BATON ROUGE, La. – Third-ranked LSU extended its winning streak to seven games Wednesday night with an 8-0 win over Southern University at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The Tigers (16-2) now set their sights on No. 4 Vanderbilt (16-2) to open Southeastern Conference play. The series begins Friday at 6:30 CT at Charles Hawkins Field. Aaron Nola (4-0) takes the mound for LSU in a highly-anticipated pitching duel against Tyler Beede (4-0) of Vanderbilt.
Game 2 is set for 2:15 p.m. CT Saturday, and Game 3 begins at 1 p.m. CT Sunday.
The LSU-Vanderbilt games will be broadcast throughout the weekend on the LSU Sports Radio Network. Saturday’s game will be televised by Fox Sports Net.
Freshman left-hander Jared Poche' improved to 4-0 on the year with two innings of work Wednesday night. Poche’ limited the Jaguars to no runs on three hits with no walks and one strikeout. Poche’ is LSU’s scheduled starting pitcher for Sunday’s game at Vanderbilt.
“I thought Jared looked OK, just not quite as sharp as we hope he’ll be on Sunday,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Jared is a very poised young man with a lot of ability, and we’re certainly looking forward to his first SEC start this weekend.”
LSU had five true freshmen in its starting batting order against the Jaguars, including centerfielder Jake Fraley, second baseman Kramer Robertson, third baseman Danny Zardon, designated hitter Jarret DeHart and leftfielder Cade Stone.
“It was exciting to see all of those young guys get to play an entire game,” Mainieri said. “We got a glimpse of the future of our program tonight, and I thought the freshmen all made important contributions to the win.”
LSU got off to another fast start, scoring two runs in the first inning. With Fraley on second, Alex Bregman extended his hitting streak to nine games with an RBI double. After a Tyler Moore single, Robertson put down a sacrifice bunt to plate Bregman.
With runners on first and second in the second inning, Fraley hit an RBI double down the right field line to extend the lead to 3-0.
Chris Sciambra hit an RBI single through the right side of the field to plate Zardon in the bottom of the fourth.
The Tigers tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Stone doubled to left-center field for an RBI. Fraley then hit an RBI single up the middle. Zardon scored another run on a wild pitch from Southern’s Sam May.
DeHart led off the bottom of the seventh with a triple to left field and then scored on a wild pitch by Southern’s James Fontenot to make it 8-0.
Southern starting pitcher Brady May (0-3) was charged with the loss for Southern as he allowed four runs on five hits in 3.2 innings with five walks and no strikeouts.