A day after allowing 22 runs, the LSU pitchers, headlined by Landon Marceaux, found their footing as the Tigers evened up their series with Oral Roberts with a 12-0 win.
The junior Marceaux was exquisite for a third straight weekend, firing six innings of scoreless baseball to go along with seven strikeouts and six allowed hits. With another solid performance, Marceaux has now opened the season with 17 straight innings without allowing a run to score to go along with 21 strikeouts and not a single batter walked.
Marceaux's highlight of the day was a pivotal strikeout in the fourth with two outs and runners on second and third. After an error from second baseman Zach Arnold in a tightly contested 1-0 ball game, Marceaux was in need of a big pitch and delivered with a tremendous breaking ball.
"It's all about getting your team deep into a game and a chance to win. That's really all I look at," Marceaux said. "It's been pretty consistent. I knew it was going to be very important to come out and have a strong start, we used a lot of the pen last night. It was very important for me to get quick innings and put our team in a good position to win.
Mainieri said that when he was driving home Friday after the demoralizing 22-7 loss to Oral Roberts, he called Marceaux and told him how important a solid outing would be for the team. It was a game Marceaux obviously responded well too.
"I'm not at all surprised about what Landon's doing," Mainieri said. "He was our best pitcher in the fall and really stood out. I thought very strongly about him going Friday night's. To know we have somebody who can pitch like Landon in the middle game is a real asset for our team."
The strikeout was a momentum changer for the Tigers who were struggling to get much of anything going on offense. It took five innings but the offense was finally able to get at Oral Roberts starter Isaac Coffey.
It started at the bottom of the order with Alex Milazzo and carried over to the three star freshmen of Dylan Crews, Tre' Morgan and Brody Drost, who all had productive at bats to not only load the bases but score runs as well.
In total, the Tigers plated seven runs in the fifth on five hits hits to pull away from the Golden Eagles. LSU would bat around the order in the inning as eight of the nine starters would pick up at least one hit in the win.
The middle of the lineup that included Cade Beloso, Gavin Dugas and Zach Arnold all picked up two hits or more with Beloso and Dugas combining for five RBI alone. LSU would tack on three more runs in the sixth and one more to really put an exclamation point on the win.
With the series now tied up, it'll be up to AJ Labas to bring home the win for the purple and gold on Sunday afternoon with first pitch at 2 p.m.
Photo courtesy of LSUsports.