Sprowl, Dirks nip Owls 4-1

Junior preseason All-American Clay Dirks fired a complete game five-hitter and set a career-high with 12 strikeouts Friday to give No. 15 LSU its sixth straight win, 4-1, over Temple at Alex Box Stadium.

Game 2 between the clubs is slated for noon Saturday, weather permitting. Junior right-hander Derik Olvey puts his 2-0 record on the line against sophomore righty Arshwin Asjes. The series finale is scheduled for noon Sunday.

Live audio and video of both contests is available to members of the Geaux Zone powered by USAgencies on www.LSUsports.net.

Cold and windy weather played havoc with the playing conditions for the third straight weekend series opener in Alex Box Stadium this season. Temperatures hovered around the low 50s with wind chills in the upper 40s.

Dirks (2-0) earned the sixth complete game of his career, allowing one run on an RBI double by designated hitter Nick Fasano in the fourth. The 12 strikeouts represented the most by an LSU pitcher since Bo Pettit tallied 12 versus Vanderbilt on March 15, 2002.

"When I had guys down in the count I just got the killer pitch tonight and you saw that with the strikeouts," said Dirks, who finished with 107 pitches. "When I needed a quick out, I got it with a double play or on a one-pitch groundball."

"He was in the zone with three pitches," said head coach Smoke Laval. "Even the one ball that was hit really shouldn't have been swung at. That was as good as I have seen him pitch."

Centerfielder Bruce Sprowl was 2-for-3 with a double, a triple and three RBI. Catcher Matt Liuzza extended his hitting streak to seven games with two hits.

On Tuesday, LSU used a six-run second inning to defeat Southeastern Louisiana. The second inning proved to be difference again on Friday as the Tigers pushed across four runs.

Liuzza clubbed a one-out double down the left field line, putting a pair of runners in scoring position in the second. First baseman Jordan Mayer was hit by a pitch, and third baseman Will Harris worked a walk to load the bases.

Owl starter Tim Foulkrod then issued a flair single to designated hitter J.T. Wise, which gave LSU a 1-0 lead. The right-hander looked to have minimized the damage when Bruce Sprowl lined a ball to centerfield but a stiff crosswind drove it to the wall, scoring all three runs.

Sprowl trotted into third for his sixth career triple, capping the four-run frame. It was the Tigers' SEC-leading sixth triple of the season.

"Those low line drives are tough to read," said Sprowl. "With the wind like it was tonight, it is very hard to judge those type of balls."

Foulkrod (0-1) was tagged with the loss, allowing four runs on six hits in five innings of work.

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