The LSU baseball team kicked off the season with a victory as the Tigers took down the Indiana Hoosiers 8-1.
The season started off with a bang as freshman Cade Doughty launched a two-run homer to left field in the first inning to give LSU an early lead. Junior Saul Garza followed up with a three-run homer of his own in the bottom of the third to extend the Tigers’ lead to five.
Indiana drove in one run in the 5th inning, but the Tigers answered with two runs of their own in the 6th. Sophomore Drew Bianco made his way around the bases following a double-error by Indiana. Junior Zack Mathis hit a sacrifice fly to right-center to drive in junior Hal Hughes.
LSU added one more run when Mathis knocked a base hit to left field to drive in freshman Mitchell Sanford, who pinch-ran for Cabrera. Senior pitcher Aaron George closed things out to give the Tigers the win.
Sophomore pitcher Cole Henry got the victory for LSU with zero earned runs and eight strikeouts in four innings. The Tiger bullpen held the lead the rest of the way. Brandon Kaminer, Matthew Beck and George combined for no hits and no earned runs with four strikeouts.
“What a super way to start the season,” coach Paul Mainieri said. “I thought the kids played extremely well. Obviously Cole Henry set the tone for us early. He was dominant. I thought our bullpen was really outstanding.”
Doughty finished 1-for-2 at the plate with two RBIs and two walks. Mainieri was proud of the way he kept his composure in his first collegiate game.
“He’s not afraid up there,” Mainieri said. “He’s a good hitter. He gets up there and gets his money’s worth and he’s got pretty good hand-eye coordination. He’s an excellent hit-and-run hitter for us.”
LSU football coach Ed Orgeron threw the ceremonial first pitch for the Tigers’ season opener. He tossed a ball from the stretch that bounced before reaching the plate.
“I thought Coach O gave it everything he got,” Mainieri said. “I wish we had a cut-off man for him, though.”
LSU returns to action Saturday for a double-header to finish their series with Indiana at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
“We’ve got two big ones tomorrow,” Mainieri said. “We’ll be proud of ourselves, but we’ve got to keep working to get better and better. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll come out and play well.”