LSU (11-4) beat Wichita State (8-5) 12-5 on the back of yet another impressive performance from Jared Poche’ to take the series.
Poche’ extended his scoreless inning streak to an absurd 29 innings without a run to start off the season. Poche’ pitched 7 innings allowing only four hits while striking out three and walking none.
The hits that were recorded against Poche’ were spread out, with the biggest threat coming in the fourth when he allowed back to back singles with one out. He got out of the jam by inducing a flyout and recording a backwards K to end the inning.
“It looks like I gotta put up with that stupid mustache for another week,” joked LSU head coach Paul Mainieri after the game. Poche’s has not shaven his lip hair since the season began with his seven inning no hitter against Army.
“I thought maybe in the fourth inning he maybe didn’t have his normal stuff and I was thinking about hooking him after five innings and then in the fifth inning and the sixth inning was even better,” said Mainieri.
“Poche’s strange. You think he doesn’t have it today and then you look up and there’s five zeroes and he’s getting stronger as the game goes on.”
Offensively LSU took a while to get the ball rolling, but in the third they opened the scoring when Kramer Robertson singled to right. Kramer was advanced on a bunt single from Cole Freeman and then again to load the bases with Antoine Duplantis’ single to center. Robertson scored on a sac fly from Jake Slaughter and Freeman scored on a hard hit single from Zach Watson.
LSU held their 2-0 lead for the fourth inning, but in the fifth the floodgates opened up. Freeman lead off the inning reaching on an E5 and Greg Deichmann followed with a smash hit single and advanced on the throw to third. Slaughter scored Freeman with another single to right to move LSU’s lead to 3-0.
And then freshman Zach Watson surprised everybody in the ballpark when he hit his first home run of the year, a line drive that cleared the Left Field Landing to double LSU’s lead.
Watson had himself a day, going three for four with two singles and that three run jack. Everybody from the stands to the pressbox may have been surprised with Watson’s display of power, but he wasn’t.
“I was just going for an RBI,” said Watson. “He threw me two inside fastballs before and I said ‘well those are up, if he throws me one a little lower I’m gonna try to hit it over.’ He comes in with a fastball a little low and...”
Watson then trailed off and looked to where his long ball went.
“I did it. It felt great.”
The Tigers would continue to pile it on in the 6th. On the first pitch from new pitcher Tommy Barnhouse, Michael Papierski took him over the fence in right. Robertson followed that up with a double and Freeman knocked him in with a single. 8-0 LSU.
And then Greg Deichmann decided it was time to do Greg Deichmann things. This time he went opposite field for his dinger, so that’s a nice added wrinkle. Two more runs scored on his home run to make it 10-0.
LSU added the finishing touches to their lead in the seventh when Smith lead off with a single. Two straight flyouts followed, but a wild pitch moved him into position to score on Robertson’s single, his third of the game. Beau Jordan pinch hit for Duplantis and delivered with a single to right.
With a lead of 12-0 and Poche’ out of the game, the bullpen once again had a rough outing in the 9th inning. Travis Young led off the inning with an error and Jacob Katzfrey followed it with a single against Hunter Kiel. Kiel then issued three straight walks before being pulled for Collin Strall. Strall immediately let up a double and allowed a run to score on a 4-3 putout, but those five runs were the entirety of the Shockers comeback.
The Tigers will for a sweep Sunday at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast online via SEC Network +.