Tigers roll past Nicholls St. 9-4 in mid-week road game
First baseman Bryce Jordan drove in three runs Wednesday night and right-hander Alden Cartwright pitched three scoreless relief innings to lead sixth-ranked LSU to a 9-4 win over Nicholls at Ray Didier Field.
LSU improved to 6-2 this season, while Nicholls dropped to 4-6.
The Tigers begin a three-game series at 7 p.m. Friday against Fordham in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The teams will meet in a doubleheader on Saturday, with the first game scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and the second game set for 6:30 p.m.
“I thought there were two keys to the game,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “The first at-bat of the game by (LSU shortstop) Kramer Robertson, when he just battled with their pitcher and drew a walk was big. Beau and Bryce Jordan then came in the clutch for us like they typically do. We were able to get the three runs in the first inning. The other key was when Alden came into the game. He took control of the game, and he settled everyone down and pounded that strike zone. We were able to tack on right after that. Alden gave us three great innings.
Cartwright (2-0) entered the game to start the third inning and worked three scoreless innings, allowing three hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Bryce Jordan was 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and three RBI to lead LSU’s 12-hit output. Second baseman Cole Freeman was 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored.
Nicholls starter Jake Smith (1-2) was charged with the loss, as he surrendered three runs on four hits in 2.1 innings with four walks and one strikeout.
LSU grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning as first baseman Bryce Jordan lined a two-run double and designated hitter Greg Deichmann lifted a sacrifice fly against Smith.
Nicholls narrowed the gap to 3-1 in the bottom of the first when second baseman Ethan Valdez walked, stole second base, moved to third on a single by shortstop Joey Morales and scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by third baseman Kyle Reese.
The Tigers scored three runs in the fourth, benefiting from a pair of Nicholls errors. Second baseman Cole Freeman doubled to lead off the inning and later scored when centerfielder Jake Fraley’s grounder was mishandled by Colonels shortstop Joey Morales. Leftfielder Beau Jordan drove in a run with a fielder’s choice grounder and Bryce Jordan added a sacrifice fly to highlight the inning.
LSU increased the lead to 8-1 in the fifth as Deichmann tripled and scored on third baseman O’Neal Lochridge’s sacrifice fly before Freeman singled and scored on a triple by Fraley.
“I knew this was going to be a tough game,” Mainieri said. “Nicholls played really well against us last year, and it was no fluke. They outplayed us last year. I knew that coming home after a tough five-game stretch was going to be inspiring for them. They had a big crowd, and they hit the ball hard. They had 12 hits and several other hard-hit balls. It could have been a much tighter ball game. I feel very fortunate that we were able to win the game in somewhat convincing fashion.”