LSU starting pitching superb, bats stay hot as Tigers win two Saturday for three-game weekend sweep

LSU second baseman Cade Doughty was named third team All-America by Perfect Game. PHOTO BY JONATHAN MAILHES

Landon Marceaux was the last of LSU’s three starting pitchers this weekend and he figured he had to hold up his end of the deal with fellow starters Jaden Hill and AJ Labas.

“It’s like how well can we one up the guy before with Jaden leading off,” Marceaux said. “We use that as motivation. You have three great arms on the weekend and it’s going to be a fun and challenging year going forward.”

Marceaux struck 10, allowed one hit and no runs in six innings as the 11th ranked Tigers blanked Nicholls 14-0 Saturday night in Alex Box Stadium.

Paired with Hill’s six scoreless innings in Friday’s 6-2 win over Youngstown State and Labas’ five shutout innings in the Tigers’ 5-3 win over Youngstown earlier Saturday, LSU starters allowed no runs and six hits in a combined 17 innings while striking out 20 and walking two.

Also, the Tigers (6-1) swung the bats with 17 extra bases of their total 34 hits in the three wins, including nine home runs. LSU had four homers each in Friday’s win and in Saturday’s nightcap blasting of Nicholls, including two by Drew Bianco against the Colonels.

LSU’s 14 homers are the most in the first seven games of the season since hitting 15 in 2009.

“I knew we had some good hitters,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “Eddie Smith is an outstanding hitting coach. He emphasizes attacking the ball and hitting with authority. We didn’t do that the first two games of the season against Air Force.

“It became a big point of emphasis after that to get up to the plate and really compete against the pitcher and generate bat speed,” Mainieri said. “Once we started doing that, the ball started flying because of the conditions.”

In Saturday’s earlier win over Youngstown, Tigers’ second baseman Cade Doughty slammed a two-out walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth.

Doughty has been on a tear, hitting .428 in his last five games with 9 RBis, 2 homers and 2 doubles. Yet, his only mistake of the weekend may be a costly one.

“He (Doughty) actually got injured in the second game (against) Nicholls,” Mainieri said. “When Drew Bianco hit one of his home runs, he jumped up celebrating and one of his teammates accidentally bumped Cade’s shoulder.

“It was kind of a freakish injury in a celebration. We had to take him out of the game. His shoulder is pretty sore, he was in quite a bit of pain. It will diagnosed on Monday to see what the extent of it is. I sure hope it’s nothing too serious.”

After a day off Sunday, LSU begins preparations Monday for a five-game week with home games Tuesday vs Nicholls at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday vs. Southern at 6:30, Friday vs Oral Roberts at 7, Saturday vs. Oral Roberts at 3 and Sunday vs Oral Roberts at 2.

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Ron Higgins

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