Baseball's Offense Explodes to Defeat NSU, 9-3
Communications Student Assistant
BATON ROUGE – Senior shortstop Kramer Robertson went 4-for-5 at the plate with two doubles and a home run as the No. 5 LSU offense exploded for nine runs on 14 hits in a 9-3 win over Northwestern State in the final home game of the 2017 regular season at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field Tuesday evening.
With the win, LSU improves to 36-17 while Northwestern State falls to 20-31.
Freshman Todd Peterson only needed 59 pitches in five innings to earn the win and improve to 3-1 on the season. The right-hander allowed one run on four hits, walked one and struck out six.
“Todd was very sharp tonight, extremely efficient throughout his outing,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We wanted to limit him to 60 pitches to make sure he would be available for this weekend. I thought he might go four innings tonight, but he was able to work five innings and hit that 60-pitch threshold.”
The Tigers used six pitchers for the final 3.2 innings, and allowed two hits, walked one and struck out six to shutout Northwestern State.
Starter Kyle Swanson suffered the loss and fell to 2-3 on the season after allowing two runs on four hits and striking out two in two innings of work.
The Tigers wrap up the regular season with a three-game series at Mississippi State beginning Thursday in Dudy Noble Field at 6 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. It will also be broadcast live 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge only. Fans can also go to LSUsports.net for live stats and audio.
LSU holds a one-game lead over Mississippi State in the SEC Western Division with three game left in the regular season. The Tigers are one game behind Florida in the overall SEC standings.
“The atmosphere at Dudy Noble Field is awesome, and we're looking forward to a tremendous series with Mississippi State,” Mainieri said. “Our players in past years have really embraced the atmosphere and performed at a high level. The LSU-Mississippi State rivalry has a long, rich tradition, and this weekend should be electric. It's the type of weekend you want to be involved in as a college baseball player or coach.”
LSU grabbed the 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night when right fielder Greg Deichmann blasted a two-run home run over the right field wall, plating second baseman Cole Freeman who reached earlier in the inning on a single.
The home run by Deichmann marked his 17th of the season, which is the most by a LSU player in a single season since Matt Gaudet hit 19 in 2010.
With two outs in the top of the third inning, second baseman Spencer Goodwin doubled to left-centerfield and scored when first baseman David Fry doubled to right-centerfield to cut into LSU's lead, 2-1.
In the bottom of the third inning, LSU tacked on two runs to jump out to the 4-1 lead. With shortstop Kramer Robertson on second after a leadoff double, Freeman reached on an error by the catcher to put runners on the corners. Left fielder Antoine Duplantis followed with a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Robertson. After Freeman stole second, first baseman Nick Coomes singled up the middle to drive the second baseman home.
Catcher Michael Papierski drilled a one-out single to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning, and centerfielder Zach Watson followed with a moon shot to left-centerfield to put the Tigers up 6-1.
Designated hitter Cade Jones led off the top of the sixth inning with a walk for Northwestern State. With one out, right fielder Austin Townsend belted a home run to right field to cut the Tigers' lead to 6-3.
Robertson stood on second after his second double of the night in the bottom of the sixth and scored as Duplantis doubled to right field. The sophomore, then, scored after consecutive errors by Northwestern State's second baseman and left fielder as LSU took the 8-3 lead into the seventh.
The Tigers' final run of the night came on Robertson's solo shot to left-centerfield in the bottom of the eighth inning. It marked his sixth home run of the season.