On a perfect baseball evening, LSU threw a number of its young arms and found enough hitting to scrape together a 5-0 win over ULM. It was a goal of Paul Mainieri's to use as many young arms as he could as the Tigers look to shake up the bullpen for this weekend's trip to Oxford.
For the most part, the young pitchers did well as Will Hellmers drew the start on the mound after going over two weeks without throwing in a live action game. Hellmers, who has been very solid in his starts during midweek performances, hasn't had that same level of success in SEC games to this point.
But the freshman came out firing on all cylinders Tuesday against ULM, throwing three scoreless innings with 24 of his 29 pitches finding the strike zone. It was a game on the mound defined by freshman pitchers as that was the route that Mainieri alluded to when meeting with the media.
Javen Coleman threw a scoreless fourth inning and Zachary Murray made his LSU debut after missing the first half of the season with a shoulder injury. Murray faced just three batters but allowed two to reach in his debut, leaving a hairy situation for Alex Brady to clean up.
But with runners on first and second, the JUCO transfer sophomore was able to record the final two outs in what was still a tight contest at the time.
The offense to that point had been rather flat. The Tigers had been able to scrape together one run innings in the third, fourth and fifth innings to grab a 3-0 lead through solid situational hitting. Alex Milazzo drove in a run in the third and Cade Doughty laid a nice single into right field in the fourth that scored another run.
But the real opportunity to break the game open came in the sixth when Jordan Thompson, Giovanni DiGiacomo and Drew Bianco all reached to load the bases. LSU was able to bring in two runs on a double play ball that was misthrown to stretch the leadto 5-0.
While the game was never really in doubt, the Tigers did run into trouble in the seventh inning when two runners were able to reach base on Theo Millas. But like he's shown the last two weeks, Jordan Thompson is growing by leaps and bounds. The shortstop had line drive rifled right at him and was able to turn a double play to get LSU out of a jam.
LSU has proven it can dominate the midweek games but with Ole Miss on the docket this weekend, the Tigers will be fighting for their SEC lives.
Photo courtesy of LSUsports.