Despite the rain, LSU managed to get all three games in this weekend. Two against BYU and one against Southeastern.
The Cougars of BYU packed a bigger bite than anyone thought they would this weekend. BYU gave LSU all they wanted in the first game Thursday night, and it took some ninth inning heroics from LSU to get the win. Aaron Nola looked human and did not have his best stuff. He allowed only four hits through six innings but also had a career high three walks. He had one of those really tough innings where he allowed four runs, highlighted by a three run homer. However, LSU battled back and entered the ninth inning trailing by just one. A Christian Ibarra homer tied the game before Raph Rhymes hit a deep fly ball with the bases loaded to win it. Will Lamarche and Hunter Devall struggled out of the pen, but kudos to Joey Bourgeois who pitched the last 1.2 innings, striking out four.
Friday's game got postponed as soon as it was started. On Saturday night, LSU looked lackadaisical and BYU took advantage. Brent Bonvillain got the start for LSU and was very solid through nearly five innings, giving up just three hits and one run. In relief, Nate Fury had a very tough outing, allowing four hits and five runs in just one inning. BYU led 6-1 at that point and never really looked back, cruising to a 9-4 win.
After the loss, LSU came out Sunday with their piss on fire and clobbered Southeastern 13-1. Ryan Eades pitched awfully well again and LSU's veterans, namely Raph Rhymes and Mason Katz, had big days. The two combined for seven hits and 11 RBIs in the game.
Regarding the loss, I'm really not that concerned about it. LSU looked like a team going through the motions, and you had a relief pitcher get bombed. While you prefer not to see a team play in such a nonchalant manner, I'm quite sure they won't repeat that once conference play starts. A year ago, LSU lost two of three to Appalachian State, scoring just one run combined in the two losses. That team went on to win the SEC and earn a national seed.
Some other observations:
Mark Laird had an absolutely blistering weekend. When Paul Maineri wasn't asking him to bunt (which has seemed like way too much), Laird was 8 for 13 this weekend and scored seven runs. After a somewhat slow start last weekend, Laird appears much more comfortable now and his batting average is all the way up to .357. What I like most is that he has just one strikeout thus far on the season, which is exactly what you like to see from your #2 hole hitter.
Chris Sciambra came back to Earth a bit after his ridiculous opening weekend. With just one hit on the weekend, Sciambra still found ways to get on base and leads the team with a .586 OBP.
After a slow start last weekend, Raph Rhymes and Mason Katz combined to hit .500 against BYU and SLU.
In my recap after last weekend, I wrote this:
A big reason for the struggles is that Raph Rhymes and Mason Katz combined to go just 4 for 21 on the weekend. Combine that with Mark Laird going 2 for 12, and you've got pretty sub par production from your 2-3-4 hitters.
Well this weekend, those 2-3-4 guys were 19 for 35.
LSU's designated hitter spot has been a platoon between Alex Edward and Tyler Moore. Thus far, the two have combined for just a .185 batting average. It's too early to consider a move but LSU does have some other options in Andrew Stevenson, Sean McMullen and Chris Chinea.
Freshman lefty Hunter Devall pitched very well against Lamar on Tuesday, and he saw action in all three games this weekend. He was called upon Thursday to face a left handed hitter but instead gave up a RBI double. On Saturday, he was brought in to stop the bleeding in BYU's big inning and struck out the only batter he faced. Then on Sunday, he pitched one scoreless inning giving up one hit. At this point, it looks like he could be a big part of LSU's plans in the bullpen this season.
LSU travels to Lafayette on Tuesday to take on ULL. Cody Glenn should get the start again. It also sounds like Nick Rumbelow is healthy again and should throw at least an inning against the Cajuns.
BYU Game 1
BYU Game 2