LSU improved to 18-10 on the season with its third straight victory. Centenary fell to 16-6 with the loss. The Tigers host Southeastern Conference rival Alabama in a three-game set this weekend. Game 1 is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Alex Box Stadium.
Ryan Verdugo (5-2) notched the win Wednesday with a solid performance. The southpaw surrendered only two hits and struck out three in 5.1 innings pitched. The Gents were unable to get a hit against the junior college transfer until the fifth inning.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in Ryan (Verdugo),” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “He’s a good pitcher. When he gets his changeup over and he can mix in a breaking ball, it just makes him that much more effective.”
The bullpen group of Jordan Nicholson, Nolan Cain, Kyle Beerbohm and Daniel Bradshaw kept the Gents off the base paths and more importantly, off the scoreboard in the late innings as the quartet allowed only three hits in 3.2 innings.
Catcher Micah Gibbs finished 2 for 2 with an RBI and a walk to lead the Tigers at the plate. Center fielder Leon Landry scored two runs and knocked in another with his fourth triple of the season.
“All of the guys who came out of the pen threw well, and we got a few hits,” Mainieri added. “It’s nice to get a shutout.”
Designated hitter Matt Clark gave LSU an early 1-0 lead in the first inning with an RBI single into right field. The Tigers added their second run in the second inning as right fielder Johnny Dishon grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Landry. Dishon was credited with an RBI on the play, and the Tigers took a two-run lead.
LSU collected two runs in the fourth to increase its lead, 4-0. Landry drove a run in with a triple off the wall in left center field, and Gibbs followed with an RBI double down the right field line.
The Tigers were aided by a pair of Centenary throwing errors in the fifth as they recorded two more runs. Sean Ochinko hit an RBI single for the second run, and the Tigers enjoyed a comfortable 6-0 lead.
Centenary’s starting pitcher Matt Clark (0-1) was charged with the loss after giving up two early runs on two hits and three walks in the first two innings.