After a week of opposite field hitting practice and another switched lineup, the Tigers produce double-digit runs for just the second time all season, defeating UML, 11-2.
Paul Mainieri decided to toy with a new lineup after the constant struggles at the plate.
Through two innings, it looked to be another snooze fest for the Tigers at the plate.
LSU was unable to take advantage of a prime opportunity in the third inning where the bottom of the order produced, and they found themselves in a bases-loaded situation with one out.
Sophomore center fielder Giovanni DiGiacomo kicked things off with a leadoff double to left, followed by a walk for Drew Bianco, and a sacrifice bunt by Collier Cranford. After falling behind in the count, Cade Doughty, the newly designated leadoff hitter battled his way back with an 11-pitch at-bat to earn himself a walk but nothing came of it.
The fourth inning rolls around, and the Tigers are able to have a breakout inning after taking advantage of ULM’s pitching. A trio of Tigers, Alex Milazzo, DiGiacomo and Bianco walked to load the bases for the second-straight inning.
This time, LSU was able to produce as they hung up a five spot on the Warhawks.
Cranford started things off, as the freshman got just his third hit of the season with a single to right field to bring in two runs, which ended up being the biggest hit of the night and his career thus far.
"That was awesome. We are so happy for Collier [Cranford]," Doughty said. "He deserves it."
Doughty followed with a single to right of his own, to bring home Bianco from third. Junior third baseman Zack Mathis then hit a sacrifice fly then Daniel Cabrera lined a ball to right-center field to keep the runs coming. Cabrera then swiped second, his third steal of the year to put himself in scoring position for Cade Beloso, but a groundout by Beloso ended the inning.
Just when you thought things were going to slow down, the bats kept heating up as they loaded the bases for the third-straight inning in the sixth. Cranford looked to get his second clutch hit of the night, but he lined out to his counterpart.
Doughty picked up where he left off in the inning prior, as he hit a single up the middle to bring in two more Tigers. Doughty finished the night with a trio of singles and RBI’s. In the sixth inning, the Tigers rallied for a total of four runs on three hits.
Along with Doughty, DiGiacomo helped led things offensively for the Tigers. The Naples, Florida native reached in all three of his plate appearances, recording one double, a single and a walk. DiGiacomo has elevated his average to from .210 to .346 on the season, after being 7-for-13 in his last four games.
"They are just young kids. They are learning how to play at this level," said coach Mainieri. "It is nice to have worked so hard with them this week. To see them take it, absorb it and apply it has been so rewarding."
The Tigers move to 9-5 on the season. LSU will return to action for game two against UML at 4 p.m. CT on Saturday.