Tigers take two on Saturday

The 17th-ranked LSU baseball team opened the 2006 season with a two-game sweep of North Florida by scores of 11-1 and 4-0 on a blustery cold Saturday at Alex Box Stadium.

Four Tiger pitchers -- Clay Dirks, Nolan Cain, Derik Olvey and Edgar Ramirez -- combined to hold the Ospreys to one run on 12 hits in the two games.

"It was a tough day to judge," said head coach Smoke Laval. "We made some competitive pitches when we had to so I was very pleased. Today we had to fight through the elements, but that is one of the things you have to deal with this time of year."

First baseman Steven Waguespack, a junior college transfer from Delgado in New Orleans, led all hitters on the day, going 6-for-8 with a run and a RBI. Shortstop Michael Hollander drove in three runs on the day, and freshman centerfielder Jarred Bogany turned in an outstanding debut with five hits.

North Florida committed six errors in the two games that helped LSU to leads in both contests.

Junior left-hander Daniel Forrer is slated to make his debut in the series finale at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The game will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge). Live video, audio and stats are also available to members of the Geaux Zone powered by USA Agencies on www.LSUsports.net.  

Game 1: LSU 11, North Florida 1 

Junior college transfer Steven Waguespack went 4-for-5 with three runs to lead a 20-hit LSU attack as the Tigers opened up the 2006 season with an impressive 11-1 victory over North Florida in a game that was resumed from Friday night's rain delay.

Four other LSU hitters pounded out three hits apiece, including the Tigers' 1-2 batters of Bruce Sprowl and Jarred Bogany who combined to go 6-for-9 with a pair of runs.  

Bogany, a highly-touted true freshman from Houston, had three singles with a RBI and a run scored. His brilliant debut also included a diving catch Friday night that robbed Andy Warren of a double in the left field gap.

Infielders Buzzy Haydel, Jason Ogata and J.T. Wise also collected hits in their first games. 

Redshirt freshman pitcher Nolan Cain (1-0) qualified for the win in his debut. Cain, who took the mound to start play on Saturday, limited the Ospreys to a run on five hits while striking out five. 

Cain spelled starter Clay Dirks who cruised through his first outing before heavy rains hit the Baton Rouge area on Friday night.

Dirks fired 60 pitches, issued two hits and struck out six in four innings. Before he was able to take to the mound again, play was suspended at 7:46 p.m. with LSU holding a commanding 7-0 lead in the fourth with runners on first and third.

The Tigers broke open a scoreless tie Friday with a seven-run fourth. Right fielder Quinn Stewart, who tied his career-high in hits with three, started the barrage with a RBI single scoring third baseman Will Harris.

Two defensive miscues by the Ospreys, including a throwing error by starting pitcher Jacob Dixon (0-1) brought home Michael Hollander.

With the Tigers leading 4-0, Bogany drove in a run on his third single of the game followed by a bases clearing two-run double from Wise. 

Dixon was lifted just before the rains came after surrendering six runs on 11 hits in 3.1 innings of work.

LSU wasted little time in getting on the board when play resumed on Saturday. Ogata's opposite field RBI double in the fifth brought home Waguespack to make it an 8-0 advantage.

The Tigers pushed across three more runs in the seventh off of relievers John Raiford and J.R. Dunaway. Waguespack collected his second double of the game scoring Stewart. Hollander added an RBI single and Nick Pontiff drove home the final run with a sacrifice fly.

Cain's only blemish came in the top half of the seventh when he surrendered a double to leadoff hitter Brennan Grogan and a RBI single to Jon Dandridge.

Senior right-hander Chase Dardar faced the minimum in the ninth to preserve the 11-1 win for Cain. 

Game 2: LSU 4, North Florida 0

Junior Derik Olvey tossed eight-plus shutout innings in his LSU debut as the Tigers used a three-run eighth to secure a 4-0 win over North Florida in Game 2 of the series.  

Olvey (1-0), a transfer from Notre Dame, was flawless despite the cold conditions on Saturday. The right-hander surrendered just four hits and struck out five in 8.1 innings of work.

"I felt great," said Olvey. "It is kind of hard to feel bad in front of all these people. It is a great atmosphere and I love it out there. You just have to pitch ahead and relax." 

Olvey only allowed a runner to reach third one time, and he faced the minimum three times, including pivotal spots in the seventh and eighth with the Tigers clinging to a lead.

His counterpart, Brad Johnson was equally effective, shutting down an LSU team that produced 20 hits in Game 1. Johnson (0-1) suffered the loss, despite holding the Tigers to three hits and one run in a six-inning start.

Catcher Matt Liuzza was 2-for-3 with a run and a RBI single that scored Kade Keowen as part of the three-run seventh.

Centerfielder Jarred Bogany and first baseman Steven Waguespack collected two hits apiece to add to their tally from Game 1.

Neither starting pitcher would give in as both teams were held at bay through the early innings while temperatures hovered in the upper 40s.

Johnson fought through trouble in the fifth and sixth as LSU stranded runners at third in both frames. 

In the sixth, Bogany laced a single into right field, took second on J.T. Wise's bunt and swiped third with ease. But LSU's four and five-hole hitters were unable to drive home the freshman. Will Harris popped out to second base and Quinn Stewart harmlessly flied out to first base.

Defensive blunders finally caught up with the Ospreys in the seventh. Liuzza chased Johnson from the game on a leadoff single.

Waguespack continued his hot-hitting sending a single through the left side off reliever Jeremy Papelbon. Liuzza was held at third but left fielder Brett Maloley's throw sailed past the cutoff man enabling Liuzza to scamper in on the error.

Bogany sparked the Tigers to one of its three insurance runs in the eighth with a leadoff double into the left field corner. Wise and Hollander then produced RBI with a double and a walk, respectively off relievers Josh and Jeremy Papelbon.

The four-run lead was more than enough for Olvey who took to the mound in the ninth looking for a complete game in his debut. After serving up a leadoff double to Brennan Grogan, Matt Oxendine sent a deep fly ball to left before it was caught by Bruce Sprowl.


Edgar Ramirez closed out the final two outs, striking out two of the four batters he faced to preserve the shutout.

LSU 11, North Florida 1 (Feb 10, 2006 at Baton Rouge, La.)


North Florida....... 000 000 100  -  1  8  3      (1-2)

LSU................. 000 710 30X  - 11 20  0      (1-0)


Pitchers: North Florida - DIXON; INCINELLI(4); PAPELBON, Jo(4); RAIFORD(5); DUNAWAY(7);

FRANZESE(7). LSU - Dirks; Cain(5); Dardar(9).

Win-Cain(1-0)  Loss-DIXON(1-1)  T-2:39  A-7123


LSU 4, North Florida 0 (Feb 11, 2006 at Baton Rouge, La.)


North Florida....... 000 000 000  -  0  4  3      (1-3)

LSU................. 000 000 13X  -  4  7  2      (2-0)


Pitchers: North Florida - JOHNSON; PAPELBON, Je(7); PAPELBON, Jo(8). LSU - Olvey; Ramirez(9).

Win-Olvey(1-0)  Loss-JOHNSON(0-1)  T-2:22  A-7150

JOHNSON faced 1 batter in the 7th.

PAPELBON, Je faced 2 batters in the 8th.

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