Poche', Duplantis Lead LSU Over UGA, 5-1
Communications Student Assistant
BATON ROUGE, La. – Left-hander Jared Poche’ earned his fifth win in five starts Saturday night, and leftfielder Antoine Duplantis carried the LSU offense with three RBI and a home run, leading the Tigers to a 4-1 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs.
In his last two games, Duplantis is 8-for-10 with 10 RBI and five extra-base hits.
The Tigers improved to 15-5 and 2-0 in conference play, while Georgia fell to 8-12 and 0-2 in the SEC.
The teams will complete the weekend series Sunday afternoon, with Game 3 set for 1 p.m. CT. The game will be available online via SEC Network+ and can be viewed at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. It will be broadcast live on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge. Fans can also go to LSUsports.net for live stats.
Freshman right-hander Eric Walker (2-0, 2.14 ERA) will take the mound for the Tigers in Game 3, facing junior right-hander Chase Adkins (3-0, 2.08 ERA) of Georgia.
Poche’ (5-0, 0.25 ERA this season), earned the win Saturday night for LSU. Having entered the game with no runs allowed on the season, Poche’ finally surrendered a run in the top of the fourth inning on a home run by UGA leftfielder Keegan McGovern. That capped his scoreless streak at 32 innings, the second-longest streak in LSU history. Poche’ finished the game allowing just one run on seven hits while recording five strikeouts.
LSU right-hander Caleb Gilbert recorded his first save of the season, allowing no runs and striking out four through two innings pitched.
“I thought it was a really cool thing that the crowd acknowledged Jared after his streak came to an end,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “It show how knowledgeable our fans are and how closely they follow the team. As I’ve always said about Jared, he’s the consummate teammate; all he wants to do is win. He doesn’t care about streaks and records and all of that kind of stuff; after he gave up the home run, he just got back on the horse and kept on pitching.”
RHP Tony Locey (2-3, 7.65 ERA) was charged with the loss for the Bulldogs, allowing four earned runs on three hits and 4.1 innings pitched in two innings pitched.
LSU opened up the scoring before even recording a hit. In the bottom of the second, Zach Watson and Jake Slaughter reached on a walk and a hit by pitch, respectively. After a wild pitch advanced the runners, Josh Smith hit an RBI groundout that gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Georgia leveled the score in the top of the fourth on a solo home run to right field hit by McGovern. That lead would not last long, as a solo shot by Antoine Duplantis in the bottom half of the inning put the Tigers back up, 2-1.
Duplantis continued his hot hitting in the bottom of the fifth, shooting a two-RBI single through the right side of the infield with the bases loaded, giving LSU a 4-1 advantage.
“When Antoine is swinging well, he’s as good a hitter as anybody,” Mainieri said. “I didn’t know he had that kind of power; he got into one and hit it out of the ball park. That at-bat he had in the fifth was remarkable; he had a 3-2 count and fouled off pitch after pitch after pitch, and then got the base hit off a guy throwing extremely hard.”
In the top of the sixth, the Bulldogs loaded the bases with just one out, but Poche’ induced a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.
LSU added a run in the bottom of the eighth. With Kramer Robertson at the plate and the bases loaded, UGA left-hander Ryan Avidano walked in a run, accounting for the final margin.