LSU Tigers defeat Grambling
BATON ROUGE — Ten LSU pitchers combined to hold Grambling to three hits Wednesday night as No. 2 LSU extended the program’s midweek win streak to 31 games with a 4-0 shutout at Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers improved to 35-3, which marks the best 38-game record in program history. Grambling drops to 14-22 after the loss.
The win improved LSU’s win streak over in-state foes to 24 games. LSU’s last loss to an in-state opponent occurred on April 12, 2011, when the Tigers dropped a 5-2 decision to Northwestern State.
LSU will face Alabama in Tuscaloosa in a three-game series that begins on Friday. The first pitch will be at 6:30 p.m., and the game can be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.
“Quite frankly, we weren’t prepared for the kind of arm Grambling’s starting pitcher had, and our players had a difficult time making adjustments,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said in a university news release. “He threw his fastball at 88-91 miles per hour, and he featured a very good breaking ball and change-up. Fortunately, we took advantage of an error and (LSU third baseman Christian) Ibarra got a big swing on one pitch to extend our lead. I thought we played excellent defense, and we were able to give a lot of our pitchers some work as we look forward to facing Alabama.”
Ibarra broke the game open with a two-run home run to left field off of Grambling starter Cory Jordan (1-3). Jordan was effective through six innings and limited LSU to four runs, two earned runs, on three hits.
Left-hander Brent Bonvillain started the game for the Tigers, struck out one batter and forced Grambling to ground into a double play to end the second.
Right-hander Kurt McCune, 2-0, took the hill in the top of the third and was credited with the win after pitching two innings and allowing no runs on two hits.
LSU grabbed the lead in the bottom of the third inning. A two-out single by right fielder Mark Laird and a walk to short stop Alex Bregman put two runners on with two outs. Leftfielder Raph Rhymes’s pop up was dropped by the rightfielder Kris Minter, and both runners scored on the error.
Will LaMarche struck out the two batters he faced in the top of the fifth inning. Pitchers Hunter Newman, Hunter Devall, Nate Fury, Nick Rumbelow, Joey Bourgeois and Chris Cotton combined to strike out two and did not allow a base hit after the fifth.