BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU bolted to a 6-0 lead after three innings on Tuesday, and eight pitchers combined to work nine scoreless innings as the Tigers blanked Grambling State, 7-0, in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU improved to 25-15 with its fourth win in its past five games. Grambling dropped to 14-20 with Tuesday’s loss.
The shutout was LSU’s fifth this season and improved the Tigers’ record in midweek non-conference games to 10-0 on the year.
The Tigers open a three-game SEC series at 6 p.m. CT Friday against No. 1 Arkansas in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The game will be televised on the SEC Network, and it can be heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.
“Grambling has been playing really good baseball recently, and they were coming off a three-game conference sweep last weekend, so I was definitely concerned about this game,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “But, I thought our guys played exceptionally well all day.
“We had just played an emotional series at Ole Miss, Arkansas is coming in this weekend, and our players are in the middle of final exams, so the coach has to worry about a ‘trap’ game. (Starting pitcher) Ma’Khail Hilliard gave us three terrific innings, and all of the pitchers threw the ball well. It was a good, solid victory for us, now the guys can focus on their final exams, and then we’ll get ready for Arkansas.”
Hilliard (3-0) earned the win as he worked three shutout innings, allowing just one hit with no walks and five strikeouts.
Seven relief pitchers combined to limit Grambling over the final six innings to no runs on four hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.
Grambling starter Antoine Valerio (3-2) was charged with the loss as he surrendered six runs on nine hits in 2.2 innings with two walks and three strikeouts.
LSU grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second inning when shortstop Jordan Thompson launched a solo homer – his seventh dinger of the year – and designated hitter Cade Beloso ripped an RBI double into the right-centerfield gap.
The Tigers added four runs in the third as first baseman Tre’ Morgan doubled and scored on rightfielder Dylan Crews’ single; centerfielder Giovanni DiGiacomo provided a two-run double and second baseman Zach Arnold lifted a sacrifice fly.
A solo homer by leftfielder Brody Drost – his fourth blast of the year – extended LSU’s lead in the seventh inning to 7-0.