Katz played two innings in each outfield position and was tested quickly after switching to center.
With the game tied 3-3 in the 11th inning, Kevin Krause lifted a ball to shallow right-center field, allowing Travis Jankowski to tag from third. Katz’ throw came in a few feet right of the plate and Jankowski scored the go-ahead run.
“That kid can fly, that’s one of the many reasons he was a high draft pick,” Kata said of Jankowski, who was picked 44th overall by the San Diego Padres in the MLB Draft. “I knew he was going to go 100%, so I tried to get behind it…I threw that ball just about as good as I could have.”
Though the game remains tied heading into Saturday, LSU may feel lucky to even be within shouting distance.
Stony Brook stranded 14 runners on base, 10 of those in scoring position. The Seawolves went 2-for-14 at the plate with runners in scoring position.
“We needed just a little bit more timely hitting,” Stony Brook coach Matt Senk said. “We could have opened the game up for ourselves. If the game is going to be that tight, the mistakes in the field show up even that much more.”
LSU failed to capitalize on its own opportunities, grounding into two double plays and suffering a third in a strike-out, throw-out situation.
Though Senk pushed his ace Tyler Johnson back a day in the rotation, Stony Brook starting pitcher Brandon McNitt turned in a top-of-the rotation performance Friday.
McNitt allowed just one unearned run on three hits in seven innings of work. The soft-throwing righty struck out three batters and walked two, throwing 93 pitches before being pulled after surrendering a leadoff single to Alex Edward in the eighth inning.
“Brandon did an outstanding job against a terrific club. Unfortunately, we made a mistake behind him that, to their credit, LSU capitalized on. They got a run back and then I felt it was time for us to put a change in there.”
Around the horn
Despite the Friday morning start time, LSU fans still came out in droves to support the Tigers. The game had an actual attendance of 9,222 … After four teams combined to hit only one home run in the Baton Rouge regional, LSU and Stony Brook launched five dingers Friday, four coming in the ninth inning or later … In a matchup between two teams ranked in the top-10 in fielding percentage, LSU and Stony Brook combined for four errors, two committed by Seawolves shortstop Cole Peragine.