If anybody was going to catch the final out of LSU’s 4-3 victory over Texas and flash the horns down then it should have been, and was, Daniel Cabrera.
The right fielder led the Tigers with a 3 for 4 performance Friday night in Minute Maid Park, including the two-run home run in the sixth inning that gave LSU the lead.
Trailing 3-2 with one out in the sixth, Cabrera hit a line drive that landed halfway up the bleachers in right to score first baseman Cade Beloso and put the Tigers in front.
LSU (7-3) handed that one-run lead to Jaden Hill, who recorded his first save of the year with three hitless innings where he struck out six and only gave up one walk. Of Hill’s 36 pitches, 25 were for strikes.
“Jaden Hill is a special talent, he’s got a great arm and he’s a great athlete,” Mainieri said. “He’s not just a hard thrower, he’s got a good slider and change-up, and he was dynamic tonight.”
LSU scored first in the bottom of the second when catcher Saul Garza hit a triple off the high wall in left center field to score Cabrera with no outs. Second baseman Cade Doughty then scored Garza with an infield single to give LSU a 2-0 lead.
Originally Doughty was ruled out at first to end the inning, but after a review the call was overturned and Garza’s run was counted.
Cole Henry gave up a leadoff single to Texas (9-1) right fielder Todd Austin but responded by striking out five straight Longhorns. Just when it looked like Henry was going to have another dominant performance, he gave up a leadoff home run to catcher DJ Petrinsky in the third inning.
Henry struggled immediately after that, giving up two walks and a single to load the bases. A sacrifice fly from first baseman Zach Zubia tied the game.
The Longhorns took a 3-2 lead in the next inning whenshortstop Trey Faltine led off the inning by reaching base via a hit by pitch. A single and throwing error from Zack Mathis put Faltine at third, where he scored on a sacrifice fly from Petrinsky to give Texas the lead.
After the error, Henry found his groove again. He retired the next eight batters he faced to finish off six innings of work where he only gave up four hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts.
“It was a really good baseball game,” Mainieri said. “I can’t remember the last time we struck out our opponent 16 times in a game. When you run arms like Cole Henry and Jaden Hill out there, it’s pretty exciting to watch.”
With the win, LSU hands previously undefeated Texas its first loss of the year.
LSU returns to action in the Shriner’s Hospital Houston College Classic tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. when the Tigers face off against Baylor. The Bears also won their first game of the Houston College Classic 4-2 against Missouri. The game will be broadcast on CST and the AT&T Sports Network as well as online at MLB.com.