LSU rolls past Stetson 11-7

While Friday night's game between LSU and Stetson featured plenty of defensive highlights, Saturday was the offense's chance to shine.

With temperatures warming and winds gusting to center field, conditions were ideal for hits to get out of Alex Box Stadium.


"When you come out to the ballpark and its blowing out like it is today, your juices get going," Quinn Stewart said.


Stewart and second baseman Nick Pontiff capitalized on their active juices and were responsible for eight runs in the Tigers' 11-7 victory.


Stewart, who went 3 for 4 with six RBIs, tied the LSU single game record with three home runs.

However, the beginning of the game belonged to the Hatters.  Just as they did in the first game of the series, Stetson started the game with hot bats.


With a man on second, third baseman Chris Johnson hit what appeared to be a home run, but the ball bounced off the top of left field wall and back into play.


Stetson, however, would get that run with the next batter as first baseman Nick Palmisano delivered a deep shot to right center, scoring Johnson from second and advancing to third on a mishandled ball by Tiger outfielder Jarred Bogany.


In the second inning, Kevin Mierzwinski extended the Stetson lead on his one run home run to left center field.  Mierzwinski's home run was just the third for the Hatters this season and gave Stetson the 3-0 lead.


Showing that they are no strangers to the long ball, the Tigers opened the second inning with back to back one run home runs.  Stewart only needed one pitch from Stetson starter Corey Kluber while Jordan Mayer blasted the second pitch he saw out of the park to cut the Stetson lead to 3-2.


LSU had an opportunity to add more runs with men on second and third and one out, but a lined drive to the first baseman by Bruce Sprowl and a chopper to the third baseman by Michael Hollander ended the inning.


The Hatters answered back in the third inning.  Palmisano knocked a two run home run over the right center field wall to extend the lead to 5-2.


Stetson continued their scoring streak in the fourth inning when Bogany let a ground ball to center get under his glove, allowing the runner on second to score and give the Hatters a 6-2 lead.


Nolan Cain replaced Olvey in the fourth inning, with a man on third, but was able to end the inning without anymore damage. Olvey allowed six earned runs on six hits in his 3.2 innings of work.


Olvey said this outing was simply one of those days where nothing went right.


"My arm felt more lively today and that hurt me," Olvey said.  "I couldn't find my release point and got behind a lot of hitters early."


Despite falling behind early, the Tigers would get the bats going in the middle innings.


With men on first and second, Liuzza delivered a hit to left field, scoring Mayer from second and advancing Bogany to third.  Liuzza was thrown out at first on the play after being caught between first and second.


Pontiff then cut the Tigers' deficit to 6-5 after smashing a ball over left field recording his first home run of the season.


"Nick's a smaller guy, so anytime a smaller guy can hit one out, it's real exciting," Stewart said. "He crushed it today."


LSU held the Hatters scoreless for the first time in the fifth inning, and tied the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the inning on Stewart's second home run of the game.


Will Romanowicz replaced Kluber in the fifth.  Kluber finished the day pitching 4.1 innings and allowing six earned runs on eight hits.


The Tigers grabbed their first lead of the game as Sprowl scored from second on a two out single by third baseman J.T. Wise.


After an error by Stetson second baseman Brandon Paritz allowed Wise to go to third and Waguespack to second, Stewart recorded his third home run of the game, giving LSU the 10-6 advantage.


But Stewart was not done yet.


In the eighth inning with bases loaded, Stewart hit a pop fly to center field for his sixth RBI on the afternoon and an 11-6 LSU lead.


As Stewart made his way to the dugout, he was greeted with a standing ovation from the remaining Tiger fans.


"I just saw the ball very well today," Stewart said.


Stewart said his slumping performance in previous games can be attributed to an overly aggressive attitude.


"I tried to do a little bit too much the past couple of games and I wasn't that successful.  So I just tried to relax a little bit more today," Stewart said.


Stetson had a final opportunity to make some noise in the ninth inning.  After scoring a run, the Hatters had men on first and second, but Bocock grounded out to end the game.

Cain (2-0) earned the win while Romanowicz (0-2) was the losing pitcher.

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