The LSU baseball team defeated the UMass Lowell River Hawks on Friday night. The bats were buzzing for the Tigers as they scored eleven runs on eleven hits to take the first game of their weekend series.
LSU found themselves tied 1-1 in the third inning, but the Tigers busted the game wide open in the fourth. Freshman Collier Cranford singled through the right side to drive in two runs.
“That was the biggest hit of the game,” coach Paul Mainieri said. “There was a point in the game where it was nip and tuck. We needed a good at bat and we came through with a good at bat by Collier.”
Freshman Cade Doughty followed up with a single of his own to bring sophomore Drew Bianco home. Cranford tagged up from third after Zack Mathis hit a sacrifice fly to left.
Junior Daniel Cabrera hit a single to right-center to drive in Doughty. LSU scored five runs in the inning to take a 6-1 lead.
The Tigers poured it on in the fifth, scoring another four runs on three hits to extend their lead to nine. UML picked up a run in the sixth inning on an LSU error, but the Tigers answered with a run of their own following a wild pitch.
Sophomore Cole Henry pitched the first four innings for LSU. He surrendered one run on five hits with two strikeouts.
Senior Matthew Beck came in relief for Henry and recorded four strikeouts in three innings. Freshman Jacob Hasty and junior Eric Walker closed things out to give the Tigers the victory.
Doughty and sophomore Giovanni DiGiacomo each went 3-for-3 at the plate and accounted for four of LSU’s ten RBIs.
“(Giovanni’s) potential is really awesome,” Mainieri said. “He’s as fast a runner as there is in the league. When he keeps the ball out of the air and hits the ball on the ground and little low line drives, he reminds you of some of the great guys we’ve had here in the past. He’s got a ways to go but he’s working on it.”
Mainieri picked up his 600th career win at LSU but downplayed it as just a number.
“The most important thing to me is the relationships you build with the young men and try to help them in their path in life,” Mainieri said. “Certainly the wins are important so that you can be able to have your job and impact those lives along the way. Around here, they don’t tolerate you losing too many of them. I’m glad we got it.”
LSU (9-5) returns to action Saturday for Game 2 of their series with UML at 4 p.m. on SEC Network Plus.