LSU Holds off Northwestern State in 9-6 Win for Sixth in a Row
The top ranked LSU Tigers won their sixth in a row by holding off a late rally from Northwestern State to win 9-6 Wednesday night in Baton Rouge. The Tigers have four more games left in their six game homestand including three this weekend with Auburn.
LSU Baseball Report/William P. Franques
LSU DEFEATS NORTHWESTERN STATE, 9-6, FOR SIXTH STRAIGHT WIN
BATON ROUGE, La. – Third-ranked LSU defeated Northwestern State, 9-6, Wednesday night behind three-hit games from designated hitter Chris Sciambra and first baseman Chris Chinea at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The Tigers improved to 29-5 on the year and extended their winning streak to six games. The Demons fell to 17-15 on the year with the loss.
LSU delivered 15 hits on the night, recording their 12th straight game with double-digit hits. Chinea has now had three or more hits in four straight games. Shortstop Alex Bregman reached base four times and collected four steals. The junior became the fourth player in school history to have four steals in a game.
LSU returns to action this weekend against Auburn. All three games over the weekend will be on SEC Network+ through WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app. Fans can listen to the game through LSU radio affiliates in the state or in the Geaux Zone at LSUSports.net/Live.
LSU freshman right-hander Jake Godfrey (6-0) earned his sixth win of the year and remained unbeaten in his first season. Godfrey worked five innings and only allowed three runs on four hits. Northwestern State’s Evan Tidwell (2-3) was charged the loss after pitching two innings and allowing five runs on seven hits.
“I thought we played a pretty good ball game tonight, and we swung the bats very well again,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Godfrey struggled a little bit early, but he minimized the damage and then threw three straight shutout innings. We had some miscues, and it wasn’t a completely clean game, but Northwestern State has a very good club and we responded to their challenge.”
Northwestern State got on the board in the top of the first inning. Godfrey hit the first batter of the game, Joel Atkinson. Atkinson found himself at third after a groundout and single. The shortstop scored the first run on an RBI groundout by third baseman Chase Daughdrill.
Sciambra tied up the game in the bottom of the first inning with a solo shot over the left-center field wall. It was the third of his career and the second game in a row that he’s had a home run.
The Demons added two runs in the top of the second inning on a home run by catcher Garrett Logan.
The Tigers added four more runs in the bottom of the second to take a 5-3 lead. Second baseman Jared Foster hit a one out solo home run to left field bleachers. Third baseman Grayson Byrd reached first on a throwing error and moved to third on a throwing error by the pitcher. Byrd eventually scored on a sac fly by Jake Fraley. Bregman doubled to left- center field to score Sciambra and Chinea singled to right field to score Bregman.
Fraley hit LSU’s third home run of the game to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning. The Tigers plated another run on an groundout by Chinea.
Northwestern State cut it to 7-5 in the top of the seventh inning on an RBI groundout by Caleb Dugas and RBI fielder’s choice by David Fry.
LSU once again responded with a run in the bottom of the seventh. Chinea added his third hit of the night to score Bregman from second.
Fraley scored from third on a wild pitch by Northwestern State’s Chase Hymel to extend the Tiger lead to 9-5 in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The Demons added one final run in the top of the ninth after Zardon made an error on a chopper by Fry.
NSU SID News Release/Jason Pugh
BATON ROUGE – An early deficit at Alex Box Stadium wasn’t what Lane Burroughs hoped to see Wednesday night.
After two innings, that is where Burroughs and his Northwestern State baseball team found themselves, as No. 3 LSU’s four-run second inning erased NSU’s second early lead.
Despite the early hole, the Demons continued to battle the country’s second-best hitting team, battling back to bring the tying run to the plate twice in the ninth inning before falling to the Tigers, 9-6.
“I told our guys I’m not into moral victories,” the third-year Demons skipper said. “It’s not in my fiber, it’s not in my soul and it never will be, but for those guys who lived through last year (a 27-0 loss to LSU), to come back in here against what I think is a better club, to take them to the wire I’m proud of them.”
Northwestern State (17-15) trailed 7-3 entering the seventh inning, courtesy of the Tigers’ big second inning, which saw LSU (29-5) tie the game on a sacrifice fly to shortstop and a solo home run before adding two runs after it appeared the Demons had recorded the third out.
Evan Tidwell (2-3) appeared to get Alex Bregman to fly out to right field on a 2-2 pitch but was called for a balk, nullifying the result. Bregman put LSU ahead to stay on the next pitch, driving an RBI double to the left-center field gap.
Chris Chinea scored Bregman with an RBI single to cap the scoring.
NSU had taken a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Chase Daughdrill and a 3-1 lead in the second on catcher Garrett Logan’s first career home run, a two-run shot to left off LSU starter Jake Godfrey (6-0).
“Garrett’s college career has been a tale of back surgeries and shoulder surgeries, and for a Louisiana kid to hit a home run at Alex Box, I know it’s special to him,” Burroughs said. “He has been swinging the bat better. If we can take that offensive approach into our Southland weekends, we’ll be fine.”
After LSU tacked on two runs in the fourth inning to push the lead to 7-3, the Demons bullpen shut down the Tigers, allowing NSU to score twice in the sixth inning on a Caleb Dugas RBI groundout and a David Fry RBI fielder’s choice.
Single runs in the seventh and eighth innings allowed the Tigers to take a four-run lead into the ninth.
The Demons then put together one final rally, using LSU reliever Parker Bugg’s lack of control as the starting point. Bugg hit Nick Heath with a pitch to lead off the inning and walked Logan on four pitches. After Joel Atkinson flew out to right field, Fry hit a hard shot to third base that Danny Zardon could not handle, allowing Heath to score.
Bugg, however, settled down and retired the next two Demons to preserve the victory and hand NSU its fourth straight loss, a season long.
“We had a lot better offensive approach tonight,” Burroughs said. “I thought it was one of our best offensive approaches of the year. We stung some balls. I think I see something I’ve never seen every time I come here. (Chase) Daughdrill stings a ball that knocks their pitcher’s glove off, and they turn a double play. We made some errors and some bad mistakes, and if you don’t make those mistakes, you’ve got a chance to beat what I think is the best team in the country.”
The Demons return home Friday when they host New Orleans in the opener of a three-game Southland Conference series. The game currently is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch, but there is a chance weather could affect the weekend schedule.
LSU 9, Northwestern State 6
NSU: 120 000 201 – 6 8 3
LSU: 140 200 11x – 9 15 0
W – Jake Godfrey (6-0). L – Evan Tidwell (2-3). 2B – LSU, Alex Bregman; Kade Scivicque. 3B – NSU, Cade Jones. HR – NSU, Garrett Logan (1). LSU, Chris Sciambra, Jared Foster, Jake Fraley. Highlights: NSU, Cort Brinson 2-5; Jones 2-4, 3B; Logan 2-3, HR, 2 RBIs; LSU, Fraley HR, 2 RBIs; Sciambra 3-5, HR, RBI; Alex Bregman 2-3, RBI; Chris Chinea 3-5, 3 RBIs; Scivicque 2-4, 2B.
Records: Northwestern State 17-15; LSU 29-5.