LSU second baseman JaCoby Jones has developed a new approach at the plate to help with patience in…
No. 10 LSU completes sweep with 14-3 victory
The Tigers finally got the offensive explosion they'd been looking for all weekend. LSU (3-0) had seven different players drive in runs Sunday, with four of those plating multiple teammates.
"We got hot today," said Alex Bregman, who reached base five times Sunday. "Everybody one-through-nine was ready to compete. We were swinging the bats well. Everybody was locked in at the plate."
"Johnny Wholestaff" made an appearance for LSU as six different pitchers got into the game, including three freshmen. Brent Bonvillain made his first career start and allowed two runs, one earned, in four innings of work. Nate Fury got the win after relieving Bonvillain with a perfect fifth inning.
With injuries to Nick Rumbelow and Kurt McCune, and Chris Cotton unavailable, Paul Mainieri called on several young arms to complete the win.
"All the guys that came out of the pen really threw well," Mainieri said. "They pounded the strike zone. Our pitching was outstanding. Our defense was outstanding and our offense started to come around."
Maryland (0-3) kept things interesting after LSU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead behind a solo homer by JaCoby Jones in the second and a RBI single by Alex Bregman in the third.
The Terrapins bounced back to tie it up in the fourth inning as Bonvilain found himself in a bit of trouble. KJ Hockaday and Matt Bosse led off the inning with consecutive singles and LaMonte Wade followed that up with a sac fly to cut LSU's lead in half.
Two batters later, Jose Cuas lifted one to shallow right field, but Jones lost it in the sun, leading to the Terps' game-tying run.
"I thought [Bonvillain] pitched very well," Mainieri said. "He pitched out of a couple jams. If JaCoby doesn't lose that ball in the sun, he leaves with a 2-1 lead."
But LSU jumped back in front behind a three-run blast by Ty Ross that put the Tigers ahead for good. LSU tacked on another in the fifth — a RBI single by Mason Katz that snapped an 0-for-8 streak at the plate — before the Tigers blew it open with an eight-run seventh.
LSU sent 13 batters to the plate in that inning with the first five reaching base. LSU's run production in that inning alone matched its total through the first 21 innings of the season.
"We had those two cold days in a row," Ross said. "It was a pitcher's park the first two games, and today was a hitter's day. Once the nerves got out, we really opened up. We showed everybody how good of an offense we can be."
After Bonvillain, five pitchers made their LSU debuts, combining to allow only three hits and one run. With LSU looking ahead to a Tuesday night game against Lamar, Mainieri said having his bullpen ready will be important.
"You can see the potential all those guys have," Mainieri said. "We have another game on Tuesday and we're going to be thin out of the bullpen again. You play for today, but you always have an eye on tomorrow."
Cody Glenn will start for LSU on Tuesday with several pitchers expected to get in the game behind him. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday.
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