LSU shuts out Butler 11-0 for its third straight 10-run rule victory after a strong performance on the mound from sophomore right-hander Thatcher Hurd on Monday night.
Hurd (1-0) allowed just three hits in six innings with one walk and 11 strikeouts, firing 73 pitches. The 11 Ks were just one shy of his collegiate career high – he posted 12 strikeouts for UCLA last season in a game versus Long Beach State. Hurd was having a perfect game up until he allowed his first hit in the fourth inning.
“Thatcher executed all four of his pitches at a high level,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “It was one of those games you felt like you could sit in a rocking chair on defense when the pitcher is going like that. It was just a great performance by him – he had great velocity and movement on his fastball, and the downward break on his curveball was really special.
Junior center fielder Dylan Crews had another strong showing as he went 2-for-5 along with a home run, a double and three RBIs.
Junior left fielder Tre Morgan had another great day at the plate as well. Morgan went 2-for-4 and recorded an RBI double and triple.
Freshmen Paxton Kling and Brady Neal both had great nights at the plate. Kling went 3-for-3 at the plate, recording a couple and hitting the first home run of his promising career at LSU. Neal also hit the first home run of his collegiate career.
Butler starting pitcher Aaron Barokas (1-1) was charged with his first loss of the season, as he allowed six runs on six hits in the first inning alone.
In the first inning, Crews got the Tigers on the board first with a solo home run to center field to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. That was Crews’ third home run of the season.
In the second inning, LSU scored six runs and had six hits. Neal got the second inning hitting party started with a solo home run to make the score 2-0. Neal’s homer is the first of his bright and promising career. Third baseman Brayden Jobert would send Kling home and reach first base safely after an error by Barokas to make it 3-0.
Later in the second inning, Morgan would send Jobert home with an RBI double. Morgan would later score at home plate followed by an RBI single by designated hitter Tommy White to make the score 6-0. LSU would score its last run of the inning after Neal would sac fly to center field, which allowed White to score at home plate to make the score 7-0.
After a scoreless third inning, Kling would send a solo shot to left field to make the score 9-0.
After LSU scored a run in the fifth inning, LSU would score two more runs after third baseman Ben Nippolt hit a double up the middle to send Kling and pinch runner Alex Milazzo home for the final margin.
Blake Money came in for Hurd in the seventh inning and retired the side, picking up two strikeouts to end the game.
LSU will take on a very dangerous opponent in Lamar at Alex Box Stadium on Wednesday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m. CT. It will be broadcast on SEC Network+.