Baseball Evens Series Against Hawaii, 5-1
Communications Graduate Assistant
BATON ROUGE, La. — Home runs by Zach Watson and Hunter Feduccia along with solid pitching from Caleb Gilbert, Matthew Beck and Taylor Petersen powered the No. 13 LSU baseball team to even the series against Hawaii with a 5-1 win Saturday evening in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
With the win, LSU improves to 10-6 on the season while Hawaii falls to 8-5.
LSU looks to capture the series in Game 3 Sunday at 2 p.m. CT at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The game will be available online only through the SEC Network+, which is accessible through Watch ESPN and the Watch ESPN app.
Gilbert (2-0) started the game for the Tigers and earned the win after shutting out the Rainbow Warriors for five innings. The junior right-hander allowed four hits, walked three and struck out one.
Matthew Beck entered from the bullpen to toss two innings. The sophomore allowed one hit, walked two and struck out three, and Tayler Petersen worked the final 1.1 innings. The junior transfer struck out one batter.
“Caleb got hit in the foot early in the game by a line drive, and he battled his way through five innings,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “It was his push-off foot, so he couldn’t throw as hard as he normally would, but he gave us a very courageous effort. Matthew Beck’s first inning was about as dominant as I’ve ever seen him, and Taylor Petersen threw the ball great, upwards of 92 mph just attacking the hitters.”
Hawaii starter Dominic DeMiero suffered the loss and drops to 1-1 on the season. The southpaw allowed five runs on six hits in three innings. He also walked two and struck out one.
Centerfielder Zach Watson led off the game for the Tigers and took the first pitch he saw from DeMiero over the right field wall for the sophomore’s first home run of the season, which gave LSU the 1-0 lead after one inning of action.
“When I lead off with Zach Watson, it’s partially because he can jump on that first pitch of the game and hit it out of the ball park,” Mainieri said. “I had visions of that, and it finally came to fruition tonight. When you get that 1-0 lead right away, it kind of relaxes your team a little bit, and that was big blow.”
With two outs in the bottom of the second and left fielder Daniel Cabrera on first after he reached on a fielder’s choice, shortstop Hal Hughes ripped a ball down the right field line for a triple to score Cabrera, and the Tigers gained the 2-0 advantage.
LSU jumped out to the 5-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Second baseman Brandt Broussard worked a 10-pitch at-bat for a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch to lead off the inning. With one out, first baseman Austin Bain poked a single through the right side to drive in Broussard.
Catcher Hunter Feduccia followed with a two-run blast, placing a ball into the Diamond Deck in right field for his second home run this season.
“Austin Bain gave us a spark again at the plate, and he did a nice job playing first base for the first time in his career here,” Mainieri said. “And it was great to see Hunter Feduccia generate that bat speed and jack the ball out of the park for a two-run homer.”
The Rainbow Warriors struck for the first time in the top of the eighth inning when center fielder Adam Fogel doubled to centerfield to lead off for Hawaii. With two outs, catcher Kekai Rios doubled to left-center, driving in Fogel to make it 5-1.