Luke Holman shines in his LSU debut as the Tigers win a defensive battle with Central Arkansas

Luke Holman allowed no runs in his debut for No. 2 LSU baseball, a 2-0 win over Central Arkansas. PHOTO BY: Michael Bacigalupi

LSU baseball’s season is just two games old, but it has already shown fans it’s capable of winning with both its hitting and its pitching.

In its season opener, LSU gave up 11 hits and had 12 of its own in a 11-8 shootout win over VMI. Just a day later, No. 2 LSU found itself in the opposite kind of game against Central Arkansas.

It looked like neither team wanted to score and by the end of the game just two  runs were scored as LSU came away with a 2-0 win over Central Arkansas on a cold, windy day at Alex Box Stadium.

Through three innings the score was locked at 0-0 and there had been just one hit, a Tommy White standup double in the first inning.

When Central Arkansas’ starter Coleman MacRae put Michael Baswell III on first and Steven Milam on second in the third inning it was the first time in the game that multiple runners were on base.

In the fourth inning, LSU starter Luke Holman gave up his first hit of the game, a double by AJ Mendolia. Bryce Cermenelli followed up with a single to have runners on the corners with no outs, but Holman would fight his way out of the jam after a mound visit from Jay Johnson. Holman struck out the next three batters to end the inning.

LSU got on the board in the fourth inning thanks to Milam. Travinski was hit by a pitch to start the inning followed by a Josh Pearson groundout. Jared Jones would ground out afterwards and allow Travinski to advance before Braswell was walked to put runners on first and second.

Milam then singled to right field to score Travinski and give LSU the first run of the day. Kling was hit by a pitch afterwards to load the bases, but MacRae struck out Bingham to minimize the damage and end the inning.

MacRae was pulled after the fourth inning for Payton Windham. He finished the game with three strikeouts while giving up three walks, two hits and one earned run in 4.0 innings pitched.

Holman would pitch until being pulled in the sixth inning for Griffin Herring. He finished the day with 10 strikeouts while giving up three hits, one walk and no earned runs on 87 pitches in 5.1 innings pitched. It was his most strikeouts in a game since he had 12 against Samford on March 7 for Alabama.

Not long after Herring entered the game, Paxton Kling made a diving catch in centerfield to record the second out of the fifth inning and keep the Bears from getting on the scoreboard. Central Arkansas had a runner on second and if the hit had dropped, it likely would have tied the game at 1-1.

Herring struggled with his control during the game and was pulled after just 1.0 innings pitched. He allowed no hits and no runs but walked three batters before being pulled for Fidel Ulloa in the top of the seventh inning with two runners on base and just one out. Ulloa came in and struck out the first two batters he faced to end the inning.

Ulloa was pulled in the top of the eighth inning with two outs after walking Mendolia and giving up a single to Cas Shipley to put runners on first and second. DJ Primeaux came in and recorded the last out of the inning to bring LSU within three outs of being 2-0 to start the season.

Jones added some cushion for LSU with a solo homer to lead off the eighth inning to give LSU a two-run lead. The homer was just LSU’s fifth hit of the day. It was Jones’ second homerun of the season after having a three-run shot the day before in the win over VMI.

Gavin Alveti came in for Windham in the bottom of the eighth inning. Windham finished the game with three strikeouts while giving up one earned run, three hits and two walks. Alveti hit the first batter he faced with a pitch before giving up a single to Ethan Frey to put runners on the corners with White coming up to bat. White grounded out to end the inning.

Sam Dutton came in to finish out the game in the top of the ninth. Dutton recorded the first two outs before giving up a single to put the tying run at the plate. He closed out the game with a strikeout to secure a 2-0 win for LSU.

LSU’s next game will be tomorrow against VMI. It’s scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

author avatar
Will Nickel

1 Comment

  1. Wonderful Feb17.2024 with tough wins by softball team then baseball team then thriller big time win by guy hoopsters!!
    Happy fan day!!!!!

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