Well, we were promised an early season, midweek game with a freshman pitcher facing an in-state opponent, and that is exactly what we got. While LSU did their fair share of throwing this game away, the Colonels played well enough to win against a more talented team.
Except for a costly error in the first inning that allowed a runner to advance, freshman Doug Norman didn't miss on too many throws from the mound, and that became its own issue as his first start progressed. Norman is a strike thrower in every sense of the term, but with a fastball topping out at 90 mph, that played right into the Colonels' game plan. His final line wasn't pretty, (9H, 4ER, 3K, 4.2IP) but in a first appearance against a tenacious in-state opponent, it could have been worse. Doug Norman is clearly the third best freshman starting pitcher the Tigers have. Take that statement as you will.
Hunter Devall was first out of the pen, and quickly gave up two hits and a run before earning his only strikeout to end the fifth. Devall was replaced to start the sixth by Parker Bugg (PARKER BUGG!) who would put them away in order for the first time on back to back strikeouts. Bugg would not return for the seventh, but his short appearance does provide a little hope that LSU might actually have another solid arm in the bull pen.
The Tigers also received solid outings from Person (1K, 1IP) and Cartright (3K, 1IP), which hopefully signals a rebirth of sorts for Alden after last season's disaster.
The good news is that LSU managed 14 hits on the night, with five guys earning multiple knocks. The bad news is they left 16 ducks on the pond throughout the night, including a bases loaded, zero run inning. I believe it was Hanagriff who pointed out on the broadcast that the Tigers left a runner in scoring position every inning tonight (except for the ninth.)
On a positive note, the first four in the lineup (Laird, Bregman, Hale, Chinea) accounted for eight hits. Kramer Robertson also managed to show up at the plate, earning two knocks. But it's a story that seems to be a rerun of last season; the failure to convert base runners into points.
Danny Zardon and Kramer Robertson sat the last game of the Kansas series in order to give some freshmen a look. I bring this up because Zardon and Robertson were responsible for two of the four errors for the Tigers against Nicholls. Kramer recovered from his by getting the final out at home on the same play, but it's starting to look like this infield may not be the defensive juggernaut we all hoped they would be. It's still early in the season, but basic fielding errors need to be eliminated if LSU expects to compete in SEC play.
Behind the plate, Scivicque had a solid night, throwing out back to back baserunners attempting to steal second, and another at third. He really seems to be coming into his own, and has taken a clear lead in the three-way battle for the starting catcher spot.
The Tigers stay home for a weekend series against the snow dodging Boston College. First pitch Friday will be at 2 p.m. on SECN+, so make sure your employer's wifi doesn't block WatchESPN ahead of time.