What a difference a day can make.
After dropping game one to Oral Roberts 22-7, LSU rebounded to shut out the Golden Eagles 12-0 and force a series-decided game Sunday afternoon behind another shining outing from starting pitcher Landon Marceaux.
The Tigers nursed a one-run lead until the fifth inning, when they batted around and broke the game wide open with a seven-run frame before tacking on another three runs in the following inning.
“What a difference a day makes, huh,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said. “Crazy sport. What the hell did I get into this sport all these years ago for? Such such a rollercoaster of emotions. Like I told the team, and I’ve told many teams for many years, they only count as one, whether you win or lose. Yesterday only counts as one game and today only counts as one game too. I’m really proud of our team, to get knocked on our back the way we did yesterday and get back up off the mat today and play like we did.”
“I just think it shows huge character in our team.”
Marceaux had another great outing, pitching six scoreless innings where he allowed just six hits and no walks while striking out seven. Marceaux has now pitched 17 innings on the year across three starts and has yet to allow an earned run.
“I just let things happen,” Marceaux said. “I’m not really focused on the personal accolades, not having an ERA and this or that. I couldn’t tell you how many strikeouts I have, or anything I have. It’s how many W’s can we put up and am I giving my team a chance to win. The only stat I look at is the quality start state: six innings of three or less runs.”
“I’m not at all surprised by what Landon Marceaux is doing,” Mainieri said. “Marceaux really stood out, he dominated our hitters in the fall. So I’m not surprised at all.”
After LSU’s lopsided loss Friday, Mainieri called Marceaux on his way home and told him that he believes Saturday is the most important game in a weekend series, and that it was important to throw the guy that he had the most faith in. For Mainieri, that person was Marceaux.
“He was telling me that he needed me to step up and be a leader today,” Marceaux said. “That’s pretty much all it was. It wasn’t a long conversation. He has confidence in me to go out and give us a quality start. That’s all I was focused on doing today.”
LSU took the lead in the second inning when Zach Arnold hit a two-out double followed by a single from Jordan Thompson.
The Tigers loaded the bases in the fifth inning with one out after a single from Alex Milazzo, a walk to Dylan Crews, and a Tre Morgan hit by pitch. Brody Drost, Cade Beloso, and Gavin Dugas then hit three singles in a row to score four runs. Zach Arnold drew a bases loaded walk to load the bases, which set up for some weirdness.
Thompson hit an infield fly, which was dropped by the Golden Eagle pitcher, who then flipped the ball to home. However, on an infield fly where the batter is ruled out there isn’t a force play at home, and the catcher failed to tag Beloso, who was ruled safe on an error.
The Tigers weren’t done in the inning, scoring two more runs on a single from Drew Bianco. The next inning they score another three runs with three straight two-out hits from Beloso, Dugas, and Arnold. The Tigers scored another run in the eighth inning on a Mitchell Sanford pinch hit single up the middle to score Maurice Hampton Jr. to make it 11-0.
LSU will go for the series victory tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. The game will be streamed online on SECN+.