Jared Poche threw six scoreless innings and Andrew Stevenson had his first three-hit career game as LSU defeated Grambling 6-0 on Sunday afternoon at The Box.
HOW THEY SCORED
LSU second inning - With one out, Kade Scivicque singled. After Dakota Dean flied out to rightfield, Kramer Robertson walked. Scivicque scored on a single by Stevenson. Robertson scored on a double steal. LSU 2, Grambling 0
LSU fourth inning - Dean walked and Robertson was hit by a pitch. A bunt single by Stevenson loaded the bases. Dean scored on Chris Sciambra's sacrifice fly to the rightfielder. Robertson scored on Alex Bregman's sacrifice fly to the rightfielder. LSU 4, Grambling 0
LSU sixth inning - With one out, Robertson walked and moved to second on a wild pitch by Michael Martin. Stevenson walked. Sciambra flied out to the centerfielder. Robertson scored when catcher Roger Diaz made a wild throw on an attempted pickoff at first base. LSU 5, Grambling 0
LSU seventh inning - Chinea hit a leadoff home run over the leftfield wall. LSU 6, Grambling 0
LSU WASTED SCORING OPPORTUNITIES
First inning - Stevenson and Sciambra singled. Stevenson and Sciambra advanced to third and second, respectively, on Bregman's grounder to the pitcher. Chinea lined out to the second baseman and Danny Zardon struck out.
Third inning - Bregman singled and was forced at second on Chinea's ground ball to the shortstop. Zardon popped out to the first baseman. Chinea was safe at second when shortstop Juan Bueno didn't cover the base on Jared Foster's ground ball to the second baseman. Scivicque forced Chinea at third base on his ground ball to the third baseman.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYER
Stevenson, who batted in the leadoff spot for just the second time in his career, had three singles and drew a walk before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth. Stevenson opened the first with a single, but was stranded at third base. His two-out single in the second inning drove home the Tigers' first run. Stevenson had a bunt single to set up LSU's two-run fourth inning. His walk came in the sixth when the Tigers added another run.
Poche threw six shutout innings in his LSU debut. He didn't walk a batter and struck out three. Grambling put a runner past first base in two of Poche's six innings. In the second, Brandon Kiser got an infield hit with two out. After Kiser stole second, Poche struck out Korey Hall. In the sixth, Diaz doubled and advanced to third on a single by Dion Holbrook. After Holbrook stole second, Poche got Edwin Drexler to pop out to Robertson in shallow rightfield. Poche then struck out Kris Minter and got Bueno to ground out to Robertson at second base. Grambling batters were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position against Poche, who got ten outs on ground balls.
Preparing for his start against Southeastern Louisiana on Wednesday night, Cody Glenn worked the seventh. He retired Grambling in order on a fly ball and two ground balls. Three relievers divided up the last two innings. Nate Fury allowed a leadoff single in the eighth, but then induced Diaz to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Fury struck out the next batter. Junior college transfer Zac Person started the ninth. He recorded a strikeout and allowed a single by Minter. Hunter Devall got the last two outs on a fly ball and a pop up.
There were numerous lineup changes for the Tigers. Sean McMullen, Mark Laird, Christian Ibarra, Tyler Moore and Conner Hale, all of whom started each of the first two days, were on the bench to begin the game. Dean was the designated hitter, Sciambra was the leftfielder, Zardon was the third baseman and Robertson was the second baseman. Chinea was the first baseman and Scivicque was the catcher. . .Robertson made a spectacular play when he made a sliding catch into the wall in foul territory down the rightfield line. . .Jake Fraley made his first appearance of the season as a pinch-runner for Scivicque in the seventh. Fraley played rightfield in the eighth inning and centerfield in the ninth. Moore took over for Scivicque at catcher. . .Jarret DeHart got his first at-bat as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and flied out to the centerfielder. . .Cade Stone played rightfield in the ninth. . .Scivicque was the only player besides Stevenson to have more than one hit. Scivicque had two singles. . .Bregman, who went 1-for-4, had a hit in each of the three weekend games. . .Robertson reached base three times on two walks and a hit batter. He scored all three times he was on base. . .Sciambra and Zardon each picked up their first hit of the season. . .Chinea's home run was the first of his career. His second-inning error at first base was LSU's first miscue of the season. . .The Tigers left eight men on base - five in scoring position. LSU was 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Stevenson had the only hit with a runner in scoring position which drove in a run. . .Grambling starter Brock Baker gave up five runs and seven hits in 5.1 innings. . .Minter had two of Grambling's six hits. . . . .Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson threw out the ceremonial first pitch. All of the games this weekend involving LSU, UNO, Southern and Grambling were part of the Urban Baseball Classic. Earlier Sunday at The Box, UNO defeated Southern 9-1. . .The Tigers are 3-0. They have won their first three games for the sixth straight year. . .LSU extended its winning streak against in-state opponents to 31 games. The Tigers have won 23 straight games against teams from the SWAC. Their lost loss came to Southern in 2005. . .Grambling is 0-3. . .The paid attendance was 10,877. The actual crowd was 5,832.
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
"We are not ready to win any national championships, but this was a good start to the season. We had one error in three games. We hit in spurts. We have to be more consistent offensively. We've got to figure out the middle of our order. Jared Foster had a tough weekend. McMullen had a good game yesterday and Stevenson had one today. Bregman was good all weekend. It was nice to see Chinea get his first (homer). Maybe, it will loosen him up."
"If you have a guy in a uniform, you must be comfortable in playing him. I like to play everybody the first weekend. They have been in scrimmage games, so they have been used to playing. I am going to let the kids play and see what happens. When we go to Vanderbilt, we'll have the best team out there. The best thing for a coach is to have tough decisions because he has a lot of options."
"Kramer Robertson put on a clinic at second base. His catch sliding into the warning track in foul territory was as fine a catch as you'll see. He went to his right for a ball. He turned a double play. He caught a looper in rightfield where he showed great range. He caught the ball in the dirt on a steal and put the tag down in there. Kramer was electric out there. He is a much better game player than practice player. He has been erratic at practice."
"Poche was really good. He got up to 93 miles per hour in the first inning. He was pumping it in there. Then, he settled in at 87-88. He showed great poise. He is going to be a good pitcher for us."
"My mom (Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson) texted me yesterday and said the announcers on television said I was starting Sunday. Absolutely, I was nervous today. I am usually nervous when I play. When you are not nervous, that's the time to hang up the spikes. I was a little behind when I got here because I played three sports in high school. I didn't play as much baseball as the other guys. My baseball instincts are getting where they should be."
"Things have slowed down for me. I am trying to get good pitches to hit. It was a little different today. I saw slow-throwing lefties yesterday and righties today. I had to get used to it. I feel twice as good as I did last year. I am a different player at the bat this year. When you bat first, you have to be more patient. You have to see more pitches and draw walks. I like batting leadoff. That's where I hit in high school and summer ball."
"My stuff was there today. In the first inning, I was a little amped up. My fast ball, my curve ball and my changeup were all working. It was awesome pitching against another team and not in an intrasquad game. In the sixth, I didn't get tired. I left a change up and in. On the next guy, I got behind 3-and-1. I was in a little jam, (pitching) coach (Alan Dunn) came out and told me to work through it."
"The home run was a changeup down. I stayed in there and made solid contact through the ball. It was a great weekend for us. It was cold last week and we weren't able to get out on the field until the last two days. We came out with fire Friday. Any time you get three wins, it's a great weekend no matter who you are playing."
LSU will play Southeastern Louisiana at Alumni Field in Hammond at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. The Lions opened the season by winning two of three games against Louisiana Tech in Ruston. The LSU-SLU game will be broadcast on CST.