Tigers spoil Canevari's homecoming

Another great start from freshman Justin Meier helped LSU beat former Tiger assistant coach coach Dan Canevari and his Southeastern Lions, 4-2.<br><br>Meier (3-0) stayed ahead of the SLU hitters throughout the entire game, shutting out the Lions for five innings and allowing only three hits.

The game was the first back at Alex Box Stadium for Canevari, who took over the Southeastern program after serving as an assistant coach under Skip Bertman from 1993-2001 and in 2002 for Smoke Laval.

Meier struck out five while only walking one, helping LSU (8-6) win its second straight game. Left-hander Jason Determann took over for Meier in the sixth inning and picked up his first save of the season. In four innings of work, Determann allowed two SLU runs on three hits, striking out four and walking one.

"I tried to work ahead of the hitters in the beginning," Meier said. "At least get 0-2, 1-2, to get them to have to hit the pitch I want to throw."

Laval limited Meier's outing to five innings, making him avaiable for this weekend's series against Winthrop and possibly a starting role.

"He pitched real well," Laval said. "He threw downhill. He could of probably went seven, eight (innings). We wanted to get Determann work, give him a look. Justin did a tremendous job again. We had to sit him down earlier for ten days, so we are gradually spoon feeding him some home games here and keeping his pitch count low."

The Tigers (8-6) got on the board first in the third inning when Matt Liuzza scored on an error by Lion shortstop Chris Rusnaki.

Aaron Hill pushed the winning run across with a seeing-eye single that scored outfielder Bruce Sprowl and designated hitter Quinn Stewart, giving the Tigers a commanding 3-0 lead.

Hill, who had been struggling at the plate as of late, finished the game as the Tigers' leading hitter, going 2-for-4 with three runs driven in.

"I've been in a little bit of a funk lately," said Hill. "But that's baseball. It was good to get that little nubber with the bases loaded. It was good to get that going; it got the team going a little bit."

Hill credits extra time spent in the cages with hitting coach Turtle Thomas for his success against the Lions.

"Me and Turtle had been working and that's just baseball," Hill said. "You work yourself out of it (hitting slump). You can't get down on yourself."

Laval was happy to see one of his leading hitters get back to driving in runs.

"He's (Hill) been struggling as of late but it still didn't click for him. But because he's such a talented, gifted athlete, even when it's not right he still finds ways to drive in runs."

After being shutout for eight innings, the Lions (3-6) scratched across two runs off of Determann in the ninth.

Anthony Garibaldi and Mark Weinumunson both singled. Determann retired the next two SLU batters, but catcher Justin Casas sent a 2-1 Determann pitch up the middle to drive in two runs.

Risley St. Germain (0-1) picked up the loss for the Lions as he went only four innings, allowing four runs on five hits, striking out two while walking four.


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