The LSU Tigers improved to 26-12 after Tuesday night’s 10-4 win against Lamar (22-16).
Former LSU assistant Will Davis’ Cardinals started scrappy, but eventually the more talented Tigers pulled away from the Southland foes.
When it comes to how he feels about beating his old assistant, Mainieri has mixed emotions.
“Oh man, I love Will, Will was with me for nine and a half years,” Mainieri said. “Very loyal guy, hard working, good baseball man, I miss him, honestly I do. When Will left in the middle of last school year, I really felt a void in my life.”
“But I just don’t really get a lot of enjoyment out of winning a game against a friend.”
Lamar got on the board first with Cutter McDowell depositing the opening pitch deep into the left field bleachers for an instant 1-0 lead.
“This Lamar team is scary,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said. “I tell you, they can hit. It just never really felt like any lead was safe tonight.”
With the rain coming down lightly, Kramer Robertson lead off the game for LSU with a pop fly that the right fielder just missed. Kramer went to second and seemingly as soon as he got there the rain started falling harder. Cole Freeman popped up a bunt and before it was even caught players and umpires were walking off the field.
It was a mutually agreed upon rain delay in the bottom of the first. That delay lasted an hour and eight minutes and by the time play resumed, LSU had lost the momentum and stranded Robertson at second base.
LSU may have failed to score in the first, but they more than made up for it in the second inning.
Jordan Romero started off the inning by drawing a walk and Nick Coomes made that hurt when he hit a two run home run to left field, and LSU immediately doubled down on that with a Josh Smith solo shot to right field. The back to back home runs put LSU ahead 3-1, but the Tigers were far from done in the inning. Antoine Duplantis and Kramer Robertson singled back to back and Cole Freeman took a pitch to load the bases with one out. Zach Watson scored Duplantis with a single to left before Deichmann struck out, and two more scored on a Romero bloop to left field.
LSU was ahead 6-1 after two innings, but Lamar came charging back like it was nothing.
McDowell led off the second inning exactly like the first: with a solo shot to left field. That was all the Cardinals would get in the second, but with a two run home run in the fourth inning they pulled within two runs, cutting the score to 6-4 in favor of LSU.
“We’ve been waiting for Coomes to show that power,” Mainieri said of Coomes’ two run homer. “He hit 13 home runs last year in junior college but that was his first one for us.”
“He just gave us a huge lift.”
LSU got a run back in the fifth inning when Coomes walked and scored on back to back singles from Beau Jordan and Antoine Duplantis. A Kramer Robertson hit by pitch after that loaded the bases, but Cole Freeman struck out to end the inning.
The Tigers tacked on three more runs in the seventh inning that started with a Josh Smith walk. He was sacrificed over by Jordan and on a groundout by Duplantis. Smith scored on a ground ball from Robertson to short that took too long to develop and lead to both runners being safe at the plate and at first. Freeman followed suit with another single up the middle and Zach Watson did the same. Deichmann scored two on a fourth straight single to push the game 10-4 in LSU’s favor.
Caleb Gilbert got the start for the Tigers and he lasted two innings, spread apart by the hour and eight minute rain delay. He surrendered three hits over that period, one being the single home run to start the game and striking out one and walking none. Lamar had more success against Matthew Beck, touching him five times in an inning and two thirds for three runs, all earned while he struck out two and walked none.
After that, LSU nearly went the rest of the game - 5.1 innings without surrendering any further hits to Lamar until Hunter Newman gave up a single in the ninth inning.
“The key for us out of the pen today was Austin Bain,” Mainieri said. “He did a tremendous job and gave us two and third and then Bush, Hess, and Newman were outstanding as well.”
“If you would have told me before the game that we would only hold them to four runs, I probably would have told you that you were wrong because they were a scary, scary lineup.”
LSU will depart from the for a seven game road stretch where they play Kentucky this weekend, Tulane on Tuesday in New Orleans, and then at Alabama for a Thursday-Saturday series before taking the midweek off for finals. The Tigers do not play a home game until May 5th when they welcome South Carolina.