LSU baseball stays undefeated with a win over Northern Illinois in Gage Jump’s first start

Tommy White hit his first home run of the season as LSU baseball beat Northern Illinois 10-2. PHOTO BY: Jonathan Mailhes

LSU baseball continued its winning ways with a 10-2 win over Northern Illinois to advance to 5-0 on the season.

UCLA transfer Gage Jump got his first start of the season after pitching just one inning on opening weekend and LSU’s hitters hit five homeruns to secure the win.

“It was a good day to hit that’s for sure,” head coach Jay Johnson said.

Despite the big win, things didn’t get off to the best start for LSU. Jump walked Kaden Kosobucki on a close call with a full count and a throwing error by Michael Braswell III on what should’ve been a double play put a runner on second.

Jump couldn’t secure a short hit from Eric Erato and put runners on the corners before a pitch in the dirt scored Colin Summerhill to give Northern Illinois a 1-0 lead heading to the bottom of the first inning.

Paxton Kling got on base after a walk, but LSU couldn’t get anything else going on offense in the first inning.

Jump said he was on a pitch count of around 45 pitches before the game and he had thrown 44 by the end of the second inning.

“I was excited to get [Jump] out there and start,” Johnson said. “We got the pitch count down to where we wanted to, and we got him down in the bullpen to extend a little bit more.”

Josh Pearson got on base courtesy of a walk and Braswell made up for his error on defense with a two-run homer in the bottom of the second to give LSU its first score of the game and a 2-1 lead. It was Braswell’s first homerun as a Tiger.

LSU wasn’t done with hitting two-run shots though. Kling hit a 430-foot bomb to score himself and Milazzo who had reached base on a walk. Tommy white grounded out to end the inning, but LSU had established control of the game with a 4-1 lead.

Jump came out in the third inning and recorded one more out before giving up a double to Charlie Parcell and being pulled for Nate Ackenhausen. His day ended after throwing 52 pitches in 2.1 innings pitched. He gave up two hits, one walk and one run with four strikeouts in his first ever start for LSU.

“I’m good with that outing,” Johnson said. “[Jump] was really good and he’ll be better than that outing, but I’m perfectly good with that outing.”

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the third inning, Braswell hit a deep fly ball to the warning track that allowed Travinski to tag up and bring LSU’s lead to 5-1.

A solo home run from Mason Kelley pulled one back for Northern Illinois in the top of the fourth inning.

Ryan Linkletter replaced Tommy Meyer for Northern Illinois to start the bottom of the fourth inning. Meyer ended the day with three strikeouts while giving up four hits, five walks and five earned runs in 3.0 innings pitched.

LSU would continue its barrage of two-run homers in the bottom of the fourth. White and Josh Pearson both hit their first home runs of the season to score four more runs and give LSU a 9-2 lead heading into the fifth inning.

LSU and Northern Illinois both went scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings. Aiden Moffett came in to replace Ackenhausen to start the seventh inning. Ackenhausen ended the day with six strikeouts in 3.2 innings pitched. He walked three and gave up two hits and one earned run.

Moffett got through the seventh without giving up any runs which meant LSU needed to score three more to make it a run-rule win. Sam Pederson came in to replace Linkletter for Northern Illinois to start the bottom of the seventh.

Pearson hit his second homer of the day to center field to bring LSU’s lead to 10-2.

“I’ve just been grinding in the cages trying to stay within that same swing every day and just trying to get a pitch I can drive and can do some damage on,” Pearson said about the home run after the game.

 Braswell walked and Ashton Larson hit a single to put runners on the corners with one out remaining in the inning. Kling was walked to load the bases, but freshman Jake Brown lined out to end the inning.

Micah Bucknam came in for LSU at the start of the eighth inning and struck out three batters. Tucker Christensen came in to pitch for Northern Illinois in the bottom of the eighth.

White was walked to start the inning before and Steven Milam was hit by a pitch to put the winning runs on base with two outs, but a pop fly from Ethan Frey meant we’d see a ninth inning.

Northern Illinois went three up, three down to end the game. Bucknam gave up just one hit in the final two innings with four strikeouts.

LSU will play Stony Brook tomorrow at 2 p.m. in Alex Box Stadium. Thatcher Hurd will start the game after pitching 2.2 innings on opening day and giving up four earned runs.

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