BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU baseball team did what it was supposed to do.
Losers of three of their last four coming into Tuesday, the Tigers teed off on Grambling State, defeating their midweek opponent, 13-2, behind 15 hits, 2 walks, 2 hit by pitches and 2 home runs. LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri stood strong on his promise to use plenty of arms Tuesday night, throwing 11 pitchers in nine innings. After starter Todd Peterson allowed two runs in the first inning, LSU’s barrage of pitchers after him settled in, giving up no runs on 3 hits.
LSU baseball trotted out a unique lineup, resting regular starters Antoine Duplantis, Josh Smith and Michael Papierski to begin the game. Despite this, some of the usual suspects still shined. Shortstop Kramer Robertson clubbed his third home run in three games, finishing 2 for 4 with 3 RBI, and outfielder Zach Watson notched 3 hits, 2 RBI and a home run of his own.
That said, some of LSU’s less-utilized players used their opportunity to their benefit. Catcher Jordan Romero scored twice off 2 hits, designated hitter Rankin Woley drove in 2 runs with a sixth-inning double and Bryce Adams smacked a pinch-hit, two-run home run in the seventh inning.
Seven in six
Though LSU baseball held a proper lead for most of the game, it wasn’t until the sixth inning that the Tigers truly seized control.
Behind seven hits, LSU scored seven runs in the frame, four of which came off Robertson’s and Watson’s home runs. Romero and Woley both doubled in the inning, while Cole Freeman, Jake Slaughter and Greg Deichmann all singled. The Tigers sent 11 batters to the plate in the frame, creating a lead that Grambling had no chance of catching.
Adventures in bullpenning
LSU exhausted virtually its entire bullpen Tuesday night. The only pitchers LSU didn’t throw were its three weekend starters and senior Hunter Newman.
This included using closer Caleb Gilbert in the second inning after Gilbert blew a save Saturday in a loss to Texas A&M and pitching former midweek starter Zack Hess out of the bullpen to acclimate him to the change. Gilbert allowed 1 hit and struck out 1 in one inning of work, and Hess struck out 1 in a perfect seventh.
What’s next for LSU baseball?
LSU heads to Fayetteville, Ark., this weekend for a three-game series against the SEC West-leading Arkansas Razorbacks. Action begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT. All three games will be streamed on WatchESPN.