LSU baseball blasts three homers to overcome early deficit to New Orleans

LSU baseball hit three homers on Tuesday night to beat UNO. PHOTO BY: LSU Athletics

LSU (23-15, 3-12 SEC) fell behind early to New Orleans (21-15, 6-3 SLC), but three home runs rescued the Tigers from their losing streak and gave them a 6-3 win.

“What I’m going to commit to is being incredibly positive with our team,” LSU head coach Jay Johnson said. “As a coaching staff, we’re going to communicate with them at a high level. Obviously, this season is not over, and the story is not written. All of our players want to develop, and they definitely want to win, and our coaching staff is going to give them the best we’ve got.”

Thatcher Hurd got his first start since the Florida series and his struggles this season looked like they would continue early on. He walked a batter before surrendering a two-run homer to Mitchell Sanford.

He followed the homer up by giving up a single and hitting a batter with a pitch two put two runners on base. He managed to strikeout a batter and a foul out ended the inning with the damage being limited to 2-0.

Paxton Kling got on base for the Tigers in the bottom of the inning thanks to a walk and stole second before a Tommy White RBI single brought him home and cut the deficit in half.

Hurd walked a batter in the second inning, but a double play kept UNO from adding to its lead. LSU had three double plays in the game. Hurd was pulled after the second and finished the game with one strikeout and surrendered two hits, two walks and two runs.

Sam Dutton came in to replace Hurd and gave up a homer to the first batter he faced to add to UNO’s lead. Dutton struck out a pair of batters and forced a flyout to get out of the inning without allowing any other damage.

LSU cut into the lead in the bottom of the fourth after Jared Jones once again flashed his home run power just a week removed from having a three-homer game. Jones hit his team-leading 15th homer to bring the score to 3-2.

LSU would take the lead for the first time in the next inning. A Steven Milam triple brought Kling home after he walked to get on base. White grounded out in the next at bat but allowed Milam to come home to bring the score to 4-3.

The Tigers would add to their lead again in the sixth inning thanks to a pair of homers. Hayden Travinski blasted a homer to lead off the inning and Brady Neal hit his fifth homer of the season to bring the score to 6-3.

LSU got out of the next three innings without having too much trouble to claim its 20th nonconference win of the season.

LSU used seven pitchers in the game and surrendered six hits and six walks to UNO while recording eight strikeouts. After Hurd and Dutton gave up homers early in the game, LSU didn’t allow a single extra base hit.

“It was a good effort, starting on the mound,” Johnson said. “It was kind of a redemption game for our pitchers who had had some bumps in the road recently. I was anxious to get a lot of them out on the mound tonight, and they performed really well across the board.”

LSU did have two errors on the night. One came from Michael Braswell III. It was his 10th error of the season, the most of any player in the SEC. The other came from Jones on first base.

LSU’s offense finished the game with seven hits and brought its season home run total to 60.

Up next, the Tigers have a road series against Missouri. LSU will be desperate to claim its first SEC series of the season after starting 0-5 in conference play. Game one will start at 7 p.m. and will be televised on SEC Network.

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Will Nickel

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