LSU won its 12th consecutive season-opener with a 1-0 victory against Maryland at The Box on Friday.
HOW THEY SCORED
LSU third inning - Chris Sciambra doubled down the left field line with one out. Sciambra advanced to third base on Mark Laird's grounder up the middle. Alex Bregman delivered a two-out RBI single up the middle.
LSU WASTED SCORING CHANCES
Second inning - Raph Rhymes had a leadoff infield hit and JaCoby Jones drew a one-out walk. The inning ended as Christian Ibarra popped out to first base and Ty Ross flied out to rightfield.
Sixth inning - Mason Katz struck out with two out, but reached first base when the ball got away from the catcher. Jones then walked. But, Ibarra hit into an inning-ending force play at second base.
LSU HITTING STAR
Sciambra, playing his first game since fracturing a bone in his neck at Auburn last March, had four hits - three singles and a double. Sciambra never had more than two hits in a game last season.
LSU PITCHING STAR
Aaron Nola allowed just three Maryland batters to reach base before he was replaced with two out in the seventh. Nola walked one and gave up two singles. Only one Terps runner got past first base. Nola finished with nine strikeouts - one short of his career high.
Joey Bourgeois relieved Nola in the seventh with two out and a runner on first base. Bourgeois struck out Anthony Papio. With two out in the eighth, Bourgeois hit Blake Schmit with a pitch. Chris Cotton took over for Bourgeois and picked Schmit off first base. In the ninth, Cotton gave up two-out infield singles by Kyle Convissar and K.J. Hockaday. Cotton got Michael Montville to hit into a force out at second base to end the game.
The 1-0 victory was the first for LSU in 18 years. The Tigers defeated Tulane 1-0 in 1995. . . Rhymes had two hits and is hitting .500 after one game. . . Katz struck out three times and hit into a double play. . . Jones reached base in all three at-bats - two walks and a single. . .LSU was 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. . .Alex Edward was the designated hitter and went 0-for-3. . .LSU's three newcomers - Bregman, Ibarra and Mark Laird - were a combined 1-for-11 at the plate. . .Relief pitcher Kurt McCune suffered back spasms while putting on his shoes Friday. He may be unavailable for the rest of the weekend. . .Convissar had two of Maryland's four hits. . .No Terps runner got past second base. . .The paid crowd of 12,373 was the largest in LSU history. The actual crowd was 9,746. . .Four umpires were used Friday. Four umpires will be used in all Southeastern Conference games and some LSU non-league games. . .Austin Nola and former LSU pitcher Brett Laxton threw out first pitches. Tyler Hanover caught Nola's throw.
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
Coach Paul Mainieri: "It was a great ball game, a super-played game. Maryland made some outstanding catches in the outfield and turned three double plays. You never know what's going to happen in the first game of the season. The story of the game was Aaron Nola. He showed why he is one of the best pitchers in our league. Our bullpen was rock solid. The guys showed poise and confidence in the ninth inning. Cotton made some great pitches. I thought we hit a lot of balls hard. Seven of our nine hits were ground balls through the infield. You have to take the good with the bad. Three ground balls were double plays. We only struck out four times and three of them were by Mason Katz. We know he is going to hit."
Chris Sciambra: "Tonight was a special night. It was exciting to be out there. My heart was pumping pretty good in my first at-bat and in the first few innings. We were facing lefties who were pretty tough. With the conditions (wind blowing in), you couldn't be too greedy. We wanted to hit line drives and beat balls through the infield. That was my approach."
Chris Cotton: "I was able to throw strikes when I came in. The defense did the job and I was able to get the save. I threw a fair amount of changeups. With Aaron and Joey (Bourgeois) throwing in the 90s and me with my 75 mile-per-hour changeup, I was able to get their hitters out in front. In the sixth inning, when the score was 0-1, I knew I had a chance to go in there."
Aaron Nola: "I had all my stuff working on the mound tonight. It was a one-run game and we are going to have those all year. It was a good way to start the season. My composure is better this year. I am more confident in all my pitches."
Alex Bregman (on his RBI single): "I just tried to let the ball get deep and use the whole field. He threw a changeup down and I was ready for it. It found a hole up the middle."
LSU will play host to Maryland in the second game of the series Saturday at 1 p.m. Ryan Eades will be the starting pitcher for the Tigers.