Bats come alive as Tigers cruise to 16-4 win over Kentucky, clinch series
The LSU bats woke up for the second game of a double header, accumulating 12 hits in route to a 16-4 win over Kentucky to clinch the series.
Freshman pitcher Cole Henry earned his first SEC start Saturday night and looked the part once again of a reliable weekend starter.
Henry ran into a little trouble in the second inning after a three up, three down opening frame. The freshman allowed two runners on base and on a sac bunt attempt, Henry tried to throw a runner out at home but didn’t make the play.
A freshman mistake didn’t seem to faze him one bit as Henry struck out the next two batters to end the second.
“I felt comfortable out there,” Henry said. “I think every start I’ve gone out there and learned something new. Coming in from high school, it’s a much faster game and it can get away from you quick. So learning how to slow things down, make your pitches when you need to is something I took away.”
Unlike the first game, the Tigers didn’t take long to get runs on the board as a double from third baseman Chris Reid brought home two runs with one out in the first. LSU would tack on six more runs in the second to blow the game wide open and batted around the order in the process.
Freshman designated hitter Giovanni DiGiacomo, who drew the game winning walk in the first game, rode that start to a 2-for-5 performance in game two. Centerfielder Zach Watson also continued his recent hot streak with a 4-for-5 performance, including a three run bomb to right field that brought his weekend total up to 6-for-9. Watson came up a triple short of the cycle Saturday night, but he was certainly going for it on his final at bat.
“I made a few changes to my swing when he (Mainieri) moved me up to the two hole and it really worked out for me,” Watson said. “That last at bat I was trying for it, I really was and I was pretty mad when I walked. I think the triple is the hardest part for me.”
Due to the Wildcats throwing seven pitchers in the 12-inning thriller of game one, Kentucky couldn’t do much but ride with starter Grant Macciocchi through the LSU offensive explosion.
Holding a 9-1 lead in the fourth, Henry struggled with his command as he walked two batters and allowed two hits that loaded the bases. Two runs came home in the fourth that brought the LSU lead to 9-3.
Henry was pulled in the sixth inning for sophomore Trent Vietmeier but the start was once again encouraging, allowing three runs on six hits with six strikeouts. Vietmeier went the rest of the way and pitched four one run innings with a career high six strikeouts.
After a full day of baseball, Watson is ready to finally take off his cleats and settle down for a few hours before more baseball tomorrow.
“It’s a very long day, I mean we got here at 9:30 this morning and you go out and play double headers,” Watson said. “My legs are killing me, my feet are killing me from wearing these cleats all day but that’s part of it.”
LSU will be looking for the sweep tomorrow afternoon with first pitch coming at 2 p.m. and Eric Walker on the mound.