Labas Earns First Win as Baseball Beats South Alabama
Communications Student Assistant
BATON ROUGE, La. – On a night where junior rightfielder Antoine Duplantis picked up his 200th career hit and freshman right-hander AJ Labas earned his first career collegiate win, No. 16 LSU defeated South Alabama, 9-4, in a midweek matchup at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU moves to 12-6 on the season while South Alabama Falls to 9-8.
LSU will begin SEC action this weekend when it plays host to Missouri for a three-game series at The Box, starting on Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT
Labas (1-0) notched the first win of his LSU career after pitching six scoreless innings while striking out five hitters.
“I thought AJ Labas was going to be a super matchup for us against this South Alabama club,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “They’re among the nation’s leaders in drawing walks, but AJ throws strikes and he made them hit the ball. They also had six left-handed hitters in their lineup, and his change-up was really effective against them. Overall, I thought it was a good win for us against a quality opponent, and it gives us some momentum going into our first SEC weekend.”
South Alabama starter Caleb Yarborough (1-1) suffered the loss as he worked 3.1 innings for the Jaguars, surrendering three runs.
After centerfielder Zach Watson and second baseman Brandt Broussard got on base to begin the first for LSU, Duplantis laid down a sacrifice bunt to get two runners into scoring position. Austin Bain drew a walk, loading the bases. Catcher Hunter Feduccia delivered, driving in his team leading 16th and 17th RBI of the season, giving LSU the early 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, LSU added on another run after DH Bryce Jordan came up with a one-out single and was eventually driven home from second when shortstop Hal Hughes reached on a base hit through the right side.
Bain got on base in the bottom of the fifth after a throwing error from South Alabama shortstop Will Luft. After a single from Feduccia, leftfielder Beau Jordan was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for LSU. Beau Jordan and Chris Reid drew walks in the next two at-bats to give LSU a 5-0 lead.
Chase Lambert replaced Addison Reed on the mound for South Alabama and after recording one out, Watson continued the inning when he hit a chopper that hopped over the third baseman’s head, scoring the Jordan brothers and giving LSU a 7-0 lead.
Labas struck out the side in the top of the sixth, giving him five strikeouts on the night before being replaced by John Kodros to start the seventh inning.
In the bottom of sixth for LSU, Bryce Jordan delivered with a single, allowing Feduccia to score and give LSU an 8-0 advantage.
With Hughes on third base and one out in the LSU seventh, Duplantis stood at the plate with 199 career hits. On the first pitch of the at-bat, the junior squared a ball up, sending it to right field and notching his 200th career hit. LSU took a 9-1 lead as Hughes crossed the plate.