BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU (7-1) earned a hard-fought victory Thursday night against Southeastern Louisiana (5-4) as a two-run RBI triple by Jake Fraley in the bottom of the eighth inning provided the winning runs in Alex Box Stadium.
Freshman right-hander Doug Norman got the start for LSU on Thursday night, working 4.1 innings and allowing six hits and five runs with six strikeouts. Reliever Collin Strall earned the first win of his LSU career after pitching the eighth inning and allowing no runs on one hit.
Southeastern Louisiana reliever Pat Cashman (0-2) was charged with the loss after giving up two runs, one earned, on three hits in three innings.
“Jake Fraley was certainly the hero tonight,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “He had a great night at the plate with three hits, and the two-run triple in the eighth that was the difference in the game. He is a tremendous ball player and an even better young man, and I couldn’t be happier for him.”
In the top of the first, Southeastern’s Kevin Carr scored Jacob Seward from third with an RBI single, putting the Lions on the board 1-0.
LSU was able to load the bases in the second inning, and Kramer Robertson helped tie the game with a bases-loaded walk.
The Tigers then exploded for a six-run third inning on five hits. Chris Chinea started the scoring spree with an RBI single to score Mark Laird from second. Alex Bregman also scored on the play after a fielding error by the left fielder Ryan Byers to put LSU up 3-1.
Kade Scivicque then had a sacrifice fly to right-0center for the Tigers’ fourth run of the game. After a Danny Zardon walk, Robertson blasted a singled up the middle for an RBI to extend LSU’s lead to five. Jared Foster doubled to left for a two out, two-run RBI as LSU moved ahead 7-1.
Norman found himself in trouble early in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and nobody out. After Southeastern’s Carson Crites singled for an RBI, Parker Bugg entered the game in relief of Norman, but he was unable to immediately stop the threat. Byers had an RBI walk, and Daniel Midyett was able to score on a wild pitch from Bugg. Pinch hitter Webb Bobo singled to left field for a two-run RBI as Southeastern cut LSU’s lead to 7-6.
The Tigers got off to a good start in the bottom half of the inning after a Fraley double to deep right put runners on second and third. Southeastern’s Gage Pickett walked Robertson to load the bases with only one out, but LSU was unable to take advantage as Pickett retired the next two batters to end the inning.
Southeastern loaded the bases in the seventh, and the Lions were able to take the lead 8-7 after Zac Person walked Julian Service with the bases loaded, and a wild pitch scored Kennon Menard.
“It was an unusual night for our pitching staff with the number of walks and wild pitches that we’re not accustomed to seeing,” Mainieri said. “It’s tough to throw strikes in extremely cold weather, and that probably had something to do with it. I thought Jesse Stallings threw the ball very well in the ninth to end the game.”
LSU found itself in a jam in the eighth when Southeastern loaded the bases after a walk and a wild pitch. Foster was able to save a run with a phenomenal diving catch in right field, and Strall was able to get Nico Cuccia to ground out to keep LSU within one run.
In the bottom half of the inning, a fielding error by Menard at shortstop put two men on base, and LSU was able to take advantage as Fraley helped the Tigers regain the lead, 9-8, with a two-run RBI triple.
Stallings, the LSU closer, took the mound in the ninth to finish the game, earning his fourth save of the season with no hits, one walk and one strikeout.