Baseball games never run too long when there’s good pitching.
That statement was perfectly illustrated when the LSU Tigers defeated the Toledo Rockets 7-1 in Baton Rouge on Friday night. By the time all was said and done, RHP Zack Hess amassed a new career high of 13 strikeouts.
The top of the first inning ended quickly, as the Toledo batters were no match for Hess. Antoine Duplantis got the ball rolling at the bottom of the inning, singling out to second base. Austin Bain singled to the left side, advancing to second on the throw and allowing Duplantis to make it to third. Duplantis scored LSU’s first run of the game on the next play. The Tigers led 1-0.
In the second inning, Toledo again failed to get a man on board. The same was not true for LSU, with Jake Slaughter scoring and Daniel Cabrera scoring next after a single to right field by Duplantis.
Toledo finally managed to advance beyond home plate in the third inning, with Schwartzenberger doubling to right field. Schwartzenberger would also be the first to score for the Rockets by way of a double to right field by Servello.
Bain was struck out swinging to kick off the bottom of the third. Hunter Feduccia grounded out to second base, with more of the same from Beau Jordan to end the inning. The Tigers were up 3-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, LSU broke the scoring drought with a bang when Feduccia homered to right field, scoring Bain, Duplantis and Hal Hughes. By the start of the eighth inning, LSU had the game on ice with a 7-1 lead.
Devin Fontenot was brought in to relieve Zack Hess in the eighth, and Chris Reid would score the last run of the game, making it 8-1.
One player the Tigers saw steady improvement in was Slaughter, who was hitting .043 at the end of last weekend. This week, he’s hit 7-for-11 with 5 RBI, 3 runs and one home run thus far.
Slaughter remains patient as he continues to work on improving his play.
“Baseball, you’ve got to try to stay relaxed even when it’s not going for you,” he said. “Especially when it’s the very beginning of the season and you’re struggling. It starts to kind of feel the pressure mounting up. But you’ve just got to let it go. That’s the name of the game.”
LSU will continue its season as it takes on Sacred Heart in The Box tomorrow at 6:00 pm CT.