In a makeup game of the washout against San Diego a week prior, LSU beat Louisiana College 13-0 behind Zack Hess’ five perfect innings.
He almost didn’t realize it.
“I kinda looked up around the fifth inning,” Hess said after the game. “I was just like ‘Oh...oh look at that.’”
Hess also placed the blame for the loss of the perfect game on Chris Reid, who Hess said mentioned his no-hitter in the dugout right before the first Wildcat hit was recorded.
Not that it would matter, as not only was Paul Mainieiri unaware of the perfect game for the most part, but was planning to pull him by the sixth inning anyway to save him for this weekend’s SEC opener against Georgia.
Hess struck out five in the first three innings, then relied more on his defense to record outs. In the sixth inning he allowed a slow bleeder that went to the one spot to the left of the pitcher’s mound where nobody could make a clean play on the ball. It was ruled an infield single and his bid was spoiled.
Hess was allowed to finish the inning, and ended with only one hit allowed with seven strikeouts and no walks.
Will Reese came in and pitched two innings well, only allowing one hit and two walks while striking out four. Nick Bush pitched the ninth inning and allowed a walk and a single, but kept the shutout intact.
LSU opened scoring immediately when Cole Freeman and Antoine Duplantis drew back to back walks in the first inning. Greg Deichmann doubled to right and Jake Slaughter followed up with a sacrifice fly to center to score Duplantis. Zach Watson knocked in Deichmann for the final run of the inning to put LSU ahead 3-0.
LSU added to their lead in the fourth with three straight singles with two outs. Josh Smith singled to right and advanced on a wild pitch, scoring on Beau Jordan’s single up the middle, also scoring on a wild pitch and a single from Nick Coomes.
LSU loaded the bases with one out via three walks in the sixth, but only scored on a sac fly from Cole Freeman that brought home Beau Jordan.
In the bottom of the seventh, LSU busted the game wide open. Deichmann led off the inning with a single to center that he somehow stretched into a double. He moved to third on a infield single from Watson. Josh Smith walked to load the bases with one out.
This time, LSU would make it hurt. A single from Jordan and a throwing error allowed two runs to score. Another run would score when pinch hitter Jordan Romero reached on an error. A single from Kramer Robertson and a walk to Freeman loaded them for Duplantis, who knocked them all in with a double to center. The seven run inning stretched the lead to 13-0.
“This was not about who we were playing,” said Mainieri after the game. “This was about us staying in a good rhythm of playing the game the right way.”
LSU will turn around tomorrow and play another midweek at The Box, the return leg of their series with New Orleans. New Orleans got the best of LSU in their February 21st meeting, taking advantage of an LSU bullpen meltdown for an 11-8 victory. First pitch is at 6:30 and the game will be broadcast online on the SECN+ via the WatchESPN app.