Gausman Shuts Down Michigan, 6-0
BATON ROUGE -- Sophomore right-hander Kevin Gausman (4-0) struck out a career high 11 batters Friday night as No. 11 LSU defeated Michigan 6-0 at Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers who improved to 12-2 with their seventh straight win, will face the Wolverines tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m. at Alex Box Stadium. Ryan Eades (2-1) will take the mound for LSU.
Michigan (6-7) will play Notre Dame at Noon Saturday in Alex Box Stadium before facing LSU at 6:30 p.m.
The Tigers posted their fifth shutout of the season and recorded consecutive shutouts for the second time this year. LSU blanked Tulane, 5-0, on Tuesday night, and the Tigers held Alcorn State and Air Force scoreless in consecutive games on Feb. 18 and 19.
Gausman retired 24 of the 26 batters he faced, including a stretch of 22 consecutive outs in his eight innings of work. He allowed two hits and compiled a streak of six consecutive strikeouts in the second and third innings. The sophomore's previous career high strike out mark was 10, which he set May 7, 2011 against Alabama.
Brandon Sinnery (0-1) took the loss for Michigan after pitching eight innings, allowing 12 hits and six runs.
"Kevin was just masterful tonight," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "He pumped strikes into the zone and had all of his pitches working. We had the big four-run fourth inning, and that gave Kevin the cushion he needed."
LSU's offense utilized a four-run fourth inning and added two more in the eighth. Right fielder Raph Rhymes had three hits and brought home two, which increased his team-leading RBI total to 20. Designated hitter Grant Dozar added two hits and two RBI.
LSU scored four runs against Sinnery in the bottom of the fourth inning. Second baseman JaCoby Jones smacked a single back up the middle to lead off the frame. First baseman Mason Katz advanced Jones to second on a single to the left side. Both runners capitalized on a double steal attempt to put runners on second and third for Rhymes.
Rhymes responded by ripping a single into left center, which plated Jones and Katz. LSU kept the big inning going as shortstop Austin Nola executed a perfect hit-and-run by banging a single to the second base side as the fielder was attempting to cover Rhymes stealing second.
With runners on the corner and no outs, third baseman Tyler Hanover executed a successful sacrifice bunt and the throw at home to catch Rhymes was not in time. Dozar sacrificed bunted Hanover and Nola to second and third, respectively.
Catcher Ty Ross delivered an RBI single to right field, which brought home Nola.
In the top of the seventh, Jones kept Gausman's streak of consecutive batters retired alive after a spectacular play. Brett Winger hit a one-hopper toward the middle of the infield and Jones ranged to his right, leapt in the air and fired an on-target throw to first to end the inning.
LSU added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to provide the final margin. Rhymes smacked a double down the left field line. After Nola struck out, Hanover was hit by a pitch. Dozar plated both runners on a double to left.
Joey Bourgeois pitched a perfect ninth and struck out two to preserve the shutout.
LSU 6, Michigan 0 (Mar 09, 2012 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Michigan............ 000 000 000 - 0 2 0 (6-7)
LSU.................... 000 400 02X - 6 12 0 (12-2)