LSU Tiger baseball rides arm of Hess to 1-0 win over UGA
ATHENS, GA - The LSU Tigers knew they would need an extra-effort performance to take down the fifth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs at Foley Field in Athens, Georgia.
They got that effort from embattled Friday night starter Zack Hess who threw eight shutout innings while striking out a season high nine batters.
“It was a great, great baseball game,” head coach Paul Mainieri said. “The story of the game was Zack Hess. That’s as good of a game as I’ve ever seen him pitch. His command was unbelievable. Alan Dunn called a tremendous ballgame. It's fun to call the game when he can drop that slider in there for a strike. He hardly made a bad pitch the entire night. To win on the road in the SEC, somebody's got to do extraordinary stuff, and Hess was extraordinary.”
Hess was able to convince Coach Mainieri to let him finish the eighth inning after a mound visit that threatened to bring Devin Fontenot into the game. Mainieri and Hess were rewarded with a defensive gem when Bulldog second baseman LJ Talley knocked a shot to the second-base bag that Tiger second baseman Hal Hughes knocked down with his glove allowing LSU shortstop Josh Smith to fire home to catcher BRock Mathis who applied the tag to Cam Shepard who was trying to score from second on the groundball.
“We battled their pitcher, even though we didn't have a lot to show for it,” Mainieri added. “You're not going to get many opportunities against a guy like that. Later on, our leaders stepped up, and was really proud of the way we competed. An LSU win on a Friday night on the road is what we have been used to through the years. We needed this one. This one is going to give our kids a lot of confidence.”
Game 2 of the series will start at noon on Saturday and be broadcast on the SEC Network.
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