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Tigers finish weekend sweep of UMass Lowell, 6-4

Designated hitter Gavin Dugas launched a pair of two-run homers to help the No. 20 Tigers finish off the weekend sweep with a 6-4 win over UMass Lowell Sunday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Dugas went 2-for-4 offensively with two homers and four RBIs to help the Tigers (11-5) seal the win. Dugas’ two home runs are a single-game personal best and four RBIs is also an LSU career high for him.
With the scored tied at 4, one runner on and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Dugas launched a pitch from UML closer Josh Becker over the left-field wall to provide the game-winning runs.
“UMass Lowell deserves a lot of credit,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said in a news release. “They played hard all weekend and really challenged us today. We found a way to win, and that’s what is most important.
“The story of the game, of course, is Gavin Dugas,” Mainieri added. “Here’s a young man who has had a rough start to the season, but his batting practices have been good all week, and for him to step in today and hit those two big home runs, I couldn’t be happier for that young man. Gavin is such a wonderful person who works so hard and loves the game.”
LSU junior right-hander Devin Fontenot (1-0) earned a relief win as he pitched two perfect innings with four strikeouts.
Sophomore right-hander AJ Labas started for LSU and fired six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with three strikeouts.
“Devin was phenomenal for us, and I thought AJ really battled today, especially on a hitters’ day that’s warm with the wind blowing out,” Mainieri said in the release. “He’s not going to be afraid, and he’s going to throw the ball over the plate. He gave up two runs in the fifth, which gave them the lead, but he came right back in the sixth to retire the side in order.
Becker (0-2) suffered the loss. In one inning, he surrendered three runs on three hits.
UMass Lowell (4-9) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning as first baseman Joey Castellanos launched a solo shot over the left field wall.
LSU responded in the bottom of the second inning with a three-spot to take a 3-1 lead. Freshman left fielder Mitchell Sanford, a Berwick alum, drew a walk to start the inning, and Dugas followed with a two-run shot that cleared the left field wall. Centerfielder Giovanni DiGiacomo followed the home run with a triple down the first base line. Catcher Alex Milazzo then grounded out and scored DiGiacomo from third.
The River Hawks scored one run in the fourth and two runs in the fifth to reclaim a 4-3 lead. Designated hitter Ciaran Devenney hit a one-out home run to left in the fourth.
Two River Hawk runs were plated in the fifth as shortstop Keagan Calero and right fielder Vinnie Martin reached on back-to-back two-out singles. Castellanos followed with another single through the right side that scored Calero from second and moved Martin to second. Centerfielder Gerry Siracusa then singled through the left side to score Martin and give UMass Lowell a 4-3 lead.
The Tigers answered with three runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 6-4 lead. Third baseman Zack Mathis and Cabrera drew back-to-back walks to start the eighth. Both advanced a base as first baseman Cade Beloso grounded out. Sanford then grounded out, allowing Mathis to score from third to tie the game.
With Cabrera at third, Dugas came to the plate and launched a two-run homer into the left field bleachers. Dugas’ second home run put the Tigers in front for good, 6-4.
Sanford recorded an RBI and scored a run.
LSU 12, UMass Lowell 2
No. 20 LSU erupted for 12 runs on 12 hits Saturday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field to take a series-clinching 12-2 win over UMass Lowell.
Shortstop Collier Cranford led the Tigers’ offense as he went 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs. Centerfielder Giovanni DiGiacomo was 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs. Rightfielder Daniel Cabrera was 2-for-3 with a run, three RBIs and two walks.
Sophomore right-hander Landon Marceaux (2-0) earned the win as he fired five innings. Marceaux allowed two earned runs on four hits. He struck out eight batters.
Sophomore right-hander Jaden Hill came out of the bullpen and worked four perfect innings, including three strikeouts, to earn his second save of the season.
Collin Duffley (1-3) suffered the loss. Duffley got the start and tossed two innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits.
The Tigers used a two-out rally in the bottom of a first inning to score the first run of the game. Cabrera and first baseman Cade Beloso reached on back-to-back walks. Designated hitter Mitchell Sanford then lined a single up the middle that brought Cabrera home to give LSU a 1-0 lead.
DiGiacomo hit a leadoff single in the second and moved to second base on a ground out by leftfielder Drew Bianco. DiGiacomo stole third and scored on a single to right by Cranford. Cranford moved to second after third baseman Zack Mathis grounded out. With Cranford at second, Cabrera lined a two-out RBI single to right that brought Cranford home and extended the LSU advantage to 3-0.
UMass Lowell tacked on runs in the third and fourth innings to cut the LSU lead. Right fielder Vinnie Martin lined a two-out double down the first base line in the third inning that scored shortstop Keagan Calero after he reached on a two-out single.
UML centerfielder Gerry Siracusa scored in the fourth for the River Hawks on a sac fly to right by second baseman Jonny Gilbride. Siracusa hit a leadoff double to start the fourth and moved to third on a wild pitch before scoring to reduce the LSU lead to 3-2.
The Tigers responded in the bottom of the fourth with two runs. Cranford reached on a one-out base hit, and Doughty was hit by a pitch. Cranford moved to third and Doughty moved to second on a wild pitch before Cabrera hit a two-out single to right that plated Cranford and Doughty, extending the LSU lead to 5-2.
The Tigers scored five runs on three hits and three errors in the fifth inning. The inning started as Beloso hit a leadoff double to left center. Sanford reached on an error by the pitcher that moved Beloso to third. Milazzo then walked, and DiGiacomo dropped an opposite-field single in shallow left that scored Beloso and Sanford.
With Milazzo and DiGiacomo on base, Bianco reached on a fielding error that moved DiGiacomo to second and scored Milazzo. Cranford then reached on another fielder’s choice, where DiGiacomo was thrown out at home. Doughty followed with a single to center that scored Bianco and moved Cranford to second.
Cranford and Doughty moved to second and third with two outs on a wild pitch as Cabrera drew a walk. Cranford scored on a wild pitch to give the Tigers a 10-2 advantage.
LSU added single runs in the sixth and eighth innings to finish off a 12-2 win. Cranford singled to center and scored Sanford in the sixth after Sanford was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Pinch hitter Hal Hughes hit an RBI single to right-center that scored Wes Toups after he was hit by a pitch to lead off the eighth.
Sanford finished 1-for-2 with an RBI and two runs scored.
LSU 11, UMass Lowell 2
The No. 20 Tigers erupted for 11 runs from the third through the sixth innings Friday night at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman field to take an 11-2 win over UMass Lowell in the first game of the weekend series.
The win was No. 600 at LSU for coach Paul Mainieri, who became just the 12th baseball coach in SEC history to win 600 games at a league school. Mainieri, who is in his 14th season at LSU, has 1,464 wins in 38 seasons as a collegiate head coach and ranks No. 2 among active NCAA Division I coaches in career victories.
In Friday’s win, freshman second baseman Cade Doughty went 3-for-3 on offense with a run scored and three RBIs to help lead the LSU offense. Sophomore centerfielder Giovanni DiGiacomo also was 3-for-3 with three runs and an RBI.
“Winning 600 games is just a number to me,” Mainieri said in a news release. “A milestone like that is mostly about the kids; this is why I went into the profession 38 years ago to try to touch the lives of young men, and that’s what is most important to me. I’m glad to have coached this long to have as much interaction with these young men as I’ve had.”
UMass Lowell scored first in the top of the third inning as shortstop Keagan Calero smacked a two-out double down the third base line. First baseman Kyle Maurice scored from second to give the River Hawks the 1-0 lead.
The Tigers responded with a run in the bottom of the third to tie the game, 1-1. With the bases loaded, third baseman Zack Mathis was hit by a pitch that brought DiGiacomo home from third.
Shortstop Collier Cranford hit a two-RBI single through the right side that scored DiGiacomo and catcher Alex Milazzo in the bottom of the fourth. DiGiacomo and Milazzo both drew walks to get on base.
With Cranford at first and left fielder Drew Bianco at third, Doughty hit a single to right that allowed Bianco to score, and Cranford moved to third on the play. Third baseman Zack Mathis then hit a sac fly to left that allowed Cranford to score.
Doughty stole second and then scored on a single to right center by right fielder Daniel Cabrera, giving the Tigers a 6-1 lead.
LSU added four more runs in the fifth to extend the advantage to 10-1. Designated hitter Saul Garza hit a leadoff double to right, and Milazzo followed with a walk. DiGiacomo then dropped an RBI single to center that scored Garza and moved Milazzo to second.
Bianco drew a walk before Doughty came to the plate and singled up the middle to bring two runs home. DiGiacomo and Milazzo scored on the play, and Bianco moved to third. Mathis hit a ground out that allowed Bianco to score from third.
The Tigers added one run in the home side of the sixth inning as first baseman Cade Beloso scored from third on a wild pitch. Beloso reached on a leadoff single and moved to third on a Milazzo walk and a DiGiacomo single. The run gave LSU an 11-2 lead.
Senior right-hander Matthew Beck (1-0) earned the win for the Tigers as he fired three relief innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits. Beck struck out four and walked two.
LSU sophomore right-hander Cole Henry started and worked four innings, allowing one run on five hits with two strikeouts. Freshman lefty Jacob Hasty and junior right-hander Eric Walker each worked one inning of scoreless relief.
Reliever Henry Funaro (0-2) suffered the loss. He pitched 0.1 inning and allowed five earned runs on two hits with three walks.
The Tigers return to action at The Box for a midweek matchup with South Alabama on Wednesday night. First pitch is slated for 6:30, and the game will be broadcast on SEC Network Plus. Fans can listen on 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge or at LSUsports.net/live.
Wednesday night’s game will be LSU’s annual throwback themed game.

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