It was a sloppy and long night in Alex Box as LSU took the weekend series from Bryant with a 17-8 final score, largely helped by Bryant’s own mistakes.
LSU got to Bryant early, leading off with back-to-back-to-back singles. Antoine Duplantis, batting third, hit a single that went just under the glove in center field for an error that scored 2 and put Duplantis on third. Saul Garza brought him home with a sac fly. In the 2nd, Brock Mathis led off with a towering home run 398 ft to the scoreboard in left, the first of his LSU career. After a pair of walks, Bryant’s Vito Morgese was chased for Craig Lacey. Duplantis welcomed him to the game with a Texas Leaguer into short center. Bryant’s outfield couldn’t handle it and in the panic threw it past 3B, scoring 1 and putting Duplantis on second. Daniel Cabrera brought one home on a sac fly and Garza singled home another, giving the Tigers a 7-1 lead after 2. An RBI double from Zach Watson and a 3 run homer from Duplantis, his 3rd of the year, pushed the lead out to 11-1 after 3.
Bryant would swing back with a leadoff homer by Jimmy Titus to open the 2nd. The Bulldogs continued to fight back in the 4th with an RBI double from Chris Wright. With the bases loaded due to a walk and HBP, starting pitcher Landon Marceaux threw a wild pitch that scored 1, then gave up a 2 RBI single, bringing the lead down to 11-5 after 4. Marceaux lasted until the 6th, giving up 5 hits on 5 runs, with 4 strikeouts, 1 walk, and 2 wild pitches on an 81 pitch outing.
The game continued to be sloppy mess. LSU tacked on 2 more in the 5th and 3 more in the 6th on 2 more Bryant errors. Bryant’s Ryan Ward scored 2 runs on a double off of Devin Fontenot in 7th to bring the score to 16-7 at the stretch. Chris Reid, in as a sub, had a groundball rbi to 3rd to score LSU’s final run in the 7th. Riggs Threadgill came in to close in the 9th and gave up and RBI single, but Bryant’s comeback attempt would end there, with a 17-8 final score.
In the end, LSU scored 7 unearned runs on 5 Bryant errors. The errors were not on particularly tough plays, Bryant just looks like a team that hasn’t played outside since October. Tiger pitching did itself no favors tonight, though the pressure was obviously off when the bats can get you an 11-1 lead after just three innings. While there was only a brief rain during warmups, the game was a damp and chilly affair. It’s tough to glean from the performances so far if LSU’s battery is ready yet for the trip to Austin.
Game 3 will be Sunday at 2pm under clear, if chilly skies, live on SECN+