BATON ROUGE, La. – The No. 8 LSU baseball team exploded for 10 runs on 13 hits to defeat the Lamar Cardinals, 10-4, Tuesday night at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
With the win, LSU improves to 26-12 while Lamar drops to 22-16.
Right-hander Caleb Gilbert earned the win and improved to 2-1 on the season. The sophomore started the game for the Tigers and fired two innings and allowed one run on three hits and struck out one.
Junior Austin Bain highlighted the Tigers’ relief effort on the mound, firing 2.1 hitless innings. The right-hander walked two and struck out three.
The loss was charged to Lamar starter Ryan Johnson (1-1). The junior southpaw pitched 1.2 innings and allowed six runs on six hits, struck out two and walked one.
“This was not an easy win,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Lamar was very aggressive with the bats, and they have some physical kids who took some impressive swings. I was very pleased with the way our bullpen stabilized the game in the middle innings and preserved the early lead we had established.”
The Tigers will travel to Lexington, Kentucky to face the Wildcats in a three-game SEC series, beginning Friday at 5:30 p.m. The game will be available online only via SEC Network+ and can be accessed at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. It will also be broadcast live on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge. Fans can also go to LSUsports.net for live stats and audio.
Lamar right fielder Cutter McDowell sent the first pitch of the game over the left field wall to lift the Cardinals to the 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second with catcher Jordan Romero on first base after a leadoff walk, Coomes drilled a ball over the left field wall, and Smith followed with a solo shot of his own.
“Nick really gave us a lift with that home run,” Mainieri said. “Josh Smith followed with another homer, and the inning just kept going.”
The Tigers had the bases loaded and one out in the second when centerfielder Zach Watson singled to left field, driving in left fielder Antoine Duplantis, who reached on a single earlier in the inning. After batting around in the inning, the Tigers had two outs and the bases loaded for Romero. The catcher plated shortstop Kramer Robertson and second baseman Cole Freeman with a single to left field, and LSU jumped out to the 6-1 advantage.
“Watson and Romero both came through with great at-bats,” Mainieri said, “and all of a sudden, we had a six-run inning. I never felt, though, that the lead was safe because of the way Lamar was swinging the bats. But, Austin Bain entered the game and did a tremendous job for 2.1 innings and shut them down. The guys that followed Austin all did a great job – Nick Bush, Zack Hess and Hunter Newman – so it was a nice job by our bullpen over the last half of the ball game.”
McDowell led off the third inning with his second home run of the night to cut into the 6-2 LSU lead.
After catcher Bryndan Arredondo led off the top of the fourth with a double down the left field line, third baseman Chad Flieschman blasted a home run to left field to put the Cardinals within two, as it was 6-4 LSU.
With one out and Coomes and designated hitter Beau Jordan on base via a walk and a single in the bottom of the fifth, Duplantis singled to centerfield to score Coomes, and the Tigers took the 7-4 lead.
LSU extended the lead to 10-4 in the bottom of the seventh. Smith scored with two outs in the inning after moving to third on a leadoff walk when Robertson singled to third base to start a rally for the Tigers. With the bases loaded after back-to-back singles by Freeman and Watson, right fielder Greg Deichmann singled up the middle, scoring Robertson and Freeman.
Freshman right-hander Matthew Beck was the first Tiger out of the bullpen. He allowed three runs on five hits and struck out two in 1.2 innings pitched.
Nick Bush, Zack Hess and Hunter Newman combined to throw three shutout innings, only allowing one hit. The trio struck out four and walked three.
There was a weather delay in the bottom of the first inning, which lasted for 1 hour and eight minutes. and eight minutes.