Pegitboard News

LSU baseball goes yard early and often in win over Tennessee

LSU baseball goes yard early and often in win over Tennessee

LSU outfielder Antoine Duplantis chased down a ball in foul territory, went over the bullpen mound and snagged a ball in the very top of his glove for a snow-cone grab for the final out of the first inning on Friday night (April 13).


Duplantis let out a little smile after the catch perhaps because he knew it was going to be that kind of evening for the Tigers.


LSU hitters crushed their way to four home runs and rolled to a 9-3 series-opening victory over Tennessee at Alex Box Stadium.


The Tigers led off the first, second and third innings with shots over the fence to take a commanding lead early in the contest.


Beau Jordan got things going with a 400-plus foot shot on the first pitch Tennessee starter Garrett Crochet threw to give the Tigers the early 1-0 advantage. The Tigers also scored on a single by Austin Bain to score Zach Watson and a double-play ball by Daniel Cabrera that still scored Antoine Duplantis.


In the second inning, Jake Slaughter uncorked a 428-foot blast that hit the cameraman just to the left of the batter's eye in center field. The Tigers also scored runs a groundout by Duplantis to score Jordan and then Watson scored on an RBI-single by Bain.


That wouldn't be Slaughter's only home run of the night either. After Hunter Feduccia crushed a 2-0 pitch to lead off the third, Slaughter came up and hit a 2-0 pitch to nearly the same spot as he did in the first as the Tigers took an 8-0 lead.


It was the first time LSU led off a game with home runs in the first and second innings since Feb. 27, 2009 when Leon Landry, who is coaching first base for these Tigers, led off the first with a homer against Central Florida and DJ LeMahieu led off the second with a home run.


It's the first time the Tigers have led off three consecutive innings with home runs since hitting one in the eighth inning of the 2008 Super Regional against UC-Irvine and the first two innings of their first game of the College World Series against North Carolina.


Tennessee was able to quiet down the Tigers' bats after that but it didn't matter as the Volunteers only mustered four hits throughout the night.


On the bump: It was another stellar SEC outing for LSU starting pitcher Zack Hess.


One week after Hess allowed four hits and no runs against Texas A&M over eight innings, he followed it up by allowing just one run on three hits in seven innings of work. Hess was pulled after throwing 102 pitches and he struck out eight batters.


In his last three SEC starts, Hess gone 21.2 innings and allowed 10 hits, two runs and struck out 23 hitters and picked up the victory each time.


LSU did not use Devin Fontenot or Nick Bush out of the bullpen as both are potential options for Sunday's game. Todd Peterson got through a scoreless eighth inning before Cam Sanders came on to pitch the ninth. 


Sanders got two outs but also gave up a two-run home run before Clay Moffitt got the final out of the ninth after he loaded the bases with a walk, a hit batter and a wild pitch on a strikeout. 


Because of the wild pitch that allowed Brodie Leftridge to reach base, Moffitt finished the game with two strikeouts despite only getting one out. 


Batter up: Every LSU starter came away with a hit on Friday. Bain led the way with a career-high four hits including an RBI single in the eighth inning to score Duplantis and push the score to 9-1.


Duplantis, who had three hits, was on third base after he tripled with two outs to right field. Slaughter was the only other Tiger with multiple hits as he finished with his two home runs.  


Up next: LSU and Tennessee will play at 8 p.m. Saturday - weather permitting, of course. The game was originally scheduled to be played at 6:30 but the start time was pushed back because of expected inclement weather coming through the area.


The Tigers will send Ma'Khail Hilliard (6-2, 1.34 ERA) to the mound and the Vols will go with right-hander Garrett Stallings (4-2, 3.13 ERA).