Ty Ross broke a 2-2 tie with a three-run homer in the fourth inning and LSU cruised to a 14-3 victory against Maryland on Sunday to sweep the season-opening series at The Box.
HOW THEY SCORED
LSU second inning - JaCoby Jones hit a one-out home run over the left-centerfield fence. LSU 1, MARYLAND 0
LSU third inning - Chris Sciambra walked with one out, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a single by Mark Laird. Alex Bregman singled home Sciambra. LSU 2, MARYLAND 0
Maryland fourth inning - K.J. Hockaday singled and advanced to third on a single by Matt Bosse, who took second on Sciambra's throw to third base. Hockaday scored on a sacrifice fly by LaMonte Wade. With two out, Bosse scored when Jones failed to catch Jose Cuas' pop up. Jones was dealing with the sun on the play.
LSU fourth inning - Mason Katz and Jones drew back-to-back walks. After a sacrifice bunt by Alex Edward, Ty Ross hit a home run over the leftfield fence. LSU 5, MARYLAND 2
LSU fifth inning - Bregman led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. After Raph Rhymes flied out, Katz drove in Bregman with a single. LSU 6, MARYLAND 2
Maryland seventh inning - Blake Schmit singled and moved around to third base on two infield outs. Jordan Hagel brought home Schmit with a single. LSU 6, MARYLAND 3
LSU seventh inning - The Tigers loaded the bases on singles by Bregman and Rhymes and a hit batter (Katz). Bregman scored when centerfielder Charlie White lost Jones' fly ball in the sun for a single. Tyler Moore followed with a pinch-hit, two-run single. One out later, Christian Ibarra had a two-run double. After Chris Chinea grounded out, Jared Foster was hit by a pitch and Bregman walked to load the bases. An infield hit by Andrew Stevenson drove in Ibarra. Foster and Bregman scored when Hockaday misplayed Katz' ground ball to third base. LSU 14, MARYLAND 3
LSU WASTED SCORING CHANCES
First inning - Bregman walked with two out and stole second base. Raph Rhymes grounded out to second base to end the inning.
LSU HITTING STAR
Ross broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth inning with a three-run homer over the leftfield fence. The home run was the fifth of Ross' LSU career. Ross had one hit in each game of the series.
LSU PITCHING STAR
There was no one outstanding pitching performance. However, the Tigers bullpen allowed just one run and three hits over the final five innings. Nate Fury (fifth), Will LaMarche (sixth) and Hunter Newman (eighth) had one-two-three innings. Hunter Devall allowed a double in the ninth. Russell Reynolds gave up two singles and a run in the seventh. All five relievers made their LSU debuts. Newman, Devall and Reynolds are freshmen.
LSU STARTING PITCHER
Brent Bonvillain made his first Tigers start and yielded two runs and four hits in four innings. Bonvillain, who made 22 relief appearances last season, pitched out of trouble in the second and third. With two on and one out in the second, Bonvillain got Jack Cleary to line into a double play. With two runners on base and two out in the third, Bonvillain struck out Kyle Convissar. Bonvillain gave up two fourth-inning runs. The second run scored when Jones didn't catch a two-out pop while fighting the sun. Bonvillain walked one and struck out three.
LSU nearly matched its hit total of the first two games Sunday. The Tigers, who had 15 hits in the first two games, had 14 hits in the third contest. . .The home runs by Jones and Ross were the first two of the season for LSU. . .Katz' run-scoring single in the fifth was his first hit of the season. He was 0-for-8 before the single. . .Bregman reached base five times on three singles and two walks. He had five hits in the series. . .Sciambra had a single and two walks. He reached safely nine times in the series on five hits and four walks. However, Sciambra only scored twice in the three games. . .Ibarra had his first two-hit game of the year. . .Stevenson's RBI infield single in the seventh came in his first LSU at-bat. . .Moore's two-run pinch-hit single in the seventh was hit first hit of the season. . .LSU was 8-for-15 with runners in scoring position. . .Fury was credited with the victory. Bonvillain was not eligible for the win since he didn't pitch five innings. Fury was the first of five Tigers relievers. . .For the sixth time in Paul Mainieri's seven seasons as coach, LSU has opened the year with a three-game sweep. The exception was 2008 when the Tigers took two of three games against Indiana. . .The actual crowd was 6,462. The three-game series drew 23,312 fans to The Box.
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
Coach Paul Mainieri: "I thought we played really well in every phase. The first two nights it was really hard on the hitters. I was glad not to have the wind coming in like a gale today. The win shifted and it was more to the benefit of the hitters. The temperature was warmer. Also, it was the third day and I thought the players settled in. Our pitching was pretty inexperienced today, but I thought they all did a good job. Brent Bonvillain gave us a great start. He would have given up one run in four innings if JaCoby didn't lose the pop up in the sun. Everybody out of the bullpen threw well. They pounded the strike zone. I thought we looked like a pretty good ball club this weekend."
Ty Ross: "I hit a fast ball down the middle for the home run. (Jake Drossner) threw me a first-pitch curve ball. I was ready for another curve, but it came outside. I got a fast ball then. I was looking to get something I could get in the air for a sacrifice fly and get the run in. I got it out of the park. We put some good at-bats together after that. Some balls fell in there for us. We had two cold days in a row where this was a pitcher's park. The wind changed and it was a hitter's day. We showed today how good an offense we can be."
Chris Sciambra: "I am glad to get past the first weekend and play well. There is always a little bit of jitters out there at the start of the season. We played well as a team. Today's game was a lot closer than what you would think looking at the scoreboard. Absolutely, it was a better day today for the hitters. We had a different approach today. We wanted to jump on some balls today instead of trying to beat the ball into the ground."
JaCoby Jones: "I knew (Alex Robinson) was going to throw me a fast ball (on his home run). He threw me a fast ball on 2-and-0. He got it up and I missed it. He threw me another fast ball and it was way away. I figured he would come back with another fast ball and he did. We had a big offensive day. Any time a team needs confidence it helps to have a day where the wind is blowing out."
Alex Bregman: "I feel like we came out hot today. We swung the bats well. Everybody was locked in at the plate. We came out and hit the ball very well today."
Nate Fury: "I was waiting to get in there and get my call. I knew I was going in after the fourth inning. I liked it when we scored the three runs in the bottom of the fourth. All the new guys threw well today."
LSU will play host to Lamar on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Lamar opened the season with a four-game sweep of Northern Kentucky. Cody Glenn will be the starting pitcher for the Tigers.