LSU handles Sacred Heart
BATON ROUGE — No. 3 LSU (12-1) picked up base hits from eight different contributors, capitalized on five errors and exploded for a six-run second inning to beat Sacred Heart (0-5) 10-2 Wednesday at Alex Box Stadium.
LSU grabbed the lead in the bottom of the second inning after batting around the order. First baseman Mason Katz launched a double to deep right-center, scoring left fielder Raph Rhymes from first. Rhymes had led off the inning with a single up the middle. Both sluggers upped their hitting streaks to 11 games apiece in their first at-bats.
Katz moved to third on a failed pickoff attempt by Sacred Heart starter Troy Scribner (0-1).
After second baseman Jacoby Jones struck out and catcher Ty Ross walked, designated hitter Michael Barash delivered a single and his first career RBI, scoring Katz.
Third baseman Christian Ibarra dropped a single into right, plating Ross from second, who slid under the tag at home.
Right fielder Jared Foster scored Barash and moved Ibarra to third with a double just inside fair territory along the left field line. Mark Laird brought home both runners and expanded the lead to 6-0 with a single to right.
“We had a series of outstanding at-bats in the second inning that gave us the early lead,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said in a university release. “The starting pitcher was Sacred Heart’s No. 1 starter, and he was very impressive at the start of the game. After Raph led off the second with a single and Mason followed with a shot to the gap, we kept the momentum going, and it resulted in a big inning.”
Starting pitcher Nick Rumbelow (1-0) earned the win after striking out two and retiring all six batters he faced to start the game.
Scribner took the loss, allowing seven hits, eight earned runs, four walks and struck out five.
“I was very pleased with the way Nick threw the ball tonight,” Mainieri said. “He seemed very relaxed and at ease on the mound, and he’s ready to step back into a prominent role out of our bullpen.”
Sacred Heart got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth when Rocco Gondek homered to left.
LSU answered Sacred Heart’s homer with two runs in the bottom half of the fifth to up the lead to 8-1. Shortstop Alex Bregman led off with an infield single, moved to second on a ground out and advanced two bases on consecutive wild pitches. After Jones walked, Ross drove him in with a single to left.
The Tigers tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth. Laird reached on an error by the third baseman. Bregman beat out a slow roller to short, and Laird scored from second when the throw bounced past the first baseman.
Sacred Heart added a second run in the top of the eighth. Jonathan Servilla led off with a double, stole third and scored on an RBI ground out off the bat of pinch hitter Jayson Sullivan.
In the bottom of the eighth, Tyler Moore scored from second to provide the final margin after Alex Edward’s fly ball to right was mishandled.
LSU’s bullpen gave up seven hits and two runs and struck out 11 batters in seven innings of work.
The Tigers return to action this weekend when they host Washington in a three-game series, beginning Friday at 7 p.m. in Alex Box Stadium. LSU sophomore right-hander Aaron Nola will take the mound in the first game.