LSU defeats University of New Orleans

LSU freshman catcher Alex Milazzo (20) runs the bases during the Tigers' 4-3 victory over the University of New Orleans in Alex Box Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019.

During game one of the annual LSU Baseball Purple-Gold World Series, both teams showed positive signs, as fall baseball is coming to a close.  

The Gold Team won 1-0 after freshman catcher Alex Milazzo reached base on a single then later scored on a wild pitch in the fourth inning.

The Tigers are still looking to round out its starting line-up, as there are still many question marks surrounding the team with the start of the 2020 baseball season just around the corner.

With former marque outfielders like Zach Watson and Antonie Duplantis no longer being available, it has opened up the door for many new players to make a name for themselves. LSU’s outfield is looking to not miss a beat after losing two of its three starting outfielders. 

“We always have the next man up mentality,” said coach Paul Mainieri. “Those guys were special, but there’s nothing we can do about it now but get our guys we have ready now.”

Back-to-back good defensive plays by the Gold Team got them out of a jam in the third inning after senior pitcher Aaron George surrendered a one-out hit to junior infielder Zack Mathis, causing George to rely on his defense. 

Sophomore outfielder Gavin Dugas gunned a man down at second base to erase the lead runner, after making a great break on the ball in right field. Freshman outfielder Mitchell Sanford also got a good break on a ball in left to end the threat in the third inning.

Dugas is still getting used to the transition from the infield to the outfield, but has looked good in LSU’s fall baseball scrimmages to this point. Dugas spent all summer at Cape Cod league to help him perfect his new position to the best of his abilities, while still keeping his bat hot.   

“The summer was a big help for me,” Dugas said. “I want to be someone coach can count on the whole season. I want to be a leader on this team.”

Although there was not going for either offense in this scrimmage, Milazzo is having a quietly good fall himself. Milazzo went 2-of-3 on the night with two singles. He also had a homer to his name during an exhibition game against the University of New Orleans. 

Junior Ma’khail Hillard pitched the final leg for the Purple Team. After being a back-and-forth relief and midweek starter last year, Hillard is looking to solidify his spot on this Tigers roster. Hillard pitched two innings and registered two strikeouts while allowing one hit. 

LSU will hold its second game of the Purple-Gold World Series on November 8 at 7 p.m. The Tigers will begin the 2020 regular season on February 14, when they play host to Indiana at Alex Box Stadium. 

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