LSU freshman right-hander Doug Norman needed a shot in the arm after starting the season 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA.
He got a perfect dosage against a two-win Grambling squad, helping LSU cruise to a 7-1 victory at Alex Box Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
Grambling (2-9) jumped out to an early lead off Norman as two of its first three batters roped singles in the top of the first inning. But LSU (12-1) would respond one frame later to help secure a ninth straight win.
After junior center fielder Andrew Stevenson led off the bottom of the second inning with a walk and a stolen base, senior catcher Kade Scivicque scorched an RBI double to right-center field. Three batters later, sophomore left fielder Jake Fraley hit an RBI double of his own down the right field line, giving LSU the 2-1 lead.
From there, it was all about the freshman arms in this matinee match.
Norman, gunning to remain the Tigers’ No. 4 starter, had arguably his best outing of the season, tossing four innings of one-run baseball. He allowed five hits, striking out two and walking none. The rookie right-hander continued to pound the strike zone on Wednesday, throwing 38 of his 55 total pitches for strikes.
Freshman Austin Bain followed with an even better performance.
The Geismar, Louisiana, native was unhittable against Grambling, tossing two perfect innings and recording three strikeouts. Of his 26 pitches thrown, 17 were for strikes.
LSU added a little insurance in the bottom of the sixth after senior infielder Conner Hale launched an RBI triple over Grambling freshman center fielder Desmond Stegall’s head. Stevenson added an RBI groundout to give LSU a 4-1 lead.
Freshman infielder Grayson Byrd picked up his first career RBI one inning later on a single to right field, and Alex Bregman launched an RBI double to left-center field to extend LSU’s lead to 6-1. Foster added his second home run of the season in the bottom of the seventh to give LSU a six-run advantage.
That was more than enough for the Tigers’ bullpen.
Bain, Collin Strall, Jesse Stallings, Russell Reynolds and Alden Cartwright combined to toss five innings of scoreless baseball to secure the win.