That was the closest 10-4 game you may ever see. Or, given that most of you were watching the basketball game and the baseball game was only on radio (or live video on GeauxZone... seriously people, shell out the 10 bucks a month for the video subscription), it was the closest 10-4 game you ever heard.
Honestly, it looked like one of those nights. MVSU jumped out to a 4-0 lead and chased Riedle from the game in the second inning. If you didn't believe in Defense Independent Pitching Stats before last night, this should have convinced you. Riedle wasn't hit hard at all, but it was just a series of seeing-eye singles and bloopers which found the hole. He pitched well, but found himself down 3 runs and watching the game from the bench. Alsup was actually hit harder, but he had the good fortune of having those balls go directly at LSU fielders.
Then came the bullpen cavalry. Ott and Coleman combined to pitch the five scoreless innings to keep LSU in the game while we patiently waited for the bats to wake up. Of the 15 outs they recorded, 10 were by strikeout. They combined to allow four baserunners, only on of them by free pass. It was a dominant performance which, frankly, was desperately needed.
Because for most of the night, the hitting was frustrating as hell. LSU slowly came back, but always failing to get that big inning. Ochinko especially contributed to the hitting woes, hitting into two double plays, one with the bases loaded in the 4th. So LSU loaded the bases with no one out and scored zero runs. It was that sort of night. It didn't help that the umpire's strike zone was so large you could have driven a Buick through it.
Then came the 8th inning. Actually, let's talk about the 7th inning first. A lot of people who want to bash "Gorilla Ball" will argue that we should run more and steal more bases. And that's a fine argument, but sometimes that means you're going to have innings like the 7th, in which LSU got two base hits and never advanced a runner to 2nd base because both Landry and Schimpf were thrown out trying to steal. Running a lot means a lot of caught stelaings as well. Know the costs as well as the benefits.
OK, then came the 8th. The Tigers loaded the bases again, and with one out, Ochinko stepped to the plate again. In the middle of what could be charitably described as an awful game, Ochinko shook that off and hit a grand slam. Just like that, 7-4 LSU and the rout was on. One swing and he went from goat to hero. Ochinko has now hit grand slams on back to back nights.
If you just looked at the score, you'd think it was a blowout. It was really just one big inning and one big swing. Crooked numbers win baseball games.