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LSU loses first game of the year 12-4 to upset-minded Iowa

Iowa’s pitching staff was too much for the Tigers as LSU could only muster four hits.

LSU’s bats were cold against Iowa’s pitching staff as the Tigers lost their first game of the year 12-4 in the second game of the Karbach Round Rock Classic in Round Rock, Texas.

Iowa’s Brody Brecht and Jared Simpson held LSU’s bats to just four hits and struck out 14 batters combined. Simpson picked up his first victory of the season after picking up eight strikeouts and allowing two runs on three hits through 4.2 innings pitched.

LSU starter Riley Cooper (1-1) was charged with his first loss of the season. Cooper threw for three innings and allowed five runs on seven hits. Cooper also gave up the Hawkeyes’ first home run of the game.

Iowa got the first points on the board after designated hitter Keaton Anthony hit a home run to right field in the bottom of the first inning. The Hawkeyes kept scoring as left fielder Sam Peterson hit a RBI single. Peterson would later steal home after a double steal to give the Hawkeyes a 3-0 lead.

LSU loaded the bases with no outs, but Brecht calmly escaped trouble with three straight strikeouts like there was nobody on base.

“We didn’t slow the game down well enough,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “Maybe if we take just one more good at-bat, the game might have been a little different. We set the table with the bases loaded and nobody out in the first inning, but you’ve got to give Brecht credit for getting out of it. There weren’t many pitches from him in that sequence that were easy to put in play.”

After neither team failed to score in the second inning, Iowa scored a run in the third with an RBI double from Peterson to make it 4-0. Iowa then added three more runs in the fourth inning to make it 7-0.

In the fourth inning, LSU loaded the bases again. However, they were able to capitalize off that when LSU center fielder Dylan Crews hit a two-RBI single to cut into Iowa’s lead to make the score 7-2.

LSU right-hander Will Hellmers replaced fellow reliever Sam Dutton at the top of the fifth inning and pitched three consecutive scoreless innings to give LSU an opportunity to rally. During his outing, he set down six consecutive batters and dodged danger territory in the seventh inning after a lead-off double. He finished with three strikeouts while giving up four runs on five hits in 3.2 innings pitched.

In the top of the eighth, Iowa scored four two-out runs to increase the margin to 11-2 after Anthony hit an RBI single and first baseman Brennen Dorighi hit a three-run homer.

“We didn’t shut them down, either,” Johnson said. “You’ve got to credit their hitters; they took good at-bats all day long.”

The Tigers added two more runs with an RBI single from Crews and a sac fly from first baseman Jared Jones. LSU trailed 11-4 headed to the ninth.

Iowa right fielder Brayden Frazier hit a home run in the ninth to account for the final score.

The Tigers will face Sam Houston at 4 p.m. CT Sunday to conclude the Round Rock Classic at Dell Diamond.