LSU Comes Back to Defeat Nicholls, 3-2
LSU Sports Interactive
BATON ROUGE, La. – Second-ranked LSU rebounded from a 2-0, fifth-inning deficit Tuesday night to post a 3-2 win over Nicholls in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The Tigers trailed by two runs entering the bottom of the fifth, but LSU scored one run in each of the next three innings to rally and secure the victory.
The Tigers improved to 8-1 on the season, and Nicholls fell to 4-4 on the year.
LSU will participate in the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic this weekend in Houston at Minute Maid Park. The Tigers will begin play on Friday against top-ranked TCU at 7 p.m. Junior right-hander Alex Lange (2-0) will get the start on the mound Friday for LSU.
Todd Peterson (1-0) came into Tuesday’s game to start the seventh inning and he earned his first collegiate win after retiring all three Nicholls hitters that he faced.
Nicholls junior right-hander Kyle Craft (0-1) was charged with the loss, as he gave up one earned run on five hits in 2.1 innings.
“I was so proud of our guys,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “They focused on tonight, and they didn’t look ahead to this weekend. If we hadn’t focused the way we did, we would have had a tough time winning this ball game. It took every ounce of our focus and determination to win this game.
“Your season is defined by how you do in one-run games, and we won this game because our starting pitching gave us a chance to win, our bullpen was outstanding, and we got some clutch hits and held on.”
LSU starter Zack Hess worked 4.2 innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits, striking out four and walking one.
In the top of the second inning, Nicholls was almost able to get a run in when Hess threw a wild pitch with runners on first and second. The ball bounced off of catcher Nick Coomes and into the dugout, seemingly allowing a run to score.
However, the umpires gathered together and ruled the runners could only advance one base. Hess struck out the next Nicholls batter to end the inning without giving up a run.
After Nicholls grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth, LSU leftfielder Beau Jordan led off the bottom of the frame with a double. The Tigers were then able to load the bases, allowing shortstop Kramer Robertson to come up with one out. He was able to get a pitch elevated to left field for a sacrifice fly to score Jordan and cut the Colonels’ lead in half.
LSU would get the other run back in the bottom of the sixth. Antoine Duplantis came in to pinch hit for Zach Watson with runners on the corners. He delivered a single into left-center, and Coomes strolled home from third base to tie the game at 2-2.
In the bottom of the seventh, second baseman Cole Freeman led off with a single. A perfectly executed hit-and-run by Robertson put runners on the corners with rightfielder Greg Deichmann coming to the plate. He hit a sharp ground ball through the left side of the infield, driving in Freeman for what turned out to be the game-winning RBI.
Peterson combined with fellow LSU relievers Hunter Kiel, Caleb Gilbert and Hunter Newman to blank Nicholls over the final 4.1 innings. Newman earned his second save of the season, pitching around a single in the ninth inning.