Watching LSU play SWAC teams is always painful, and this two game series against Southern was more of the same. LSU beat up on the Jaguars 11-2 on Tuesday in the Wally Pontiff classic, and then did it again on Wednesday night in Alex Box Stadium. Recapping the games as it happened is an exercise in futility really.
The Tigers were just too much for Southern and the numbers bear that out. LSU hit 0.390 in the two games and scored 27 runs. The team went 17/38 with runners in scoring position for a 0.447 average. It was just carnage inning after inning.
Southern didn't help themselves very much either. They committed a staggering 8 errors in the second game (9 total in both games), walked 13 batters in the two games, and had other mental mistakes that resulted in runs for LSU.
The only thing that LSU didn't do in this two game series was hit a home run. Christian Ibarra was robbed of a grand slam that hit the page wire fence in left field at the Box, but it was immaterial to the outcome of the game.
However, LSU did take the opportunity to get some of the guys on the bench some playing time. So it is worth taking a look at how the guys who don't get a lot of playing time faired against Southern.
The big story going into the Wally Pontiff Classic was that Kurt McCune would get his first start of the season after suffering a back injury. McCune had an okay outing against Southern. His command was not great and he left some balls up in the zone that Southern was able to hit pretty hard. The big thing is that McCune reported that everything felt fine afterward his three innings. McCune's final line was 3 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 3 K's and 2 runs (both of them earned) in three innings of work. His strike percentage was good at 63.5% on 52 pitches.
Freshman Mitch Sewald also got his first innings as a Tiger and pitched well. Sewald is very raw and has not developed a true secondary pitch yet. He needs more time with Allen Dunn before he starts to see more significant innings, but the speed and the movement on his fastball looks promising. He went two innings, gave up 2 hits, and struck out one.
Hunter Newman also got some work on Wednesday night, pitching two innings. His control was pretty good, but Southern was able to string together a couple of hits and got an RBI sacrifice fly off of Newman. He had good control, throwing 28 of his 39 pitches for strikes.
Michael Barash started both games at catcher and was very good in both games. He was solid defensively and went 3/7 at the plate with a double, an RBI, two walks, and four runs scored. Barash could be another option for the team at the DH spot against left handed pitching if he keeps getting on base and generating offense.
Chris Chinea also played in both games, but was not effective at the plate as Barash. He was 0 for 3 but had 2 walks and two RBI. I do like that Chinea is patient at the plate. It could be a good asset if LSU needs to get a runner on base late in a close game.
Tyler Moore got the start at third base on Tuesday and came in as a sub on Wednesday. Moore is not the most natural third baseman, but he played well on Tuesday. At the plate, he went 2/6 with a run scored, an RBI, and a walk. Moore should be the guy at DH against left handed batters, and nothing happened during these game to really sway my mind about that.
It was good to see so many guys get work over these two games. LSU needs as much depth as it can get as SEC plays rolls on. If (God forbid) a player gets injured, we will need one of these guys to step up big and contribute.
Up next for LSU is a three game road series in Fayateville against the Arkansas Razorbacks. It will be strength against strength as the top hitting Tigers face the best pitching staff (statistically) in the SEC. It should be interesting.
PodKATT: Special note about last night. More people paid to see LSU v Southern (10,845), than MLB games Minnesota @ Kansas City (10,069) and Houston @ Seattle (10,493)
Batting Stats (both games)
|Player Name||PA||AB||R||H||RBI||BA||1B||2B||3B||HR||TB||Slug %||DP||BB||HBP||OBP||K||GO||FO||SH||SF||SB||CS|
Pitching Stats (both games)
|Player Name||IP||BF||AB||H||OBA||R||ER||ERA||1B||2B||3B||HR||BABIP||BB||HBP||OBP%||GDP||GO||FO||KS||KC||WHIP||PC||Strikes||Strike %|