After a rough weekend at the plate against Auburn, the Tigers came out and made a statement early against Lamar. By the end of it, Mainieri had put so many backups in the game that we ended up with the always elusive RBI from a pitcher.
It was that kind of game. But it's nice to get these tuneups in between SEC foes, especially since it allows the staff to experiment, which can lead to a breakthrough for seldom used players.
Bouman got the start and put together his longest outing of the season in five innings. He managed to keep things down in the zone for the most part, and when he didn't, he gave up a solo home run in the fifth. Having a sizable lead going into the second may have contributed to his steady approach the rest of the way, but he clearly has his eye on securing a fourth or fifth starter position before tournament play. His final line showed thee strike outs, no walks, three hits and an earned run. Good enough for the "W."
Norman and Godfrey would each follow up with full innings of work. Godfrey was especially impressive, not just because he put the side down in order with two Ks, but because of the velocity when he did it. He's struggled a bit this season, but hitting his spots consistently at 92-94 may earn him an early position coming out of the pen.
Devall, Strall, May, and Cartwright would each pitch partial innings the rest of the way. With only the last out to end the game, Cartwright gave up a double to put a man in scoring position, and Beau Jordan committed an error on the next at bat to give Lamar their second and final run of the game.
It was one of those points in the first inning where you wonder just how far out-of-hand this game could get. On paper it was only six runs, but it was almost uncanny how easy it was for the Tiger batters to find grass on each subsequent hit. The starter for Lamar, Ben Love, got chased down 4-0 and before earning his first out. For the rest of the game, the Cardinals would cycle through twelve pitchers in total, which was completely worth it to hear how furious it made Jim Hawthorne.
After the first inning, things got a lot more procedural, as the Tigers only put up multiple runs one other time, in the third inning. Stevenson was able to exorcise some mid-season demons and lead the team with three hits and three stolen bases. Bregman would add a solo home run in the second, his eighth of the season, tying him with Jared Foster for the team lead. Chinea would also add a two run blast over the left-center wall in the third.
LSU finished with an efficient eleven runs on thirteen hits, getting blanked in only three innings. By the sixth inning, every position player on the team was in the game. Greg Deichmann earned a pair of walks and added a run despite still searching for his first hit of the season. Pitcher Collin Strall got his first at bat of the season and earned an RBI on a single to left.
Overall, a good rebound from the Auburn series.
The starters tallied up three double plays on the night. Foster would commit an error in the first inning at second base, and from there it was mostly solid until Beau Jordan's ninth inning error contributed a run. A solid game overall, and no real revelations. The grounds crew might want to reevaluate that ramp in front of third base though, or at least show Conner Hale where it is so he can be prepared to jump next time he gets a short hop there.
The Tigers travel to Georgia to face a struggling Bulldogs squad. They are 3-7 in their last ten games, and lost to Kennessaw State last night 2-1. #Pray4Georgia #ButNotThisWeekend
First pitch is 6:00 PM central time on Friday, and all three will be on SEC Network+, so be prepared for questionable production quality from Athens. The forcast for Sunday is looking pretty bleak too, so don't be surprised if we end up with a double header Saturday.