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No. 22 LSU Offense Finds a Pulse in 6-3 Midweek Win Over Southeastern

Tigers record nine hits, just five strikeouts in win over Lions

After going 12 straight innings without recording a single run, it was a breath of fresh air to see LSU ride a hot start at the plate in Tuesday's midweek outing against Southeastern to pull out a 6-3 win over the Lions. 

One of the areas LSU addressed with its batters during Monday's practice was hitting towards the opposite side of the field in an attempt to get more balls in play. The Tigers backed up what they practiced early as the Tigers strung together six hits in the first three innings of play.


That Monday practice is something coach Paul Mainieri hardly ever does after a weekend series, in fact right fielder Daniel Cabrera said it’s the first time he could recall having a Monday practice in three years.

“I thought it kind of helped us out a lot. We practiced it all day yesterday in the cages and today during batting practice,” Cabrera said. “Literally looking for everything middle away because it helps your approach out when it comes to two strikes. You won’t go chasing after breaking balls, won’t spin off of certain things so I think we did a lot better today.”

Striking out had also become a glaring issue with this team, reaching its peak this weekend, when LSU batters struck out a total of 34 times. The Tigers were much more disciplined at the plate, striking out just five times as LSU put up runs in each of the first three innings to jump out to a 5-1 lead.

“I was hoping we wouldn’t strike out at all,” Mainieri said. “We’ll keep working at it, it’s hard to hit a baseball and Southeastern threw some pretty good arms tonight. It’s a work in progress, we’ve got a lot of young guys playing and a lot of guys that haven’t had a lot of success so we’ve got to just keep working at it.”

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Tuesday was also a time for many guys to break out of recent slumps. Catcher Saul Garza, first baseman Cade Beloso and shortstop Collier Cranford all picked up hits in the win. Right fielder Daniel Cabrera and second baseman Cade Doughty each recorded two hits on the night with the freshman blasting his second homerun over the left field bleachers in the third. 

It was perhaps Doughty's best game of his young career as he's gone 5-of-13 at the plate over his last four outings.

“It just feels good to help my team out in any way,” Doughty said. “I feel good out there, I’ve been barreling up a bunch of balls which is all I try to do. I can’t control where it goes but as long as I’m putting it in play, that’ll work itself out.”

 

Much like most midweek pitching outings, the starting pitcher is just the first of many used. On Tuesday, left handed pitcher Brandon Kaminer cruised through two innings before finding trouble in the third.

Kaminer allowed one run to come across in the inning but was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam by striking out the final batter of the inning. LSU dipped into the bullpen after the third inning, using six arms with a lead firmly in hand.

Southeastern wouldn't go quietly as the Lions put up runs in the sixth and seventh innings against Trent Vietmeier and Chase Costello to cut a 6-1 LSU lead to 6-3. Mainieri ultimately elected to go with veteran Devin Fontenot for the final two innings and despite needing 46 pitches to get the final six outs, Fontenot was able to do his job.

The Tigers are back in action on Wednesday with a 6:30 p.m. date with Grambling.