Tigers take control early, coast to 10-run win over South Alabama

LSU freshman pitcher Will Helmers ran his record to 5-1 by starting and throwing two scoreless innings in the Tigers' 11-1 non-conference win over South Alabama on Tuesday night in Alex Box Stadium.

All LSU batters had to do in the first two innings Tuesday night was stand at the plate and swing at occasional pitch if South Alabama pitchers could get the ball anywhere near the plate.

Which didn’t happen very often.

Jaguars’ starter Tyler Lehrmann and reliever Tyler Trussell combined to walk eight batters in the first two innings, including three in the Tigers’ six-run second inning as LSU breezed to an 11-1 non-conference win in Alex Box Stadium.

Eight LSU pitchers combined to scatter four South Alabama hits as the Tigers (17-8) snapped a three-game losing streak incurred when they were swept in a three-game SEC series last weekend.

The Tigers gave their hurlers plenty of run support. LSU right fielder Dylan Crews drove in four runs, including a two-run homer in the seventh. Third baseman Cade Doughty keyed LSU’s second-inning rally cracking a three-run double with two outs.

“I’m just so proud of our guys for coming out tonight and playing a great ball game after a tough weekend,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “They didn’t hang their heads, and they came to the park tonight with a positive attitude. We had a great pregame batting practice, and it carried over into the game.

“South Alabama has a very good club and a strong tradition, so we knew we would be challenged, and I thought our kids played with great effort and enthusiasm.”

Freshman right-hander Will Hellmers (5-1) was credited with the win as he fired two shutout innings with one walk and one strikeout. Hellmers, right-hander Blake Money and left-hander Alex Brady did not allow a hit through the first five innings of the contest.

South Alabama starter Tyler Lehrmann (1-2) was charged with the loss, as he surrendered six runs on two hits with five walks and one strikeout.

LSU opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with an RBI single by leftfielder Gavin Dugas, and the Tigers broke the game open with a six-run second inning. The uprising was highlighted by a three-run double from Doughty, an RBI single by Crews, a bases-loaded walk by Dugas, and designated hitter Cade Beloso’s run-scoring double.

Catcher Hayden Travinski belted a solo homer – his third dinger of the season – in the fourth inning, and Crews blasted a two-run shot in the seventh for his eighth home run of the year.

The Tigers return to SEC action at 6:30 p.m. Thursday when they play host to No. 1 ranked Vanderbilt in Game 1 of a three-game series in Alex Box Stadium. The game may be viewed on SEC Network +.

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