Gonzaga Blanks LSU 3-0 to Open NCAA Baseball Tournament
In their first game of the 2021 NCAA Baseball Tournament, the LSU Tigers were shut out by the Gonzaga Bulldogs 3-0.
Gonzaga's ace Alek Jacob threw a complete game and only surrendered four hits and one walk while striking out nine batters. The LSU offense was only 4-30 in their regional opener, and they did not record a hit with a runner on base.
The Bulldogs offense kept pressure on LSU's ace Landon Marceaux in each inning he pitched. After he allowed two hits to open the first inning, a fly-out and double-play ended the early threat.
Gonzaga started the second inning with a triple off of Marceaux, and a RBI-single scored the first run of the game. After a walk put two on with no outs, Marceaux came back to strike out the next two batters. However, a two-out RBI-double scored another run before the inning was over and the Bulldogs had a 2-0 lead.
The top of the fourth inning was LSU's best chance to break through against the Bulldogs ace. Dylan Crews cracked a leadoff triple, but a groundout and strike out failed to bring him home. With two outs, a walk put runners at the corners and a wild pitch hit a batter to load the bases. However, a deep fly-out kept the Tigers off the board, and the leadoff triple did not come home.
In the top of the fifth, a two-out infield single by Tre Morgan gave LSU their fourth hit of the game. He stole second base to get into scoring position, but a strikeout by Crews stranded him.
Including the Crews strikeout, the next 13 Tigers were retired in order. Jacob did not allow a base runner in the final four innings of the game.
A two-out RBI-single in the sixth inning stretched the Bulldogs lead to 3-0, and even though they did not record a hit in the seventh or eighth innings, the LSU offense never threatened to score late.
Up next, LSU will play in an elimination game against the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. LSU has not gone 0-2 in a regional since 1985. Ma'Khail Hilliard will start for the Tigers. Gonzaga will play the regional host No. 14 nationally ranked Oregon Ducks in the winner's match on Saturday at 9:00 p.m.