Three Strikes: Baseball Completes Week 2 of Practice
Communications Graduate Assistant
BATON ROUGE—The LSU baseball team completed its second of six weeks of fall baseball. Here are three strikes that were key in Week 2.
Dangerous Daniel: Freshman Daniel Cabrera has made his presence known both in the field and on the mound in Week 2 of the fall practice. On Friday, the Baton Rouge native fired two hitless innings and struck out one. At the plate, he went 3-for-3 with two singles and a home run. His home run was his third of the fall and was a two-run shot. Aside from consistently hitting balls with exit speeds over 100 miles per hour, Cabrera is rarely striking out, showing his skills as a hitter. The freshman is making strides all over the field and shows no signs of slowing anytime soon.
“I think if you think about players who really stood out this week, you have to start with Daniel Cabrera, both on the mound and in the field,” head coach Paul Mainieri said. “He had one game where he had three hits, two singles and a home run, stole two bases and pitched two shutout innings. He’s really had a great week.”
Propitious Pitching: The Tigers knew that they had right-handers Zack Hess and Caleb Gilbert to count on entering the fall, but after two weeks of practice the pitching staff has begun to take form. Mainieri’s goal during the fall season was to solidify the pitching staff as it is the largest concern heading into the season. However, with the emergence of pitchers Ma'Khail Hilliard, Devin Fontenot and Daniel Cabrera, the staff has begun to shape up nicely.
Last week Hilliard pitched four innings and limited the opposition to one run and dominated with seven strikeouts. Fontenot had an outstanding outing of three shutout innings with four strikeouts, and as mentioned above in Strike One, southpaw Cabrera has shown promise toeing the rubber.
“Ma’Khail Hilliard showed that he could be somebody that we could really count on,” Mainieri added. “I think Devin Fontenot has shown that and so has Daniel Cabrera. Of course, we know about (Zack) Hess and (Caleb) Gilbert. Gilbert pitched fantastic early this week against the frontline guys. He pretty much dominated, so that was nice to see.”
“We have to find enough guys that we can count on that can do the job at a high enough level for us.,” Mainieri explained. “We are getting closer to it. We need to find 10 or 11 pitchers that we can really count on, and we are getting closer to that number than we were before the fall began.”
Catchers Corner: Junior transfer Hunter Feduccia has showed his abilities behind the plate and has consistently improved at the plate over the past two weeks. The LSU-Eunice product has experience and was named to the 2017 National Junior College Athletic Association Division II All-Region Team. He was the 2016 Gold Glove Award winner as a catcher with a fielding percentage of .997, so it comes as no surprise that he has made some great defensive plays behind the plate so far this fall. The Tigers also have freshman Mason Doolittle behind the dish this fall. The Jupiter, Florida, native is 6-4 and has a definite presence behind the plate. Both players easily have a chance to make a significant impact for the Tigers during the 2018 season and follow in the footsteps of former LSU catchers Micah Gibbs, Ty Ross, Kade Scivicque and Michael Papierski.
“Hunter Feduccia is really emerging as a catcher for us. He’s getting better and better every day and is putting the bat on the ball consistently,” Mainieri said. “However, the catching situation is still a big battle between Mason Doolittle and Hunter Feduccia, and we will see how this continues to play out.”
Lagniappe: Head Coach Paul Mainieri was named the 2018 head coach of the Team USA Collegiate National Team Tuesday afternoon. It will be his second coaching stint for Team USA as he served as an assistant coach in the summer of 2015.
WEEK TWO SCRIMMAGE LEADERS
Tuesday, October 10
Wednesday, October 11
Thursday, October 12
Friday, October 13
Daniel Cabrera- 3-3 with a home run, three RBI and two stolen bases; two innings pitched, no hits and one strikeout.
Antoine Duplantis- 1-2 with a triple and RBI
Nick Webre- 1-2 with a triple and two RBI
Sunday, October 15
WEEK THREE PRACTICE SCHEDULE
The Tigers practiced on Monday and Tuesday, and there is no practice for the rest of the week as Fall Break begins Wednesday.