Tigers knock off Demons 6-2

LSU baseball returned to Alex Box Wednesday for their first mid-week contest of the season against inter-state rival Northwestern State, defeating the Demons 6-2.

Head coach Paul Mainieri defeated the Demons from Natchitoches in his first meeting with the team in his 25th season as skipper, while Northwestern State head coach Mitch Gaspard is winless in eight attempts against the Tigers.


LSU entered Wednesday's game after dropping two of three games last weekend at Stetson where they started a school-record four true freshmen in Friday's matchup. Against the Demon's, three true freshmen took the field in Jared Mitchell, Blake Dean and Sean Ochinko.


The Demons came out swinging against the Tigers by supplying base runners throughout the first three innings. Louis Coleman allowed two singles in the top of the first inning, including a double in the second and two singles in the third with a hit batter. He would later however settle down in the third, shutting down batters through the sixth.


"It was good to be out there competing after a bad outing [at Stetson]," Coleman said. "I was ready to get back out there and get things going again. I was excited and the coaches wanted to see what I would do."


The Demons were on the bases early and often, but LSU managed to crack the scoreboard first. Mitchell reached base on a routine single, and then stole second base on a Dean strike out. Mitchell advanced to third on a passed ball, and scored the first run of the night on an Ochinko single through the left side.


"We had a lot of hits tonight, but speed creates a lot of things," Mainieri said. "It puts a lot of pressure on them."


J.T. Wise started off the second inning with a high fly ball to right-center that fell out of the reach of both outfielders, allowing the sophomore to reach third with no outs. Steven Waguespack later doubled popped up to center, causing the center fielder, shortstop and second-baseman to watch the ball fall between them. The error sent Wise home for the score and Waguespack safe at second.


Waguespack eventually scored the final run of the inning when he was hit in on fielder's choice by Buzz Haydel.


The Tigers didn't score in the third, but Northwestern State did. The Demons scored as Bran Richey singled followed by two pitching errors by Coleman to advance Richey to third. Richey eventually scored on a fielder's choice to first for the second out of the inning.


LSU scored again in the fourth, started by a Michael Hollander double to left-center. Hollander then advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a wild pitch moments later, advancing the Tigers lead, 4-1.


"I kind of slacked off into the later innings and I need to learn to play nine full innings," Mitchell said. "I'm happy I'm finding soft spots in the infield. When I hit the ball hard is when I hit the ball at people. Hopefully I start finding holes with the hard hits."


In the sixth, Wise starting things off with a left-field single followed by a left-field double by Robert Lara. Waguespack then singled to left-field, scoring Lara and Wise from second and third.


The final run of the night came in the eighth when Mike Jaworski slammed a home run over the left-field wall off Ryan Byrd to make the final score, 6-2.


Waguespack, Mitchell and Hollander each recorded two hits on the night with Waguespack finishing with three RBIs. Coleman allowed one run on five hits in 6.1 innings of play.


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