For the first half of LSU’s game against Nicholls State, they were sleepwalking. It took an opposite field double from Beau Jordan to provide the spark the LSU offense needed to propel them to a 3-2 win.
“I told the team after the game ‘your season will be defined by how you do in one run games,’” Mainieri said about his team’s dogfight with Nicholls. “You don’t beat everybody by 10 runs or seven runs or whatever, you have to win the close ones.”
After four innings of play, the game was mostly a lifeless deadlock. LSU had two hits, exactly one more than Nicholls did. Then in the fifth Nicholls caught a break when centerfielder Justin Holt was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Alex Tucker singled Holt to third, where he was scored on a perfectly placed sacrifice. Nicholls would double their lead when Chet Niehaus singled to straightaway center.
LSU answered in their half of the inning with a Beau Jordan laser double, his second hit of the night. Third baseman Josh Smith singled to left, but Jordan had to put the brakes on when rounding third. A Cole Freeman hit by pitch loaded them full, and Kramer Robertson brought Jordan home with a sac fly to left.
That would be all for the inning, but LSU would tie it in the sixth, following three straight singles with two outs from catcher Nick Coomes, Jordan, and pinch hitting centerfielder Antoine Duplantis.
The seventh is when LSU broke through, starting with a leadoff single by Freeman. Robertson singled on a beautifully executed hit and run to move Freeman to third, and Greg Deichmann put LSU ahead 3-2 when he singled to left.
Before tonight, Beau Jordan was off to slow start to the season, batting .154 with only two hits in 13 at bats. Thanks to tonight that average is all the way up to .312.
When asked about his three hit night, Jordan played coy. “I just needed to sit back a little more, and let the ball travel a little more,” Jordan said. “I did that tonight and it worked.”
Mainieri spoke more glowingly of Beau Jordan’s three piece performance. “I think Beau had a tremendous night and I don’t think we win without him playing the way he did tonight.”
LSU’s comeback not only came from an awakening with the bats, but a stellar pitching outing as well. Right before the hit by pitch that would produce the first runs for Nicholls, starter Zach Hess had retired seven straight Colonel batters. Hess went 4.2 innings and only allowed 3 hits and the two runs while striking out four and walking just one, but the bullpen behind him slammed the door.
Four pitchers (Hunter Kiel, Todd Peterson, Caleb Gilbert, and Hunter Newman) all pitched at least an inning and as a whole gave up only one hit and walked none. Until Newman allowed a single in the ninth, the bullpen retired 11 out of 12 straight Nicholls batters, the only belemish coming from an error committed by Kramer Robertson in the seventh.
Greg Deichmann only had one hit on the night, and while it was a huge hit, it wasn’t his most valuable contribution to the efforts. Deichmann started off the game with yet another leaping catch in front of the right field wall, and in the seventh inning he made a diving grab on a ball that was flirting with the foul line near the LSU bullpen. Had the ball landed fair, the runner would have advanced on the E6 and be placed in prime sacrifice position.
LSU is away from the Box this weekend, instead heading to Houston for the Shriners Hospitals For Children College Classic where they will play #1 TCU on Friday Night, Baylor on Saturday, and #21 Texas Tech on Sunday. The TCU game will start at 7:00 and be broadcast on FS2. The game against Baylor starts at 3:30 and it’s an early morning game on Sunday with a 10:00 a.m. first pitch. The latter two games will be broadcast on the FOX Sports Network. We will provided further viewing information later.