On a night when the wind was blowing out at Alex Box Stadium, LSU took full advantage against Washington. The Tigers defeated the Huskies by a score of 8-4 in game two of a three-game set, their second victory in a row against the PAC-12 program.
LSU faced off against the PAC-12 leader in strikeouts, Austin Voth, and the lineup had a very efficient night at the plate. LSU only collected seven hits on Saturday, but they all came at crucial points in the game with runners in scoring position. Mason Katz and his two homeruns and five RBI led LSU at the plate on Saturday. Against a pitcher of the caliber of Voth, coach Paul Mainieri couldn't be happier with the results that he saw from his lineup.
"I was really proud of the approach we took against Austin Voth tonight," said Mainieri. "He's a really good pitcher with a great arm. All you have to do is look at his numbers to see how effective he is. He is leading the PAC-12 in strikeouts. The guy is legit, but our guys took that challenge to heart."
"I though they really went up there to compete and it was obvious as Voth had thrown 83 pitches through three innings. By the time that fourth inning rolled around, he was out of gas."
While Katz was responsible for five of the runs scored by the Tigers, Mainieri explained that the entire lineup contributed tonight. He was also a bit surprised by the low hit numbers.
"Obviously the homeruns by Katz were huge, but we had some other big hits," said Mainieri. "I told the team that even though we only had seven hits tonight, it seemed like we had fifteen hits because we hit so many balls hard."
LSU used Chris Chinea in a pinch-hit opportunity on Saturday and it paid dividends, as did the call to bring in Joey Bourgeois in the late innings to shut the Huskies down.
"We let down a little bit in the middle innings, but Chinea came through with a big hit for us," said Mainieri. "Joey Bourgeois also came through big for us out of the bullpen tonight."
Junior Ryan Eades got the start for the Tigers and did not disappoint. Eades was very effective in his first three innings, only allowing one base runner through the first three frames. However, the fourth inning wasn't as kind to Eades.
Washington was able to collect four hits in the inning and LSU was responsible for two errors that allowed four runs to score and pull the game within one run. Regardless, Mainieri explained that Eades showed a lot of focus and determination in his start on Saturday.
"I was really proud of Ryan Eades tonight, especially the way he bounced back after that rough inning that he had in the fourth," said Mainieri. "That takes a lot of fortitude and it was a solid outing on his part. He wanted to stay in the game and I love that, but he was up around 100 pitches."
Eades finished his outing by throwing 6.2 innings and allowing six hits and four earned runs with six strikeouts.
Coming into the game, Mainieri and pitching coach Alan Dunn had one goal in mind. They wanted to give some new faces an opportunity to prove themselves coming out of the bullpen, outside of the regular relief pitchers. Mainieri explained that the relievers responded well to a challenge that he placed before them following Friday's game.
"I told they guys that we have to be able to count on more than three guys out of the bullpen," said Mainieri. "We discussed it and we wanted to see if we could count on some other guys. LaMarche responded well tonight."
Following the victory, LSU will not play Washington again on Sunday at 1 p.m., a game that sophomore Cody Glenn will start for the Tigers.
LSU defeats Washington 8-4
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