Tigers Sweep Gents

LSU got the season off to a good start with a sweep of Centenary.

Home runs by first baseman Blake Dean and catcher Micah Gibbs, along with a brilliant LSU debut by starting pitcher Joey Bourgeois led the second-ranked Tigers to a 4-0 shutout of Centenary Sunday afternoon in Alex Box Stadium.


With the series sweep, the Tigers (3-0) captured their 11th-straight season-opening series victory dating back to 2000. Centenary dropped to 0-3 with the loss.


Bourgeois (1-0), a sophomore transfer from LSU-Eunice had a terrific debut, throwing six innings and allowing no runs on four hits while walking none and striking out seven.


“I said last night that today would be like an audition for Joey Bourgeois,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said. “And if he pitches the way he did today all season, we’re going to be pretty good.”


The Tiger bats produced 10 hits after a 23-hit showcase Saturday night. The LSU offense came to life in the later innings, led by Gibbs and designated hitter Matt Gaudet, who each had two hits.


Gaudet swung the hottest bat of any Tiger this opening weekend, as the senior hit .600 (6-for-10) in three games with two homers and six RBI.


The LSU bullpen was also key in the Sunday shutout, as freshman left-hander Jordan Rittiner made his Tiger debut, throwing two innings and allowing no runs on two hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Senior right-hander Paul Bertuccini came on in the ninth and retired the side in order with the help of two strikeouts.


The first three innings of the contest featured a pitching duel between Centenary starter David Benson and Bourgeois, who fanned six Centenary batters and surrendered only two hits in his first three innings of work.


In the bottom of the fourth, LSU first baseman Blake Dean launched his first homer of the season, a solo shot to right off Benson that put LSU ahead 1-0. Dean finished the weekend going 5-for-12 with a homer and eight RBI.


The Tigers extended their lead in the seventh when Gaudet singled home Mikie Mahtook to make the score 2-0 in favor of LSU.


In the eighth inning, LSU went ahead 4-0 after a two-run blast to straight-away center field by Gibbs.


The loss was charged to Benson (0-1), as the right-hander pitched five innings, allowing one run on six hits while walking one and striking out two.


The Tigers will be back in action Wednesday when they face in-state foe McNeese State at 4 p.m. in Alex Box Stadium.

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