Baseball Opens Series Against Terps with a 6-1 Win
Communications Student Assistant
BATON ROUGE, La. – Junior right-hander Alex Lange struck out a season-high 12 batters in six innings pitched and Michael Papierski hit a three-run home run as LSU defeated Maryland, 6-1, Friday night in Game 1 of the series at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
With the win, the Tigers improved to 5-1 on the season, while Maryland fell to 1-3.
Lange improved to 2-0 on the year after allowing only one run on six hits and walking two. He finished with 12 strikeouts, just one shy of his career-high of 13, which he accomplished twice in 2015.
Right-hander Brian Shaffer (0-1) suffered the loss after tossing 6.2 innings and allowing three runs on six hits, walking three and striking out six.
Game 2 of the series against Maryland will begin at 2 p.m. CT. The game will be available online only via SEC Network+ and can be accessed at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. It will also be broadcast live on 100.7 FM in Baton Rouge. Fans can also go to LSUsports.net for live stats and audio.
Senior southpaw Jared Poche’ (1-0) will take the mound for the Tigers Saturday afternoon.
“I thought our team played an excellent game tonight,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “I felt like we played with a lot of confidence; of course, it’s easy to play with confidence when you have Alex Lange on the mound. It was a good, solid victory all the way around.”
Left fielder Brennan Breaux led off the bottom of the third with a single up the middle, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by second baseman Cole Freeman. Centerfielder Antoine Duplantis started a rally in the with a one-out RBI triple, which scored Breaux.
Shortstop Kramer Robertson drove in Duplantis from third in the next at-bat with a single up the middle. After advancing to second on a single by right fielder Greg Deichmann, Robertson and Deichmann worked a double steal to put runners in scoring position with one out. Robertson scored on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Jake Slaughter to give the Tigers the 3-0 lead.
“Their pitcher (Shaffer) was really tough,” Mainieri said. “I thought in that third inning we had some great at-bats and were able to take advantage of a couple of mistakes that he made. But, he held us at bay again until we finally got him out of the game, and Papierski hit the big three-run homer that gave us a little breathing room.”
The Terps cut the LSU lead to 3-1 in the top of the fourth after Brandon Gum led off the inning with a single up the middle and scored from second on shortstop Kevin Smith’s double to left field with one out.
In the bottom of the eighth inning with third baseman Josh Smith on second, pinch hitter Rankin Woley singled through the left side to put runners on the corners with no outs. In the next at-bat, Papierski drove a 1-2 pitch into the left field bleachers for a three-run home run to give the Tigers a 6-1 lead.