No.1 LSU defeated Texas 3-0 Tuesday night after LSU second baseman Gavin Dugas hit a three-run home run deep in the heart of Austin, Texas at Disch-Falk Field.
LSU improved to 7-1 on the year while Texas dropped to 3-5, which is its worst start to the season through the first eight games since 1996.
At the top of the ninth, Texas left-handed reliever Chris Stuart walked catcher Brady Neal and shortstop Jordan Thompson. After allowing two Tigers on base, Stuart struck out LSU third baseman Ben Nippolt before being taken out for right-hander Andre Duplantier.
However, Dugas has shown everyone around the state of Louisiana why he was given the prestigious No.8 jersey by LSU’s coaching staff. Dugas went to the batter’s box and hammered a pitch over the left-center wall at Disch-Falk Field, giving the Tigers the 3-0 lead and his third home run of the year.
God Bless Gavin Dugas@gavin_dugas04 | LHN pic.twitter.com/0kh57pQqiw— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) March 1, 2023
“That was awesome, a great at-bat by Gavin,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “To win games like this against a good team in an environment like this, your dudes have to be dudes, and he was in that moment. Gavin is tough-minded; he had some setbacks last year and going into this year, but he got himself ready to play, and he’s playing better now than he ever has. All credit to him for his determination.”
Although the game ended like one of the greatest college baseball games ever, the game was scoreless until the top of the ninth inning.
For most of the game, it was an epic showing of two of the best pitching staffs in the country going at it. There were only eight total hits in the game as both LSU and Texas had four hits each.
LSU started right-hander Thatcher Hurd against Texas and was excellent through 4.1 innings. Hurd struck out four batters while only walking three batters.
However, the pitcher who starred for LSU was Owasso, Okla. native Nate Ackenhausen. Ackenhausen came in for Hurd during the fifth inning and stole the show in Austin. Ackenhausen struck out four batters and only allowed one hit through 3.1 innings for the first win of his LSU career.
Texas started right-hander Lebarron Johnson and was lights out against LSU for five innings. Johnson struck out nine batters which is a career-high.
Stuart (1-1) suffered his first loss of the year as he was charged with two runs in 0.1 innings pitched with two walks and one strikeout.
“This was a great experience for our team,” Johnson said. “Going into SEC play in a couple of weeks, we’re going to see the same environments we saw tonight. It won’t be new to us the next time we play on the road in front of a big crowd in a great atmosphere. The players were energized throughout the game, and it was a blast.”
LSU will return to Baton Rouge on Friday when they take on Butler at 6:30 p.m. CT Friday at Alex Box Stadium.