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All-Around Offensive Effort Propels No. 22 LSU Baseball to 12-2 Series-Clinching Win Over UMass Lowell

Tigers go for double digit runs, hits on back-to-back nights
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LSU hit and then it hit some more as the Tigers put together a second straight phenomenal hitting display to clinch the series over UMass Lowell with a 12-2 win.

Coach Paul Mainieri said on Thursday previewing the series that he felt the confidence of the team was not where it was supposed to be and that this weekend would correct some of those issues. 

"I don't think we're the confident team that I've become accustomed to having at LSU," Mainieri said Thursday. "That's simply because they haven't experienced as much success as other teams at LSU. Until they can start to make some adjustments and have the success I believe we're capable of having, the true confidence is not going to be there."

The players seemed to get the message Friday as the Tigers went for 11 runs on 12 hits in the series opening win and followed that performance up with a 12 run, 12 hit day on Saturday to clinch the series.

Unlike Friday's game, where two or three guys stood out above the rest, Saturday's game had a much more team oriented feel as seven different players drove in runs. 

The bottom of the order continued to carry its wait, led by freshman shortstop Collier Cranford. Cranford backed up a 1-for-2 night with a pair of RBI at the plate Friday by  going 3-for-4 on Saturday with two more RBI. 

Centerfielder Giovanni DiGiacomo strung together a second straight multi-hit game with a 2-for-4 day with an RBI while junior right fielder Daniel Cabrera tacked on two more knocks with three RBI. 

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Hits come in waves sometimes in baseball so the truly encouraging stat LSU can come away with after these two games is the significant decrease in strikeouts. It's been hammered home enough times by now that the 34 strikeouts last week in the Shriners Hospital for Children's College Classic is simply inexcusable. 

However, through two games against UMass Lowell, the Tigers have struck out a total 12 times. Now the opponent is a factor that needs to be taken into account but it's pretty obvious that confidence and morale at the plate have gone through the roof since the success from this new opposite-field approach. 

On the mound, LSU received five solid innings from starter Landon Marceaux, who earned his second win of the season.

After cruising through three innings, Marceaux ran into serious trouble in the fourth when he loaded the bases with no outs in a 3-1 ball game. The sophomore was able to remain composed and dodge a big bullet by striking out two of the next three batters to allow just one run to come across.

Much like what happened with Friday starter Cole Henry on Friday, a prolonged fifth inning that saw the Tigers pour on five runs, effectively ended Marceaux's day for reliever Jaden Hill. 

In his five innings on the mound, Marceaux allowed two runs on four hits with eight strikeouts and handed a 10-2 cushion to Hill. Hill would go on to throw four scoreless innings, retiring all 12 batters he faced.

The Tigers will go for the series sweep on Sunday with AJ Labas on the mound. First pitch is expected for 2 p.m.