Jared Poche´ will have to wait for another day to make history twice this season. The stellar 15 innings of hit-less work to start his senior campaign came to an end today in the most dramatic 14-0 OOC blowout LSU has ever played.
The Tiger offense was firing on all cylinders right from the word go. Deichmann and Slaughter notched RBIs in the 1st inning and the hits just kept coming as LSU batters rolled over 6 Mayland pitchers. There were no moonshot fireworks, as a stiff wind blowing in from left kept everything down and in the park, but the Tigers just kept making great contact on the ball for extra base hits. Breaux and Deichmann added 2 more runs in the 2nd, then Duplantis, Woley, and Breaux notched a triple each in a 7 run, 8 hit blowout 3rd inning, tying the LSU mark for triples in a game.
Even with the heart of the order being subbed out in the 5th inning, the Tigers bench kept up the attack, scoring 3 more runs and not giving the Terps a second of breathing room. The 14 run, 18 hit tally at the end of the day felt like the February blowouts we've come to expect from LSU baseball. So many substitution were made to give the bench playing time that Jared Poche´ made his first career at bat in the bottom of the 8th. The lefty bats from the right side, if you were wondering.
Poche's at bat was a quick K that gave those in the stands some nervous laughter, because there was a reason he was still in the game this late, this early in the season. After notching the first 7-inning no-hitter for LSU in decades last weekend, Poche´found himself on the brink of collecting LSU's 2nd 9-inning no-hitter ever. A combination of great ground ball defense, 6 Ks, and a strong headwind keeping the strong shots in the park had Poche cruising through the innings, facing only 2 over the minimum, issuing one walk and 1 HBP through 8 innings.
But the dream was not meant to be. Maryland RF Zach Jancarski hit a weak dribbler to no man's land in front of Chris Reid playing 2B. Reid did all he could to field it in time to make the out, but it slow rolled and Reid lost his balance diving for it, slowing his delivery enough for the runner to reach safely. Poche was pulled immediately, and given the loudest cheer from the Alex Box crowd that has been heard in this young season. Russell Reynolds mopped up the rest of the Terps to secure the 14-0 shutout victory.
While Coach Mainieri likely was planning to pull Poche´ around the 7th, you can't pull a guy with a no hitter. 98 pitches is more work than LSU pitchers are usually allowed this early in the season, it's not too extreme. Watching Poche and Lange battle each other to be the king of this pitching staff is going to be a blast this season. There are also a few young contributors who continue to impress at the plate, like 1b Jake Slaughter and Rankin Woley, who was getting his first career start in the DH spot and went 2 for 5 with an RBI triple.
Tigers get up early tomorrow for an 11am start to accommodate Maryland's travel plans. LSU will throw Frosh Eric Walker and we'll probably see a few arms that need to get off the slide after the bullpen implosion against UNO