Things got wild in Alex Box Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Lamar bullpen imploded in the eighth inning with four wild pitches and the Tigers (4-0) cashed in on the mistakes, scoring six runs and giving LSU an 8-1 win.
Wild pitches by Lamar (4-1) pitchers Travis Moore and J.T. Autrey set the tone for a hectic inning that allowed six LSU runs on two hits. Autrey started the inning by walking senior designated hitter Raph Rhymes to first, and senior infielder Mason Katz followed with a hard line drive to third. Junior infielder JaCoby Jones walked, and the inning spiraled.
“It fell apart for them there because their pitchers just didn’t handle the environment well for them there in the eighth inning,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri.
As soon as Moore stepped on the mound for Lamar, he threw a wild pitch, allowing freshman outfielder Andrew Stevenson to score.
All together, Lamar pitchers Will Hibbs, Moore and Autrey allowed six walks, six runs, and threw four wild pitches in the eighth inning. Besides Stevenson, sophomore outfielder Chris Sciambra, Katz, Jones, freshman catcher Chris Chinea and junior infielder Christian Ibarra all scored in the eighth.
“In that situation, you can’t try to produce, you have to let them do it for you,” Katz said. “We literally went out there and did nothing.”
After a weekend of “swinging at really bad pitches,” Katz improved his batting average of .100 to .200, batting one runner in, earning two hits and scoring once.
“Opening night I guess I was jittery,” Katz said. “[Tonight] I was being more selective, taking good pitches and not being afraid to hit with two strikes.”
On the mound, sophomore left-handed pitcher Cody Glenn kept Lamar at bay with three strikeouts, allowing three hits, one run and walking two batters. Before the game, Mainieri said he wanted five innings from Glenn, and that was what he got.
“I was ready to go six [innings], but coach was ready to go to the bullpen, which I respect,” Glenn said. “But next time I’ll be ready to go six.”
After a shaky first inning where he gave up a run, Glenn said he felt a sense of urgency to prove to his teammates and coaches that he could get the job done. He said crucial infield plays by Jones helped, and Jones’ solo home run in the second inning knotted the score at 1-1 and helped settle Glenn’s nerves on the mound.
“I wasn’t trying to hit [a home run] tonight because I knew the wind was blowing pretty hard,” Jones said. “It cut the wind and got out for me.”
The Tigers return to action at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, when they take on Brigham Young at Alex Box Stadium.