Danny Zardon drove in a run Sunday
LSU survived a quiet night at the plate to get past Texas Southern with a 4-1 victory. The Tigers managed just four hits, but a Jake Fraley home run lifted LSU to the win behind a solid start by Jared Poche.
No. 5 LSU may have suffered through some rainy day blues Sunday, but the Tigers mustered just enough offense to pull off a 4-1 victory against Texas Southern at Alex Box Stadium.
First pitch had to be delayed two hours while thunderstorms passed through the area throughout the morning and into the early afternoon. The gloomy conditions left a muted atmosphere, and the LSU offense slumbered right along with it.
The Tigers managed just four hits, but one of those was a three-run homer by freshman Jake Fraley that proved to be the decisive play. Meanwhile the LSU pitching staff turned in another dominant performance fueled by Jared Poche’s seven innings of one-run baseball.
“It wasn’t the most inspiring game of the weekend, that’s for sure,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri.
After the first two batters of the game, it seemed LSU was in line for another offensive outburst in line with the previous two games, in which LSU had scored 24 runs against Virginia Tech and Toledo. Chris Sciambra started it off with a leadoff double, followed by a RBI single by Danny Zardon that gave the Tigers an early 1-0 lead.
But LSU would go just 2-for-24 from the plate for the remainder of the game. Part of that came from facing an unusual pitcher in Devin Kanorik, who had a submarine delivery and barely threw harder than 70 m.p.h.
“Unfortunately it looked like we were sleepwalking out there, especially with the bats,” Mainieri said. “Especially when you face an unorthodox pitcher. It was probably my fault for having so many right-handed hitters in the lineup. Agaist that type of pitcher, you want to stack your lineup with lefties, and I think we would have handled him a lot better.”
LSU did take advantage of some mistakes by Kanorik though. He hit consecutive batters to open the fourth inning. After a pair of outs, Fraley turned on one and sent it deep over the right field bleachers to put the Tigers up four.
“He was throwing me inside coming into that,” Fraley said. “I was expecting a fastball on the inside corner. His pitch was flat and he left it up. He kept it inside and I was able to get my barrel on it.”
The Tigers didn’t need much run production as the LSU pitchers mostly held TSU at bay throughout the game. Jared Poche only surrendered two hits in the first six innings and allowed just one base runner to reach second in that span.
He finished with seven strikeouts on 79 pitches.
Jared Poche struck out seven in his second LSU start
“It feels great to get the W like that,” Poche said. “All three of my pitches [were working]. My curveball wasn’t working as well as I’d like it, but later in the game it started to get back to where it should be.”
Poche did run into some trouble in the seventh. The leadoff man doubled to right field and eventually stole third with two outs. TSU 2B Chris DeLeon drove him home with a single to left field, but Poche struck out the next batter to escape the inning without much damage.
“Whenever I get runners on base, I just try to bare down a little bit more and do what I can to get the out,” Poche said. “It’s baseball and things like that happen, but I was just fortunate to get the next guy.”
From there it was up to the bullpen, and the Tigers had to work out of another jam in the eighth. Brady Domangue, who had a rough appearance last weekend, couldn’t find much success Sunday either. He hit the first batter he faced, then allowed a single before getting pulled for Parker Bugg.
TSU bunted both runners into scoring position, but Bugg managed to strike out the next two to end the inning unscathed. Bugg’s had quite the start to his LSU career, striking out seven in his first three innings.
“I just wanted to pound the zone and not give them any free passes,” Bugg said. “I was just trying to throw strikes and it worked out…It’s always nice to get out of there without giving up any runs.”
Joe Broussard and Kurt McCune combined to get the final three outs in the ninth to give LSU its seventh win in as many games.
The Tigers will return to action Tuesday at home against Louisiana-Lafayette. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m., and Cody Glenn will take the mound for LSU.
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