rhymes from first base in the sixth. Rhymes had blooped a single into right field preceding the Katz two-bagger.
But it wasn’t until the eighth when LSU took control, and it wasn’t without a serious bullpen meltdown from Lamar.
The Tigers erupted for six runs in the frame on a pair of infield hits, six walks and a sacrifice fly as Cardinal reliever after Cardinal reliever entered the game only to pour gasoline on the growing fire.
“I told the guys after the game that Lamar’s a good ballclub,” Mainieri said. “It fell apart for them at the end because they just didn’t handle the environment well.”
Glenn, the Tiger starter, managed to maneuver through five innings while allowing just the one run. He used his live fastball and sharp slider to punch out five Lamar hitters, and he allowed just three hits.
After starting three midweek games last year, Glenn was bumped from the role in favor of Joe Broussard. With that in the back of his mind, Glenn took the ball with a purpose Tuesday.
“I felt a sense of urgency to get the job done and to prove to my teammates and my coaches that I can still do it,” Glenn said. “Those two walks (in the first) are going to haunt me, but everything after that I felt pretty good about.”
LSU is back at it in a rare Thursday night tilt with visiting BYU. Sophomore Aaron Nola will make his second start of the year.