If there was any doubt about LSU’s pitching staff following Jaden Hill’s injury, Landon Marceaux is here to quell those concerns.
The junior right-hander had a career day and blanked the South Carolina across seven innings, pushing LSU to take a 5-1 series-opening victory.
“He just pitched unbelievably,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said. “Courageously, total domination. He made big pitches when he needed to in order to get the big outs. He was phenomenal.”
Marceaux pitched seven scoreless innings, only allowing three hits and a walk while striking out a career-high 12 batters on 107 pitches.
“This is what we work for,” Marceaux said. “It’s a real confidence booster. I’m doing my job. All the hard work I’ve been doing, my process during the week and the preseason, all of that is paying off now. I’m really focusing on staying within myself, that really gives me a chance every night.”
As great as Marceaux was all night, it was the end of the night that really put Marceaux’s night over the top. In the 7th, after allowing a leadoff triple, he picked up a pair of strikeouts and a fielder’s choice to escape danger and preserve the shutout and LSU’s slim 2-0 lead.
“Marceaux did everything an ace is supposed to do tonight,” Mainieri said. “He pitched us deep into the game, saved our bullpen and helped us win the game.”
The Tiger hitters rewarded Marceaux’s efforts by scoring two runs on a Dylan Crews double and a sacrifice fly from Cade Doughty before picking up an extra run in the eighth off a solo home run from Cade Beloso.
LSU (21-12, 4-9) picked up a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Tre’ Morgan led off the game with a single and scored on a mammoth home run to left field from Gavin Dugas that cleared the bleachers entirely.
“It was a fastball, middle in,” Dugas said. “It was a really surreal moment, especially early in the game. Honestly, I couldn’t have been more excited right there because that’s how we stole momentum from the get-go. We got Landon as little of a lead as he needed, because with that guy you can give him whatever he needs and he can run with it.”
Unfortunately for the Tigers, South Carolina (22-10, 8-5) broke the shutout in the ninth inning after an error and two walks from Devin Fontenot loaded the bases with no outs. Fontenot was able to induce a double play, but allowed a run to score in the process.
“It was a good win against a really good ballclub,” Mainieri said. “I’m really proud of the guys. There’s no quit in our team. I’ve been telling y’all that.”
“This was a really, really good win for our team tonight.”
The Gamecocks and Tigers are scheduled to tangle in game two Friday night at 7:00 p.m. on the SECN+, but weather might interfere with the game as scheduled.