The 11 a.m. start came earlier than anticipated for many, including LSU. Freshman Eric Walker gave up a single and two home runs to left field in the first inning to put LSU in 3-0 hole before they could even bat.
Maryland’s Zach Jankowski lead off the game with a solo home run to left field, and Marty Costes followed suit with a double that would set up designated hitter Will Watson for another wind-aided home run out to left.
LSU went up and down in order in the first inning, but were able to get on the scoreboard in the second. Greg Diechmann started the inning with a walk and was knocked in by a Rankin Woley double, who in turn was also doubled in by Josh Smith.
The Tigers surged ahead for good the following inning when they put five runs on the board and batted around. Cole Freeman lead off with a single. Kramer Robertson doubled and Greg Deichman walked again. An error on the third baseman allowed Rankin Woley to reach and Cole Freeman to score to tie the game at three. Immediately following, Josh Smith was hit by a pitch to move each runner from station to station. Michael Papierski plated two when he singled to left, and then Cole Freeman scored the inning’s fifth run when he recorded an infield hit.
LSU would pile two more runs on to the lead when Kramer Robertson singled to set up another Deichmann bomb to right field, pushing LSU’s lead to 9-3. Maryland would get two runs back in the seventh inning to pull the game within a grand slam and had the bases loaded with two outs twice, but failed to move the gap any closer.
The trio of Cole Freeman, Kramer Robertson, and Greg Deichmann combined for four singles, a double, a home run, two walks, and a hit by pitch. Cole Freeman lead that surge by reaching base five times via three singles (one of which came on an awkward pop up to the pitcher), a walk, and the hit by pitch.
“I don’t know what I did to deserve those,” Freeman said after the game. “I hit two balls maybe...15 feet combined and had two hits. I mean they’ll come back to get me, I’ll square some up and somehow get an out or something.”
“It’s just kind of the weekend we had, we had a bunch of hits fall and any time I can get those I’ll take em.”
Caleb Gilbert came out of the pen in relief for Eric Walker after four innings and absolutely dazzled, facing six batters and striking out every one of them. Gilbert gave way to Doug Norman, who worked himself into a jam when he gave up three hits and a walk. On the pitch that completed the walk issued to Watson, Norman fell over and had to be taken off the field for further evaluation. There is currently no word on his status.
While it was a 9-5 final score, the game had some excitement at the end. The game came with a condition that no new inning may begin after 2:30 p.m. due to a travel curfew. The bottom of the 8th inning began at 2:20 and Maryland seemed to not recognize the hard end time. By nothing short a miracle, Greg Deichmann struck out to end the inning at 2:29 and Maryland had their top of the ninth inning. However, they failed to extend the game and Hunter Newman picked up his first save of the year.
The Tigers get back to it on Tuesday vs Nicholls before heading out to Minute Maid Park for the Houston College Classic next weekend.