Baseball Tosses Shutout Win in Opener, 1-0
BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU sophomore right-hander Aaron Nola (1-0) spearheaded a 1-0 shutout in the Tigers' season opening victory over Maryland in front of a record paid crowd of 12,373 on a cool night at Alex Box Stadium.
Game 2 of the three game series will begin Saturday at 1 p.m. (CT). Saturday's contest will be broadcast live on Cox Sports Television, and it can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network. Junior right-hander Ryan Eades will take the mound for the Tigers and junior right-hander Brady Kirkpatrick will take the mound for the Terrapins.
With the win, LSU extended its season opener win streak to 12 games.
"I thought it was a pretty well-played game, especially for the first game of the season," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "You're never quite sure what's going to happen in the first game, but I thought our players showed a lot of composure to earn the win."
Nola was near perfect, going 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and striking out nine, which was one shy of his career high. The righty set down the side in order in four separate innings and recorded nine straight outs from the fourth to the sixth inning.
"Nola was obviously the story of the game, he showed why he is one of the best pitchers in the nation," Mainieri said. "He was outstanding the entire night, and he did a wonderful job of keeping their hitters off-balance."
Bourgeois was flawless in his inning of work and struck out one. Cotton earned his first save on the season and third of his career after 1.1 innings of work.
Center fielder Chris Sciambra, in his first game since missing most of last season because of a devastating neck injury, delivered a career high four hits and scored the game's only run out of the leadoff spot.
"Sciambra is just a remarkable story; he's recovered from a very serious injury and is playing at a very high level," Mainieri said. "We're expecting him to be a huge contributor to the success of our team this season."
Freshman short stop Alex Bregman notched his first career RBI off of a hard hit single just passed the second baseman's glove. Sciambra raced home from third after reaching base on a double down the third base line and advancing to third on a Mark Laird ground out.
Maryland starter Jimmy Reed (0-1) was credited with the loss after allowing one run on six hits. Relievers Jamie Pashuck and Kevin Mooney combined to hold the Tigers scoreless in their three innings of work.
LSU put two runners on in the second and sixth inning, but could not tag on a coveted insurance run. Left fielder Raph Rhymes added two singles and second baseman JaCoby Jones reached base three times.
Maryland mustered their most dangerous threat in the top of the ninth inning. After getting Charlie White and Jordan Hagel to ground out consecutively, Cotton allowed back-to-back base hits to Kyle Convissar and K.J. Hockaday. With two on and two out, Cotton forced Michael Montville to ground out for the final out of the game.
The Tigers' defense was instrumental in the victory, with multiple impressive plays between new short stop Bregman and first baseman Mason Katz.
The Tigers last defeated an opponent by a 1-0 margin on March 8, 1995 against Tulane in the original Alex Box Stadium.
LSU 1, Maryland 0 (Feb 15, 2013 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Maryland............ 000 000 000 - 0 4 0 (0-1)
LSU................. 001 000 00X - 1 9 0 (1-0)
Pitchers: Maryland - Jimmy Reed; Jamie Pashuck(6); Kevin Mooney(8) and Jack Cleary.
LSU -Aaron Nola; Joey Bourgeois(7); Chris Cotton(8) and Ty Ross.
Win-Aaron Nola(1-0) Save-Chris Cotton(1) Loss-Jimmy Reed(0-1) T-2:27 A-12373
Actual Attendance: 9,746
Paid attendance is the largest in Alex Box Stadium history.