Conner Hale hit a two-run first-inning homer and Jared Poche pitched into the eighth inning as LSU defeated Houston 4-2 in a first-round game of the Houston College Classic on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.
HOW THEY SCORED
LSU first inning - With two out, Alex Bregman doubled and stole third base. Bregman scored on Chris Chinea's infield single. Hale hit a two-run homer over the leftfield fence. LSU 3, HOUSTON 0
Houston third inning - With one out, Zac Taylor walked. Kyle Survance forced Taylor at second base on his ground ball to the first baseman. Josh Vidales singled. Jacob Campbell singled and Survance scored on a throwing error by the third baseman Hale. LSU 3, HOUSTON 1
LSU fourth inning - Hale singled and advanced to second on Andrew Stevenson's bunt. Hale scored on a throwing error by shortstop Connor Wong on Kade Scivicque's ground ball. LSU 4 HOUSTON 1
Houston sixth inning - Campbell hit a leadoff homer over the leftfield fence. LSU 4, HOUSTON 2
LSU'S MISSED SCORING OPPORTUNITIES
Second inning - Scivicque doubled and moved to third on Danny Zardon's sacrifice bunt. Kramer Robertson grounded out to the third baseman and Jake Fraley grounded out to the second baseman.
Seventh inning - Zardon singled and advanced to second on Robertson's sacrifice bunt. Zardon went to third on Fraley's single. Mark Laird hit into a 4-6-3 double play.
LSU HITTER OF THE GAME
Hale was involved in both of LSU's scoring innings. He hit a two-out, two-run homer in the first to put the Tigers on top 3-0. Hale led off the fourth with a single and came around to score on an infield error. Hale has hit safely in all 14 games this season. He went 2-for-4 on Friday.
LSU PITCHER OF THE GAME
Poche only had one difficult inning as he won his fourth game of the season. Poche allowed a run in the third when he walked two hitters and gave up to singles. The run, which was earned, scored on an error by Hale. Poche escaped further damage by getting Wong to ground out to Hale with the bases loaded and two out. Poche gave up a leadoff double to Survance in the first, but he retired the next three batters. The second Houston run came on Campbell's leadoff homer in the sixth. Poche retired 15 of the last 16 batters he faced. Poche, who gave up four hits, walked three and struck out four. He was relieved by Alden Cartwright with two out in the eighth.
Laird returned to the starting lineup in rightfield. Fraley started in leftfield. Coach Paul Mainieri used his 'defensive' lineup with Hale at third, Robertson at second, Zardon at first and Chinea as the designated hitter. . .Bregman had two hits and stole a base. . .Laird extended his hitting streak to four games. . .Stevenson and Robertson were the only two starters without a hit. . .LSU stranded four runners - two in scoring position. The Tigers were 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position. . .Houston starting pitcher Andrew Lantrip threw a complete game. Lantrip, who lost the first game of his college career, allowed nine hits, walked none and struck out two. One of LSU's four runs was unearned. . .Campbell had two of the Cougars' four hits. . .Houston stranded four runners - one in scoring position. The Cougars were 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position. . .Cartwright struck out Campbell to end the eighth. Jesse Stallings threw a perfect ninth with one strikeout to register his sixth save of the season. . .Hale committed LSU's only error. . .The Tigers (13-1) have won ten games in a row. LSU has its longest winning streak since it won 14 straight games during the 2013 season. . .Houston is 8-6. . .In other games Friday at the Houston College Classic, Baylor lost to Hawaii 2-1 and Nebraska lost to Texas A&M 2-1. . .The paid attendance for the first day of the tournament was 10,651.
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
Coach Paul Mainieri's comments: "Jared Poche never makes it look easy, but he certainly gets the job done. He always demonstrates tremendous poise and battles the hitter with every pitch. He gave us the tenacious, competitive effort we needed against a very good Houston ball club."
LSU will play Baylor in the second round of the Houston College Classic on Saturday at Minute Maid Park. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Central time. The Bears (6-6) have lost four consecutive games. Alex Lange (3-0, 2.25 ERA) will be the starting pitcher for the Tigers. The LSU-Baylor game will be broadcast on Cox Sports.