Alex Box Stadium has been privy to one or two whacky endings over the years but what transpired Saturday night is up there with all of them. After blowing a 4-0 lead late in regulation, it took 13 innings of madness for the Tigers to win in walk off fashion 10-9, clinching their series against UTSA in the process.
Let's start with the craziness. The Tigers were fueled by clutch hitting in the extra innings that ultimately led to the win. Trailing 7-4 in the 10th, Cade Doughty blasted the second of his three run home runs to keep the game going. Once again, trailing 9-7 in the 12th inning and down to their final strike, Gavin Dugas crushed a two run home run of his own to extend the game.
After finally getting a clean inning of relief pitching, the table was set for freshman Jordan Thompson, who connected on his fourth home run of the season to walk it off for the Tigers.
“As long as we’re still breathing, as long as that last out isn’t made, we know we have a chance,” Thompson said.
But how did we get to that point and why was all of that clutch hitting necessary?
Landon Marceaux was fantastic once again but what became unsettling was that for the second straight night, the LSU bullpen struggled to put the game away. And this time it cost the Tigers the game.
After a clean seventh inning from Ty Floyd, four straight hits to start the eighth led to three runs as it took three different pitchers to get through the inning with LSU clinging on to the lead.
In the ninth, it was freshman Garrett Edwards who was tasked with completing the three out save. Instead, an error and a double tied the game at 4-4. It took all of Edwards' talents to not let the Roadrunners take a lead by striking out the final two batters of the inning.
The game was forced to extra innings, where a two run home run off of Trent Vietmeir silenced Alex Box Stadium. In total, LSU would burn through 10 different relief pitchers, allowing a combined seven runs on seven hits with six walks.
It was the offense's turn to respond and it had been dead for all but one inning. Cade Doughty, the Tigers had really struggled to get on base throughout the entire game.
With only six hits entering the 10th inning, the Tigers needed any kind of spark and boy did they get it. A single from pinch hitter Mitchell Sanford was followed by a Dylan Crews walk to set up Cade Doughty once again. And once again the sophomore infielder blasted a three run home run to left field that extended the game.
Since his return from a shoulder injury, Doughty has blasted four home runs to along with 10 RBI, while making a positive impact on defense since his move to third base.
“That was one of the more crazy games that we had in my tenure here at LSU,” Mainieri said. “A lot of things to be concerned about, but we’ll rehash it all later.”
As if Marceaux could have asked for a better start to the 2021 season, the junior continued to one up himself in his fourth start of the season, remaining close to perfect. Not only did Marceaux fire six more innings of scoreless baseball on just one hit, but he also struck out a career high 11 batters.
With his latest performance, Marceaux has thrown 23 straight innings of scoreless baseball to go along with 32 strikeouts which lead the team. It wasn't a perfect outing as he did struggle with his command in the first inning with two walks but was able to get out of his only jam of the evening with strikeouts.
LSU will be back at Alex Box on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. looking to complete the series sweep on the Roadrunners with AJ Labas on the mound.
Photo courtesy of LSUsports.