Labas works 6 scoreless innings, LSU wins 10-2
LSU erupted for 10 runs in the first four innings, and sophomore right-hander AJ Labas worked six scoreless innings Sunday afternoon as the Tigers posted a series-clinching 10-2 win over Eastern Kentucky in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The rubber match victory improves LSU’s record to 5-3, while Eastern Kentucky drops to 4-2.
In Sunday’s win, LSU first baseman Cade Beloso went 3-3 with three RBIs. Right fielder Daniel Cabrera was 2-for-4 with two runs. Catcher Alex Milazzo finished 1-for-2 with three runs scored.
Labas (1-1) earned his first win of the season in seven innings, allowing just two runs in the sixth inning. He allowed four hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
“I was just so proud of AJ today; he was working fast and throwing strikes,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said in a news release. “AJ pitched the way I know he’s capable of pitching. I don’t care who the opponent is. When you make quality pitches and you throw strikes and you change speeds, you can get anybody out, and I thought he did a great job today.”
LSU scored in the bottom of the first inning when designated hitter Saul Garza hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield that scored Milazzo.
The Tigers added a second run in the inning when Beloso hit an RBI single up the middle to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
LSU batted around in the third inning as the Tigers scored seven runs on five hits.
LSU’s runs came via a bases-loaded walk to Garza, Beloso’s two-RBI single, centerfielder Maurice Hampton Jr.’s first career RBI via a single to right field, another two runs on an error and the final run of the frame on shortstop Collier Cranford’s ground out to give the Tigers a 9-0 advantage after three innings.
LSU added a run in the fourth on a throwing error for a 10-0 lead after four innings.
“It’s a shame we lost the first game on Friday night,” Mainieri said in the release, “but I was proud of the guys to come back and play two solid games. We had some good hitting today, which is very encouraging going forward. We’ve learned a lot about our team through the first two weeks, and we’re continuing to learn and make progress.”
Eastern Kentucky plated two runs in the top of the sixth inning on a two-run double by catcher A.J. Lewis down the right field line to cut the LSU lead to 10-2.
Junior left-hander Brandon Kaminer and freshman lefty Jacob Hasty each worked one inning of relief for the Tigers. Kaminer had two strikeouts in the eighth.
Eastern Kentucky starter Jake Lewis (1-1) suffered the loss, as he pitched 2.1 innings and allowed eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
Eastern Kentucky 3
Sophomore right-hander Landon Marceaux fired eight scoreless innings Saturday as No. 11 LSU defeated Eastern Kentucky, 6-3, at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Marceaux (1-0) allowed just four hits as he worked a career-high eight innings to earn the win. He accumulated six strikeouts while walking none.
Marceaux fired 80 pitches, 63 for strikes.
“Landon’s performance was sorely needed by our team,” Mainieri said in a news release. “He set the tone beginning with the first batter of the game, and he did a phenomenal job. He didn’t let anything bother him, and he pitched great. We were hoping to get six innings out of him today, and we ended up getting eight because his pitch count was so under control. He was a machine out there. He competed so hard.”
Devin Fontenot earned his second save of the season as he entered the game in the ninth inning to record the final three outs. Fontenot recorded two strikeouts while throwing 16 pitches.
Reliever Aaron George started the ninth for LSU and surrendered three runs on two hits.
Eastern Kentucky’s Jacob Ferris (0-1) suffered the loss, as he pitched 7.2 innings, allowing four runs on five hits with seven strikeouts.
The Tigers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Cabrera launched a two-run shot to right field, his first home run of the season.
LSU added four runs in the bottom of the eighth to extend its lead to 6-0.
Milazzo walked with the bases loaded to score Mathis from third for the first run of the frame.
Beloso followed with a bases-clearing double down the right field line that scored second baseman Gavin Dugas, Cabrera and Milazzo.
Eastern Kentucky responded with three runs in the ninth. Designated hitter Caleb Upshaw and shortstop Logan Thomason each had run-scoring singles, while second baseman Daniel Harries grounded out to bring home the third run.
Berwick High alum and LSU freshman Mitchell Sanford made the first start of his collegiate career in left field for the Tigers.
Eastern Kentucky 2,
Five Eastern Kentucky pitchers combined to limit LSU to three hits Friday night as the Colonels posted a 2-0 win in the first game of the weekend series at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Eastern Kentucky right-hander Louis Davenport (1-0) earned the win with 2.1 innings of work. He had four strikeouts and didn’t allow any hits.
Jacob Abbott earned his second save as he struck out second baseman Cade Doughty to end the game with two runners on.
Left-hander Brennan Kelly got the start for Eastern Kentucky and fired 4.1 innings, allowing one hit and three walks with three strikeouts.
“Eastern Kentucky used a very unorthodox style of pitching,” Mainieri said in a news release. “Many of their pitches weren’t even 70 mph tonight. With the wind blowing in and as cold as it was, it was just very difficult to muster any offense. We gave up, unfortunately, seven walks and a hit batter, and they found a way to scratch across a couple of runs.”
LSU starter Cole Henry (1-1) suffered the loss as he tossed five innings, allowing two runs on three hits with three strikeouts.
Jaden Hill and Matthew Beck worked out of the bullpen for the Tigers. Hill pitched 2.2 innings and collected five strikeouts while allowing just one hit. Beck fired 1.1 shutout innings with one strikeout.
Eastern Kentucky scored its first run in the top of the third when A.J. Lewis’ two-out single scored first baseman Charles Ludwick for a 1-0 lead.
The Colonels added another run in the top of the fifth to take a 2-0 advantage as centerfielder Michael Brewer scored from second on an RBI single through the right side by right fielder Nick Howie.
The Tigers return to action Wednesday night for a midweek matchup with Louisiana Tech. First pitch at The Box is set for 6:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network+. Fans also can listen on 100.7 FM in Baton Rouge or at LSUsports.net/live.