Josh Smith is back, and hopefully so are the winning ways of LSU baseball.
LSU entered The Box on Tuesday night looking to turn the tide after being swept by the Gamecocks last week in South Carolina. The team was able to snap its four-game losing streak, defeating the Lamar Cardinals, 8-0.
No scoring was done by either team until the third inning, when a solid single to right field by shortstop Josh Smith put runners on the corners for right fielder Antoine Duplantis. Second baseman Brandt Broussard put the first run of the night on the board after a sacrifice fly out to right field by Duplantis.
Smith kicked off the top of the sixth inning with a solo shot to the right to put the Tigers up, 2-0. LSU added another run to its lead when Austin Bain singled Cabrera to home base, making the score 3-0 at the end of the inning. With this, the first baseman extended his hitting streak to nine games.
Smith was easily one of the hottest players of the night, and received a standing ovation from the crowd as he left the field. On his return, the sophomore was 2-for-3, with a home run, and RBI and a walk.
Sophomore infielder Jake Slaughter entered the seventh inning to pinch run for Smith. Cabrera doubled in a pair of runs, bringing the score to 6-0 as the Tigers entered the eighth inning.
LSU continued to add runs to the board in the eighth inning, as Slaughter drove in two runs through the left side, bringing the game to its final score of 8-0.
On the pitching side of things, LSU’s A.J. Labas looked as reliable as he ever has, throwing for a complete game shutout. The feat made for the Tigers’ first complete game shutout since Alex Lange threw the last one a year ago versus Auburn.
The freshman looked like he was in a bit of a bind in the fourth inning after two singles, a wild pitch and a walk loaded the bases for the Cardinals. But Labas made it out unscathed, not giving up a single run. He struck out a total of nine batters with one walk, allowing only six hits on 103 pitches.
“We needed to get our confidence back and feel good about playing the sport,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said after the win. “We have challenging games ahead of us, we know that.”
The Tigers will get back to the action when they travel to Oxford to take on Ole Miss in Oxford-University Stadium on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. CT.