Following a successful three week start to SEC play, No. 3 LSU will get some stiff competition this…
Jones and Ross key to LSU victory
Jones finished the night by going 3-5 with two RBI and one run scored, including a double to right field when the game was still within reach for Kentucky. Jones also collected his tenth stolen base of the season.
Ross also had a productive night at the plate by going 2-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Coach Paul Mainieri was very complimentary of the efforts of Jones and Ross following the LSU victory. In his opinion, their hard work and determination is finally starting to pay off.
"It was great to see Ross and Jones get some hits," said Mainieri. "These guys are proven college players at a high level. Sooner or later, the breaks are going to go their way."
"Those two guys never got down on themselves and they worked extremely hard. They came up with a plan this week and executed that plan tonight. We are going to need them from here on out."
For Jones, his approach at the plate didn't change tonight when compared to other games. The only thing that happened differently is that his hard-hit balls finally found some space.
"I've been working hard to get out of the slump," said Jones. "My approach is to go to the plate and not think and just try to hit a ball as hard as I can somewhere. I didn't change that tonight and it worked out for me."
Jones explained that seeing some hits in the box score for him is definitely nice. Jones believes that the LSU offense as a whole was on Kentucky starter A.J. Reed from when he threw the first pitch.
"I've been hitting the ball hard all year, I just haven't gotten on base," said Jones. "I really just try to hit the ball hard when I get up there. It was nice to get some of those hits to fall tonight. We had a good approach at the plate and we were seeing him well tonight. A.J. [Reed] is a great pitcher."
Following the victory for LSU, Jones had sense of relief about him, especially since he ended a 2-33 slump, which dates back to the Mississippi State series.
"It feels really good," said Jones. "I never got frustrated when I was hitting balls hard right at people. I just had to be patient because eventually they are going to fall."
Ross echoed the statements by Jones with regards to how it feels to finally have a breakout game.
"It definitely felt good," said Ross. "Like I said, I‘ve been working hard and trying to make solid contact and find some holes."
One thing that Ross understands is just how difficult the game of baseball can be. Talent and good execution doesn't always result in high levels of production. For Ross, his approach was to try to control what he could control and put the barrel of the bat on the ball.
"Baseball is all about luck," said Ross. "You can't control what happens after you make contact. We were up there just trying to make solid contact because that is all that we can control."
Ross also saw tonight just how potent the LSU offense could be when they hit from top to bottom in the order. Scoring runs was something that Jones and Ross brought to the table tonight as well.
"If we can be solid at the bottom of the order, it will give the top half a chance to drive us in," said Ross. "I scored two runs tonight and I can't tell you the last time that I did that."
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