By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor
Purple defeated Gold 5-0 during a chilly Game Two on Thursday night at Alex Box Stadium. The series is now even at a game apiece with Gold leading the aggregate scoring 9-8.
Here’s a few observations and thoughts from the second of three Purple and Gold World Series scrimmages. Hint: hits were at a premium.
- Still Rolling: Caleb Gilbert hasn’t stopped dealing since his central role in LSU’s run to the College World Series Finals last summer. The presumed ace of the staff started for the Purple team and retired all six batters he faced in order and struck out three. If the season started today, LSU coach Paul Mainieri would be handing him the ball on Opening Night. “Caleb threw good,” Mainieri said. “He’s a veteran. He’s a confident guy. I’d like to say that that Oregon State game just made his confidence go through the roof, but we was pitching well before that. He knows he’s good enough and he carries himself like a man around here.”
- Flashing Leather: Purple coach Kramer Robertson doesn’t have any eligibility left, but LSU seems to remain in good hands at shortstop. Josh Smith, who played third base last season, robbed fellow sophomore Zach Watson with a full-extension diving catch on a bullet ticketed to left field. The catch was so good his belt broke on impact. Freshman Hal Hughes, his Gold counterpart, continued his strong fall by playing a solid shortstop in his own right and collecting three hits in the series. He nailed a runner at the plate on a sharp grounder with the infield in and turned a nifty 4-6-3 double play. “His defense is an asset,” Mainieri said of Hughes. “He’s going to be a nice player for us. I’m not sure what’s going to happen as we go forward, but he’s going to be an important guy for us.”
- Beau gonna Beau: If you know two things about Beau Jordan, they’re probably that he has a twin brother, Bryce, and that he’s at his best when he’s driving the ball to the opposite field. Jordan fouled off a series of two-strike offerings from lefty John Kodros before slicing a two-run double into right-center field.
HOW THEY SCORED
B1- Antoine Duplantis stole second base after a two-out single off Hilliard. Beau Jordan plated him with a ringing double off the base of the wall in left field. (1-0 Purple)
B3- A Mason Doolittle single and back-to-back walks loaded the bases with nobody out. Antoine Duplantis worked a bases-loaded walk against lefty John Kodros. Beau Jordan followed with a two-run double to right-center field after a series of foul balls. (4-0 Purple)
B4- A run scored on a throwing error. (5-0 Purple)