LSU capped a 4-1 week with a weekend sweep of three visiting schools in Alex Box Stadium. It all started with what was easily the Tigers' best pitching performance of the season.
1. Pitching finally shines
There is no getting around how disappointing the first few weeks were for the LSU starting rotation, but that all changed this weekend. Zack Hess set the standard with an utterly dominant performance Friday night, striking out 13 in seven innings. Caleb Gilbert was roughed up in his first two starts, but rebounded with 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball Saturday. The combination of AJ Labas and Ma’Khail Hilliard Sunday — six innings of shutout ball between them — was also highly encouraging. As LSU coach Paul Mainieri put it, “It just gives you hope.”
A struggling Toledo team came to Alex Box Stadium and gave LSU a good fight for almost seven innings Friday.
2. Steady ‘Toiney
Is there a more steady offensive player in college baseball than Antoine Duplantis? The junior outfielder seems to put up a healthy statistical line every week — so much so that it seems like his outstanding performance sometimes gets lost in the shuffle because of how routine it is. This weekend, Duplantis went 5-10 with four RBIs, raising his season average to .364. He has hits in 10 of LSU’s 12 games this season, with multiple hits on five separate occasions. He showed he is still capable of surprising Sunday when he cracked a no-doubter homer down the right field line.
It is one of those ubiquitous quotes that pops up at random on the internet — block text laid over a motivational image, the type that litters…
3. The third phase
Something that has gone a bit unnoticed this season has been LSU’s play defensively, so let’s give it some love in this space. LSU only committed one error this weekend, when reserve first baseman Braden Doughty failed to make a routine putout in the ninth inning of a comfortable win Saturday. Through 12 games, LSU is fielding at a .982 clip, a figure it has put together largely without its starting shortstop and centerfielder. The defense was something of a concern going into the season, but it is looking good right now.
LSU backed up multiple excellent pitching performances with just enough offense, knocking off Southeastern Louisiana 4-2 to preserve its first…