BATON ROUGE -- LSU exploded for a massive 12-run third inning that included four home runs Saturday afternoon as the Tigers beat Duquesne, 22-11, in Alex Box Stadium.
A paid crowd of 7,452 watched the incredible offensive barrage in Game 2 of the weekend series.
Red-hot first baseman Matt Clark blasted two homers in the inning, his second and third dingers in two days. In addition, Blake Dean, Clark and Matt Gaudet drilled back-to-back-to-back home runs. The Tigers hit three consecutive homers and four in one inning for the first time since former Tigers Blake Gill, Ryan Patterson, Clay Harris and Nick Stavinoha hit four straight out of the park against Arizona State on March 13, 2005.
The Tigers notched 12 hits in the inning, including six extra-base hits, and every hitter in the lineup batted twice except No. 9 hitter Johnny Dishon in the extraordinary frame.
LSU (6-1) tallied its most runs in a game (22) since it recorded 24 against Duquesne on Feb. 24, 2001. The offensive eruption overshadowed a tough day for the Tiger pitching staff that allowed 11 earned runs.
LSU recorded its highest hits total (23) since collecting 23 hits versus Kentucky on May 9, 2004. The Tigers slugged five homers in Saturday’s contest, the most by LSU since March 11, 2006 when it also hit five dingers versus Stetson.
“Some days the pitching will carry the hitting, and other days the hitting has to carry the pitching, and certainly the hitting carried the pitching today,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said.
“There’s going to be days when it’s going to click, and today is one of them. Today, for whatever reason, the guys were swinging with a lot of confidence.”
Duquesne (0-5) is looking for its first victory of the season.
Right-handed starter Jordan Brown (2-0) pitched five innings and earned his second win of the season. Duquesne pitcher Paul Bugajski (0-2) was tabbed with the loss.
The Dukes took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first as Brown struggled with the first three hitters in the order. After a leadoff walk by left fielder Derek Mechling and a bunt single down the first base line by third baseman Anthony Manley, center fielder Eric Morrison ripped an opposite field shot into right field that Dishon was unable to cut off. Two runs scored on the play, and Morrison took third on a standup triple.
Then, Aaron Janusey’s grounder to second baseman Ryan Schimpf drove in Morrison from third.
The Tigers struck back with a two-run inning of their own to cut the lead to 3-2. Third baseman Derek Helenihi lined a single up the middle off Bugajski, and Dean knocked him in with a blistering double off the right field wall. Two batters later, Gaudet hit a single up the middle to score Dean.
LSU didn’t stop putting runs on the board after its 12-run outburst in the third. The Tiger bats accounted for eight more runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Gaudet broke out of a season-opening slump to record four hits, including one home run, two doubles and three RBIs.
“I’ve wanted him (Gaudet) to get his at-bats to see if he could be our guy, and today, he rose to the occasion,” Mainieri said. “He hit that big home run, of course, but he also had a couple of other RBI hits.”
Helenihi and Dean each collected three hits, and pinch hitter Taylor Davis hit the first home run of his LSU career.
The Dukes notched their best offensive game of the season, scoring 11 runs. Right fielder Derek Fallecker finished 3 -for- 4 with a double, and designated hitter Mike Carroll collected three hits.
LSU concludes its weekend series with Duquesne Sunday at 11 a.m. Due to conflicts with both the men’s and women’s basketball games, there will be no radio broadcast, but live stats of the contest will be available at www.LSUsports.net.
Left-hander Ryan Verdugo (1-0) is slated to start Sunday for the Tigers.
LSU 22, Duquesne 11 (Mar 01, 2008 at Alex Box Stadium)
Duquesne............ 300 033 020 - 11 14 2 (0-5)
LSU................. ...20(12) 026 00X - 22 23 1 (6-1)
Pitchers: Duquesne - Paul Bugajski; Nick Jones(3); Matt Passauer(4); Joe Lombardo(6).
LSU - Jordan Brown; Ryan Byrd(6); Paul Bertuccini(6); Austin Ross(7); Shane Ardoin(8); Daniel Bradshaw(9).
Win-Jordan Brown(2-0) Loss-Paul Bugajski(0-2) T-3:37 A-7452
HR DUQ - Chris Happ (1); Bill Torre (1).
HR LSU - Blake Dean (2); Taylor Davis (1); Matt Clark 2 (3); Matt Gaudet (1).
Weather: 77 degrees and partly cloudy
Actual attendance: 3,467
First time LSU has had four home runs in one inning since March 13, 2005 vs. Arizona State; first time the Tigers have scored 12 runs in one inning since March 13, 2005 vs. Arizona State; most runs scored in a game by LSU (22) since scoring 24 on Feb. 24, 2001 vs. Duquesne; most hits in a game by LSU (23) since collecting 23 hits vs. Kentucky on May 9, 2004; most home runs in a game by LSU (5) since belting five homers vs. Stetson on March 11, 2006.