Catcher Tyler McManus went 3-for-5 with a towering home run Sunday to lead LSU’s baseball team to a 13-5 win in their first fall scrimmage against the UNO Privateers at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The scrimmage against the Privateers was the first chance first-year LSU head coach Jay Johnson had to watch his team in action against outside competition.
The teams competed in two 10-inning sessions with a 30-minute break in between.
“It was great,” Johnson said. “One of the reasons you do this is so you get some type of feel for the real thing, and it’s good for our players.”
Game No. 1
LSU wins 13-5
In the first session of the day, which got underway at noon, UNO jumped out to a quick lead in the first inning after a double down the left-field line and an RBI single. Junior Cade Doughty led off for the Tigers in the bottom of the first and smoked a double to the right-centerfield gap, but LSU was unable to capitalize.
For the remainder of the game, UNO scored four runs, while the Tigers scored 13.
Designated hitter Brayden Jobert reached on an infield single and scored on McManus’s home run to left that wiped out a 1-0 deficit in the bottom of the second inning. After a walk to sophomore Brody Drost, junior college transfer Jack Merrifield doubled down the left-field line to put two runners in scoring position for Doughty. He would bring in Drost with a single up the middle, and sophomore Tre’ Morgan would knock a run in on a sacrifice fly to center.
With LSU leading 4-1, the Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the third after senior Gavin Dugas led off the inning with a double down the left-field line and scored on a base hit up the middle from Drost, and a throwing error resulted in another run.
LSU made it 9-1 in the fourth with three more runs, all coming with two outs. After Dugas drew a walk, Jobert collected a base hit and senior Cade Beloso smoked a two-run homer into the right-field bleachers.
“(Cade Beloso and Tyler McManus) are just mature hitters,” Johnson said. “They have a good number of at-bats under their belts. They separate balls from strikes; both of them have worked extremely hard since we got rolling at the end of August. Made a couple of swing adjustments, and they’re carrying them into their games and at-bats very nicely.”
LSU plated two more in the bottom of the fifth. The Tigers capitalized on Privateer mistakes, scoring on two wild pitches and the Tigers waited until the ninth to score again when Merrifield, Morgan, and Dylan Crews tallied base hits. Merrifield scored on Morgan’s double, and Morgan scored on Crews’ single to left field.
On the mound, LSU went to five different pitchers including transfer right-hander Eric Reyzelman. He finished the day with two innings pitched, retiring the side in both frames with three strikeouts.
“(Reyzelman)’s got a great arm,” Johnson said. “His fastball is getting up to 97, he’s pitching at the bottom of the zone, and he’s aggressive. I really liked his demeanor. I thought he pitched with a lot of confidence, a lot of conviction, and his stuff is plenty good enough. When he does that, he’s going to get outs.”
Sophomore Javen Coleman started for LSU and pitched three innings with four strikeouts and allowing one run. Sophomore Blake Money followed with three shutout innings with three hits and two strikeouts. Grant Fontenot and Jacob Hasty closed out the first session in the ninth and 10th innings.
NOTABLE STATS FROM GAME 1:
Tyler McManus 3-5, HR, BB, 2 RBI
Brayden Jobert 3-6, 2B
Tre Morgan 2-4, 2B, BB, 2 RBI
Cade Doughty 2-5, 2B, BB, RBI
Blake Money 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 Ks
Eric Reyzelman 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 Ks
Game No. 2
LSU wins 6-1
LSU overcame a 1-0 deficit in the bottom of the fourth when Doughty smashed a double and Morgan followed with an RBI-triple to the right-centerfield gap to score Doughty.
Beloso launched his second home run of the day halfway up the right-field bleachers for a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh. After Giovanni DiGiacomo reached on a walk, Brennan Holt and Will Safford bunted their way on base, and freshman catcher Blaise Priester widened the lead with a double down the left-field line, scoring DiGiacomo and Holt and Safford scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-1.
After giving up a first-inning home run, LSU’s pitching staff limited the Privateers. Ty Floyd threw three innings and picked up six strikeouts.
Left-hander Bryce Collins came in to face one batter before freshman right-hander Cale Lansville took over. Lansville went 3.2 innings and tallied six strikeouts while allowing no runs on one hit. Right-hander Paul Gervase replaced Lansville in the top of the eighth and sat the Privateers down on strikes in order.
The Tigers tacked on another run in the bottom of the ninth after a single from Jobert and a double from Beloso to make it 6-1.