For sophomore Chris Sciambra, Friday night at Alex Box Stadium was a career night. After coming off of a gruesome neck injury suffered in 2012, there were some questions about how Sciambra would bounce back in 2013. He effectively put all of those concerns to rest during the LSU opener against Maryland, a game that the Tigers won 1-0. The stat line for Sciambra on the night included a 4-for-4 performance at the plate. He also scored the only run of the night on a single by freshman Alex Bregman in the third inning.
While he had a great night at the plate, Sciambra explained that his performance tonight is overshadowed by the task at hand for the Tigers in game two tomorrow.
"I had a couple of breaks go my way today in certain situations, but that's baseball," said Sciambra. "I'm going to come back tomorrow and forget about today. I can't let myself look too far ahead.
"That can put to rest any questions about last year. I'm ready to go and I look forward to helping this team get to Omaha from this point on."
Even though it is impressive enough that Sciambra collected four hits on the night, perhaps the most impressive aspect is that three of his four hits came in two-strike counts. Sciambra takes that as he is just doing his job at the plate as a leadoff hitter.
"I think that two strike counts make me try to lock in even more on the pitch," said Sciambra. "My job as a leadoff guy is to see a lot of pitches and work the pitcher into deep counts to try to see everything."
"If I get to two strikes, I'm not worried about it, but I do like to hit early in the count as well. I like to work the count and make their pitchers labor a little bit."
Being back on the field at The Box was also something special for Sciambra. Being around some of the best fans in college baseball just capped off what was seemingly a great night for the center fielder.
"It was amazing," said Sciambra. "The fans were great tonight and I was feeding off of their energy. It was just a blessing to be back out here and playing again."
Confidence certainly didn't seem to be a problem for Sciambra during the home opener. He gave a lot of the credit for his success to his teammates that he has been competing against since the fall, especially the pitching staff.
"I felt pretty confident at the plate tonight," said Sciambra. "I was seeing their pitchers pretty well. Our pitchers got us ready for this season all year. We faced the best pitchers in the country every day during the fall and spring. That helped us a lot."
After suffering the type of injury that he did, there were some questions regarding whether or not Sciambra might be a little hesitant in his first game back. However, Sciambra explained that the thought of his injury never crossed his mind and it isn't something that will affect him moving forward.
"I'm going to play as hard as I can and not hesitate at all when I'm out there," said Sciambra. "I got a lot of love from everyone telling me they were happy to see me back out there. It was really fun."
Sciambra starts 2013 with a bang
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