Hess, Feduccia Lead Baseball to Victory Over Toledo
Communications Graduate Assistant
BATON ROUGE -- Behind Zack Hess’ 13-strikeout night and catcher Hunter Feduccia’s grand slam in the bottom of the seventh, the No. 14 LSU baseball team defeated Toledo, 8-1 Friday night in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Hess’ 13 strikeouts marked the first 13-strikeout game by an LSU pitcher since March 28, 2015, when Alex Lange had 13 versus Kentucky in Alex Box Stadium. The right-handed sophomore fired seven innings and only allowed one run on six hits, improving to 2-1 on the season.
With the bases loaded after three consecutive walks and the 3-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh, Feduccia unloaded on a pitch and sent it over the right-field wall for his first career home run to give LSU a 7-1 edge over the Rockets.
With the win, LSU improves to 6-4 on the season while Toledo falls to 2-6.
“Zack is improving with each game, and he made it look easy tonight, but it’s not easy,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “He’s been blessed with tremendous ability, but you should see how hard this kid works at it. Every day he’s in the training room doing stretching exercises, every day he’s meeting with (LSU pitching coach) Alan Dunn watching video; everything he does is with maximum focus and effort to prepare for these Friday nights.”
Southpaw Michael Jacob suffered the loss for Toledo and dropped to 0-2. He gave up three runs on seven hits in six innings of work. The junior also walked one and struck out five.
The Tigers return to action Saturday against Sacred Heart at 6 p.m. CT in The Box. The game will be available online through SEC Network+, which is accessible through Watch ESPN and the Watch ESPN app.
“We got off to a good start tonight offensively, but then their left-hander (Jacob) shut us down for four or five innings,” Mainieri said. “Their bullpen struggled with command in the seventh inning, and Hunter Feduccia came through with the big grand slam after the bases were loaded. For most of the night, this was a very close, hard-fought game, and we needed every bit of the effort that Hess gave us to win this game.”
LSU jumped out to the early 1-0 lead in the first inning. Center fielder Antoine Duplantis led off with an infield single to second base, and designated hitter Austin Bain singled through the left side. The duo moved to scoring position on the throw to third, and Duplantis scored on a Feduccia groundout.
With third baseman Jake Slaughter and right fielder Daniel Cabrera in scoring positon after a single, a walk and a sacrifice bunt, shortstop Hal Hughes send a ground ball to second to drive in Slaughter. Duplantis followed with a single to right field, driving in Cabrera, and the Tigers tacked on two runs in the bottom of the second to take the 3-0 lead.
Zach Schwartzenberger doubled to the right field corner and advanced to third on a ground out. The designated hitter scored on left fiedler’s John Servello’s double to right field to cut the LSU lead to 3-1.
Freshman Devin Fontenot entered to pitch the eighth inning. The right-hander pitched two shutout innings, allowed one hit and struck out one.