|Jared Foster: Follows game-winning hit against Arkansas with a 3-hit night against Louisiana College|
In a game that popped up on the schedule because of a rare rainout at Alex Box Stadium, the 7th-ranked Tigers squared off with Division III Louisiana College Tuesday night in a game that was more about show-and-tell than competitive juices.
Those three were part of Tigers’ lineup featuring primarily reserves as Coach Paul Mainieri used the mid-week game in a truncated schedule to rest the LSU regulars and put several backup position players through an audition of sorts.
Foster was the only player who started Tuesday who is currently in the starting nine. Moore will move into the lineup this weekend as the designated hitter – which was determined prior to his solid offensive night.
“We accomplished what we set out to do,” Mainieri said. “We gave a lot of different guys the opportunity to play and we were able to see some different pitchers. I thought we had solid efforts from most of the players, and it gave our regulars a chance to rest in preparation for the series in Gainesville.”
That series is an SEC junket to face No. 1-ranked Florida (24-5), starting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in a game slated to be televised on ESPNU.
Tuesday’s game was a makeup of a March 12 game against Notre Dame that was washed out by rain.
Wedged between a taut three-game grind against former No. 3 Arkansas last week and the trip to Gainesville, the Louisiana College game served as a chance for the LSU regulars to catch their breath.
After a sluggish first few innings, it was hard to detect the difference with the Tiger backups on the field.
The only run LSU (23-6) managed in the first two innings came on third baseman Evan Powell’s sacrifice fly after shortstop Casey Yocom slapped a one-out single and got to third base on a pair of wild pitches.
|Tyler Moore: Tunes up for his new role as the startign DH with 3 hits, 3 RBIs|
The floodgates finally opened in the third when the Tigers rattled LC reliever Greg Uzee with five consecutive singles, started by left fielder Arby Fields. Foster followed with a nice and right fielder Alex Edward – who could see time as a right-handed DH at Florida – rammed an RBI base hit to right field to put the Tigers ahead for good, 2-1.
DH Jackson Slaid beat out an infield single that Uzee picked up and threw wildly past first base to allow Foster to score. Moore, who started first base, produced the first of his two run-scoring hits and Slaid scored when Snikeris lined the sixth hit of the inning into right-center field to extend the lead to 5-1.
“The older guys have been helping us out by telling us about the mentality we need to have whenever we get out there,” said Moore, who chased home two runs with a two-out single in a four-run fifth inning. He added a leadoff double in the eighth inning.
“It’s definitely exciting to get out there and get a chance to hit three or four times. I always try to come out with the right attitude and that’s what I did (Tuesday).”
|Jordy Snikeris: Career-high 3 hits and a pair of RBIs in his second start.|
With Moore stepping as the DH starting Thursday, his night was a highlight. So was Foster’s productive performance on the heels of him driving in the game-winning run Sunday in a 3-2 11-inning win over Arkansas.
Foster raised his average to .220 with his first multi-hit game since Feb. 28.
“I’m just trying to get better every day I’m out there,” Foster said. “(Tuesday) was good because everybody got a chance to get out there and a lot of guys were looking forward to this chance.”
Including Snikeris, the senior backup catcher whose role has faded this season as sophomore Ty Ross has emerged as a consistent offensive threat and one of the better defensive backstops in the SEC.
Tuesday was the first time Snikeris had gotten more than a single at-bat in a game since he filled the DH role against Feb. 17 in the season opener. He was only 2-for-10 before Tuesday, when two of his singles chased in runs to give him 5 RBIs this season.
Snikeris was also instrumental in handling the revolving door on the mound.
|Brent Bonvillain: Two innings out of the bullpen to earn his first LSU win|
Freshman Cody Glenn started and surrendered a run in two innings. Junior southpaw Brent Bonvillain notched the next two innings and also allowed a run. After that, the Wildcats (10-15) managed only one more hit and didn’t get a runner beyond second base against Carson Baranik, Kevin Berry, Michael Reed, Aaron Johnson and Joe Broussard.
Of that group, Berry and Broussard are two who will likely be counted on against Florida. Both allowed a base runner, but there was no damage. Moore picked Broussard up when he snared a sharp grounder off William Cox’s bat and deftly turned a 3-6-3 game-ending double play.
With a sixth consecutive win wrapped up, LSU can look forward to the Gators, who tumbled to North Florida and former Tigers coach Smoke Laval, 10-5 on Tuesday.
“It’s Florida and they’re No. 1,” Foster said. “We’re looking forward to going over there and giving them some trouble.”