Everything Jay Johnson said after LSU’s win over McNeese with Tennessee series looming

LSU first baseman leads the team in homers this season after hitting three against McNeese. PHOTO BY Michael Bacigalupi

LSU baseball shook out of its slump against McNeese in a 16-0 run-rule win.

Here’s everything Jay Johnson, Jared Jones and Kade Anderson said after the game as the Tigers look ahead to a road trip against No. 4 Tennessee.

Jay Johnson

The win over McNeese was one of LSU’s best performances of the year, according to Johnson.

“It was our best game, probably of the year,” Johnson said. “I’d have to go back (to find a better game). Maybe Florida on Friday, but it was a good game, and we did everything well.”

Johnson made multiple changes to the starting lineup for LSU, and they seemed to pay off in the big win. Jones batted leadoff for the Tigers for the first time and had himself a career night.

“I literally didn’t make the lineup until an hour and 20 minutes before the game today,” Johnson said. “We got to get guys consistent and maximize the talent we have. We did it with Tommy at Arkansas. Throw one of those guys in the leadoff spot and we’re two for two with leadoff homers so maybe there’s something to that. [Jones] had a great night tonight and I’m sure that’s a game he’ll remember for a long time.”

Johnson said the lineup changes didn’t come easy and he took a long time deliberating over the changes.

“I didn’t really like anything honestly going into today,” Johnson said. “I may have literally wasted more paper than anyone in Louisiana trying to figure it out. That’s my job and I finally landed on that.”

Johnson spoke highly on the performance of his first-time leadoff hitter Jones.

“He had a great night tonight,” Johnson said. “I’m sure that’s a game he’ll remember for a long time.”

Despite the big win, Johnson seemed focused on the looming series with Tennessee as the Tigers are still on the hunt for their first SEC series win. His answers on the win were more subdued as LSU looks ahead to another tough test in conference play.

“Excited to work out tomorrow amidst the tornado warning and get ready for a good weekend,” Johnson said. “I think we’ll be an improved team this weekend and I think it’s going to be a great series.”

Jared Jones

Despite the entire team putting in solid performances, no player stood out more than Jones did on Tuesday night.

“My goal was just to get to first base and I was lucky enough to git a ball in play,” Jones said.

In his first time batting in the leadoff spot, he tied the LSU record for most homers in a game with three and had added a double for good measure in the big win. Jones now leads the team in homers with 14 this season.

“I didn’t think I’d ever lead off here,” Jones said. “Usually, [the lineup] is up before practice, today it was up after batting practice. I was in the locker room kind of chilling out and Tommy comes and he’s like ‘Dude, you’re leading off today,’ and I was like ‘Oh, funny joke.’ And then I went out there and I actually saw my name in the leadoff spot.”

Kade Anderson

LSU’s entire pitching staff put in solid performances last night as the Tigers limited McNeese to just one hit. Anderson got the start and was awarded the win after pitching three innings and allowing just one hit and no walks.

“Fastball up in the zone was working well,” Anderson said. “And I was able to throw the slider a little bit more often, so just working on that.”

Anderson also said he thinks the team is in a good place after Johnson questioned the team’s mentality and competitiveness earlier in the season.

“Mentally, I think our team in the locker room is right where we’re supposed to be,” Anderson said.

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Will Nickel

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