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LSU dominates on the mound again, defeats Kansas State 7-3

Led by pitchers Paul Skenes and Ty Floyd, LSU would defeat Kansas State 7-3 in the first day of the Karbach Round Rock Classic.

LSU Athletics

LSU’s pitching staff dominates once again as the Tigers defeated Kansas State by a score of 7-3 in the first game of the Karbach Round Rock Classic at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas.

Right handers Paul Skenes and Ty Floyd combined for 16 strikeouts while only allowing two earned runs and four hits. The dynamic duo only walked three batters all day. Because of their dominance, it relieved some of the pressure off of LSU’s struggling offense as LSU’s bats exploded in the 6th and 7th innings

LSU improved their record to 5-0, while Kansas State has lost two straight games after starting the season 4-0.

“I thought the pitching was the story of today, and I was really pleased with both Paul and (reliever) Ty Floyd,” LSU head coach Jay Johnson said. “Ty came in and did a great job over the last three innings.”

Skenes started off poorly in the first inning as he allowed two hits, including the RBI single from Kaelen Singleton to give the Wildcats an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. However, Skenes got out of the inning by striking out Kansas State’s Kyan Lodice and Cole Johnson to end the inning.

The Tigers also struggled at the plate for the first five innings against Kansas State’s lefty pitcher Owen Boerema, who recorded seven strikeouts in just 4.2 innings pitched. The only earned run he allowed was when LSU catcher Brady Neal hit a RBI single to center field, allowing star center fielder Dylan Crews to come home.

For five innings, a pitching battle was taking place as Skenes and Boerema were dealing at the highest degree as neither team could connect on the ball. However, Skenes would outlast Boerema and plant his flag as the best pitcher at Dell Diamond.

After his shaky start in the first inning, Skenes did not allow a single hit for the rest of his time at the mound. Skenes would finish with 11 strikeouts, the second time this season he has had at least 10 strikeouts. The first came against Western Michigan on opening night, where Skenes struck out 12 batters in a 10-0 victory in Feb. 17.

Skenes was credited with the win, making his win-loss record 2-0.

“Obviously, I had some adversity early,” Skenes said. ”Kansas State is a good team, and they got some barrels on the ball. I got into a tough situation and made some pitches to get out, which I was happy with. Ultimately, finding my change-up, finding my slider and having four-seam fastball command today was the difference. From the second through the sixth inning, I couldn’t have asked for anything more from an outing.”

After failing to find its groove against Boerema, the Tigers were finally able to start scoring again after Boerema was replaced by right-hander Ty Ruhl in the middle of the fifth inning.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Crews and designated hitter Tommy White both recorded singles before Ruhl balked, which moved White and Crews to second and third base. Because the Tigers had two runners in scoring position, Ruhl felt the pressure in the heat of the moment and tossed a wild pitch, allowing the Tigers to take the lead 2-1.

The Tigers extended the lead to 3-1 when White scored on a fielder’s choice, beating out a throw home from Kansas State first baseman Roberto Pena on a ground ball.

Floyd relieved Skenes at the top of the seventh and quickly picked up two strikeouts before Pena’s home run decreased the margin to 3-2. Floyd struck out the side to end the inning, all three strikeouts looking.

The Tiger offense further extended its lead in the bottom of the seventh. Ruhl walked pinch hitter Brayden Jobert and then gave up three straight singles to third baseman Ben Nippolt, second baseman Gavin Dugas and Crews. With Jobert occupying second base and Nippolt on first base, Dugas delivered a single up the middle to make the margin 4-2.

LSU added three more runs after a single from Crews and a double from first baseman Jared Jones, who hammered the ball to the right-centerfield wall to give the Tigers a 7-2 lead. The Wildcats would only get one more run at the top of the ninth inning to make it 7-3.

Ruhl (1-1) received his first loss of the season. He finished the day giving up six runs on six hits in only two innings pitched.

Floyd closed the final two innings and earned his first save of the season. Floyd finished the day with two runs, two hits, and five strikeouts in three innings pitched.

The Tigers will play its second game of the Karbach Round Rock Classic against Iowa at 12 p.m. CT at Dell Diamond in Round Rock Texas.