Five pitchers combined on a five-hitter and Andrew Stevenson had two hits and one RBI as LSU defeated Sacred Heart 8-1 at The Box on Wednesday night.
HOW THEY SCORED
Sacred Heart first inning - With one out, Jayson Sullivan hit a home run over the leftfield fence. SACRED HEART 1, LSU 0
LSU second inning - With one out, Kade Scivicque was hit by a pitch. Christian Ibarra walked and Stevenson singled to load the bases. Scivicque scored on a single by Kramer Robertson. Ibarra and Stevenson scored on a double by Chris Chinea. Robertson scored on Sean McMullen's sacrifice fly to the centerfielder. LSU 4, SACRED HEART 1
LSU third inning - Alex Bregman had a leadoff single. Bregman moved to third on a hit-and-run single by Conner Hale. Bregman scored on a safety squeeze bunt by Scivicque. After Ibarra fouled out to the catcher, Hale scored on a single by Stevenson. LSU 6, SACRED HEART 1
LSU eighth inning - Pinch-hitter Jake Fraley was hit by a pitch and pinch-hitter Danny Zardon walked. Both runners advanced one base on a passed ball by Jake Friar. After Tyler Moore grounded out to the first baseman, Fraley scored on a pinch-hit single by Chris Sciambra. After pinch-hitter Jared Foster grounded out to the pitcher, pinch-hitter Dakota Dean walked to load the bases. Zardon scored on a bases-loaded walk to pinch-hitter Jarret DeHart. LSU 8, SACRED HEART 1
LSU WASTED SCORING OPPORTUNITIES
Fourth inning - With two out, Bregman singled and stole second base. Hale grounded out to the third baseman.
Fifth inning - Scivicque singled and moved to second on Ibarra's sacrifice bunt. Scivicque advanced to third on Stevenson's ground out to the second baseman. Robertson grounded out to the shortstop.
Sixth inning - With two out, Mark Laird reached on a two-base error by leftfielder Kenny Byram. Bregman flied out to the rightfielder.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYER
Stevenson continued his hot hitting with two singles. He singled to load the bases with one out in the Tigers' four-run second inning. Then, Stevenson had a two-out, run-scoring single in the third. Stevenson has a hit in all ten games in which he has come to the plate this season. Stevenson, who grounded out to the second baseman in his other at-bat, is batting .400 (14-of-35) for the season.
Making his first start after three relief appearances, Brady Domangue worked three innings. He allowed one run on a one-out solo homer in the first by Sullivan. Domangue, who walked one and struck out two, gave up just two other hits - singles by Zack Short and Sullivan. Domangue pitched out of minor trouble in two innings. Due to an error by Bregman at shortstop, Sacred Heart had runners at first and second and two out in the first. Domangue retired Keaton Flint on a ground ball to Ibarra at third base. In the third, the Pioneers had a runner at second and two out when Domangue got Dan Perez to ground out to Robertson at second base. Domangue was credited with the victory even though he didn't go five innings because it was announced prior to the game that LSU would use more at least three pitchers.
Zac Person, Domangue's teammate at LSU-Eunice, was the first of four LSU relievers. Person threw two scoreless innings, but the second one was a struggle. He had a one-two-three fourth inning with two strikeouts. In the fifth, Person gave up a double by Byram and issued a walk to Ted Shaw with one out. Bregman made an outstanding play on Sullivan's grounder in the hole to get a force out at second base. Person then walked Short to load the bases. He struck out Perez to end the threat. Person started the sixth and gave up a single by Derick Horn. He was then replaced by Nate Fury, who quickly got out of the inning thanks to a double play on a ball hit back to him. Fury had a three-up, three-down seventh with one strikeout. Both Kurt McCune and Henri Faucheux threw perfect innings with two strikeouts. The four LSU relievers gave up just two hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in six innings.
Chinea was the catcher and Scivicque was the designated hitter with Hale at first base and Robertson at second base. Chinea caught the first five innings before he was replaced by Moore. . .Chinea was 1-for-16 before delivering his two-run double in the second. . .Laird went 0-for-4 and had his hitting streak end at five games. . .Bregman had two singles and extended his hitting streak to four games. He struck out for the first time this season in the first inning. . .LSU stranded nine runners, seven in scoring position. The Tigers were 5-for-15 with runners in scoring position. . .Sacred Heart starting pitcher Robbie Maguire didn't get out of the second inning. He allowed four runs and three hits. . .Robertson and Bregman combined for a heads-up defensive play in the third. With a runner on first, Sullivan topped a ball back to Domangue. His off-balanced throw to first got past Hale. Robertson backed up the play and caught the ball. He threw to Bregman, who was breaking to cover third base. Bregman caught the ball and tagged out Shaw. . .Bregman committed his fifth error of the season when he started to flip the ball to Robertson at second base before he had control. Bregman's first four errors all came on poor throws. . .LSU is 10-2, while Sacred Heart is 2-2. . .The paid attendance was 9,874. The actual crowd was 2,321 - the smallest of the season.
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
"That was a confident team which has talent. Sacred Heart took it to Tulane this past weekend and won two of three games. They could have won three. The game they lost went ten innings. They had my attention. They were going to use their No. 1 pitcher if they had a lead in the middle innings, so it was important for us not to fall behind too far. The fact that we bounced back after falling behind 1-0 was huge. Kramer Robertson had a big two-strike hit and Chris Chinea had the big hit in the inning."
"Brady Domangue is a hard-working kid. He had a lot of success in junior college (LSU-Eunice), so I am not going to give up on him. I am going to give him every opportunity to get his feet on the ground. I take the blame for what has happened with him. I pigeon-holed him as a closer as soon as he got here. He had been a starter all the time. He didn't throw last summer and then he got hurt in the fall, so he was rusty. He took the challenge head on tonight and threw the ball well. He'll get another start next Tuesday or Wednesday."
"I could relax a little bit. It's easy to throw when you have the best guys in the country behind you. I was pumped up after I got the first strikeout of my career on the first batter. Then, the next guy put a good swing on a ball I left up and he hit a home run. He should have hit that pitch. I shook it off and threw strikes. Solo homers don't beat you. Putting up two zeros back-to-back got me fired up. I was out of sync with my mechanics in my first two outings. It is good to have the best pitching coach in the country (Alan Dunn) to help you. He said that we were just going to grind it out."
"I am not trying to think too much about my hitting streak. My approach is different from last year. I am trying to hit the ball early in the count. I am trying to do what I can with the pitches I'm given."
LSU will play Northwestern State at Brown-Stroud Field in Natchitoches on Thursday at 3 p.m. The Demons (6-4) have not played since last Saturday. Jared Poche (2-0) will be the starting pitcher for the Tigers.