LSU opened itsfinal nonconference weekend series in a disappointing way, falling to the Hawaii Warriors 4-2 in The Box on Friday.
Things began well for the Tigers, with yet another great showing by sophomore RHP Zack Hess. Head coach Paul Mainieri praised Hess’ performance, saying the starting pitcher’s work was worthy of a winning outcome.
“Zack Hess was tremendous,” he said. “I think he gave up 5 hits and 3 of them were solo home runs. They haven’t demonstrated that kind of power early on in the season, but they put three swings on three pitches. Outside of that, Zack was tremendous. Pitched good enough to win.”
Hess pitched seven innings, recording nine strikeouts with one walk. He allowed a total of five hits on 100 pitches.
Hawaii proved to be better overall though, coming up with eight hits and targeting LSU’s weakness with the long ball. They took advantage of the fastball, converting three of them into solo home runs.
The main issue of the evening appeared to be not with hitting, but LSU’s inability to get their runners back home on offense. The Tigers left 11 runners on base and hit 1-14 with runners in scoring position on the night.
The Tigers nearly made a comeback in the final inning, with a single from Zach Watson and a double from Brandt Broussard. But they were unable to pull it off as the game came to a close with an Antoine Duplantis strikeout and Beau Jordan flying out to right field.
“The story of the game is just that we had a couple of opportunities to score and we didn’t take advantage of them,” Mainieri said.
LSU will hope for a better outcome as it faces the Warriors yet again on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT for Game 2 of the series.