LSU sweeps Friday doubleheader over Boston College
BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU (5-1) captured the series over Boston College (2-4) with a 7-4 win over the Eagles Friday night, completing a sweep of a doubleheader in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. Senior left fielder Jared Foster collected two extra base hits to help lead the Tigers to victory in the nightcap.
In Game 1 of the twin bill, sophomore third baseman Danny Zardon turned in a 3-for-4 performance and collected three RBI to fuel LSU to an 8-3 victory over Boston College.
The Tigers will face the Eagles in the series finale Saturday at 3 p.m. CT in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The game will be available online via SEC Network+ and Watch ESPN. The game can also be heard in Baton Rouge on WTGE 100.7 FM, and it will be streamed live in the GeauxZone at www.LSUsports.net.
"I thought we played very well in both games today," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "We faced a deficit in each game but responded in a positive way. We were more aggressive at the plate that we were earlier this week, and that really paid off for us. Our base running was excellent throughout the day; we were able to place ourselves in scoring position with aggressive, alert base running."
Freshman right-hander Alex Lange (2-0) tallied a career high nine strikeouts in Game 2 Friday in his second appearance for the Tigers. He allowed five hits, three walks and four earned runs in his five innings pitched.
"Alex was dominant with nine strikeouts in only five innings," Mainieri said. "He had some tough luck in the fifth inning, but he pitched his way out of it and gave us a chance to respond at the plate in the bottom of the fifth. He pitched very effectively against a very scrappy Boston College lineup that really battles at the plate."
Freshman right-hander Jesse Stallings earned his third save of the 2015 season after pitching one shutout inning, allowing no hits and one walk.
In the bottom of the first, Foster smashed the first pitch from Boston College starting right-hander Jeff Burke to left field for his first career triple. With two outs, junior catcher Chris Chinea doubled to right field, scoring Foster for the first run of the game.
Junior centerfielder Andrew Stevenson led off the bottom of the second with an infield single. After stealing his first two bases of the season, Stevenson scored from third on a sacrifice fly to center field by freshman designated hitter Bryce Jordan.
Four runs crossed the plate for Boston College in the top of the fifth. Shortstop Johnny Adams reached first on a wild pitch after striking out, and he stole second base. Catcher Stephen Sauter followed with an RBI single. A single and a walk loaded the bases for Boston College and a walk from Lange drove in a run. With one out, right fielder Chris Shaw lined a two-RBI single, giving the Eagles a 4-2 advantage heading to the bottom of the fifth.
Jordan reached first after being hit by a pitch in the bottom of the fifth, and back-to-back doubles by Foster and Mark Laird brought in two runs for the Tigers. A wild pitch drove in Laird, and the Tigers led 5-4 after five innings.
In the bottom of the sixth, Stevenson was hit by a pitch and reached third base after an infield single by sophomore third baseman Danny Zardon and a fielding error by second baseman Blake Butera. Jordan tied the LSU record for most sacrifice flies in a game after hitting his second sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Stevenson on the play. Heading into the top of the seventh, LSU led BC, 6-4.
Foster walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Laird followed with a single to left field, advancing to second base on the throw to third on the play. With the bases loaded, Chinea sent a sacrifice fly to center field, and Foster scored. The Tigers were up by three runs at the end of seven.
Laird's double in the bottom of the fifth inning extended his hitting streak to four games, and Stevenson and infielder Conner Hale have hit safely in all six of the Tigers' game so far this year.
The bullpen had another excellent outing in Game 2 as Parker Bugg, Alden Cartwright and Stallings pitched a combined four shutoug innings, allowing three hits and one walk with four strikeouts.
Bugg's three strikeouts Friday night matched his career high that came in his outings against UNO on February 15, 2014 and Mississippi State on April 6, 2014.
In both games Friday the bullpen worked a combined 7.1 scoreless innings with five hits, nine strikeouts and two walks.
Boston College starter Jeff Burke (0-1) suffered the loss in Game 2 after facing 20 batters in 4.1 innings pitched. He surrendered five earned runs and six hits, and recorded four strikeouts.
Zardon's three-hit performance in Game 1 matched a career-high. He also had three hits in the Tigers' 27-0 win over Northwestern State on May 13, 2014. His two doubles and one home run matched his entire 2014 season total of extra-base hits. Junior shortstop Alex Bregman, Hale and Stevenson also had multi-hit games Friday's opener.
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Jared Poche' (2-0) pitched 5.2 innings for LSU, scattering seven hits and allowing two earned runs. He tallied three strikeouts against three walks on 93 pitches.
Boston College led off the top of the first with back-to-back singles from centerfielder Gabriel Hernandez and second baseman Blake Butera. After a throwing error by Poche' on a failed pickoff attempt, the runners advanced to scoring position with one out and crossed the plate on a single up the middle from right fielder Chris Shaw.
The Tigers answered back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Hale started the rally with a single, and Stevenson followed with a triple to center field, scoring Hale.. Stevenson scored on a sacrifice fly to center by senior catcher Kade Scivicque. Zardon followed with a double to right center field and advanced to third on a passed ball. Heading into the top of the third, the score was tied at 2-2.
In the top of the third, Butera had his second hit of the day but was retired on a fielder's choice grounder by third baseman Joe Cronin. With two outs, Boston College first baseman Michael Strem lined a single to center field, scoring Cronin. At the end of three innings, Boston College led 3-2.
Stevenson walked to begin the fourth inning for the Tigers before Scivicque singled to center field and advanced to second on the fielding error by Hernandez. With one out, Stevenson scored on Zardon's groundout to second base. Laird singled up the middle with runners at the corners, scoring Scivicque, and the Tigers took the lead 4-3 through four innings.
In the bottom of the sixth, Zardon hit a solo shot to left center field for his first home run of the year. The Tigers led 5-3 after six innings.
Chinea reached on an error by Cronin, and Beau Jordan came in to pinch run for Chinea. Jordan reached second after interference by first baseman Michael Strem. With runners at the corners and two outs, Boston College reliever Mike King fired a wild pitch, plating Jordan. Zardon had his third extra base hit and third RBI of the day, doubling to left field and giving LSU a 7-3 lead heading into the eighth.
With one out, sophomore left fielder Jake Fraley walked in the eighth inning, advanced on a wild pitch and had his first stolen base of the season. Beau Jordan singled Fraley in to give the Tigers an 8-3 cushion.
Collin Strall, Zac Person and Cartwright came on in strong relief for the Tigers, pitching 3.1 innings with five strikeouts, two hits, no runs and only one walk.
Starting pitcher John Gorman (0-1) suffered the loss for Boston College, pitching 4.2 innings with 10 hits, four earned runs, two walks and one strikeout.