Majestic might be too tame a word to describe Greg Deichmann’s home run in the first inning of LSU’s 8-1 win against Hofstra on Wednesday night.
“I couldn’t have hit two balls that far,” senior second baseman Cole Freeman said.
It was the LSU baseball version of the Big Bang.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri knew something was wrong when saw the dent left by a pitch that stru…
Deichmann turned an 0-2 meatball from Hofstra left-hander Michael James into one of the most impressive displays of power the new Alex Box Stadium has ever seen.
With the wind blowing from left field to right, Deichmann hit one high and deep and cleared the Intimidator billboard in right field by a healthy margin, landing somewhere beyond the confines of the stadium. The mammoth shot compelled LSU coach Paul Mainieri to channel his inner Crash Davis.
“Anything that travels that far ought to have a flight attendant,” Mainieri said.
The estimated carry of Deichmann’s third home run of the young season, according to LSU’s TrackMan ball tracking system: 486 feet.
LSU lost a five-run lead in the span of one inning, and UNO did not stop there, pounding out…
“When you hit a ball like that, you really don’t feel it,” Deichmann said. “It’s kind of one of those things that nobody knows how to describe. It’s the best feeling in the world, but there’s no feeling when it comes off the bat.”
Most importantly: It gave LSU (4-1) a lead it never relinquished, thanks to an outstanding overall pitching performance.
Freshman right-hander Zack Hess (1-0) was excellent in his first career start, striking out six and allowing two hits in five shutout innings. Hess was particularly sharp with his breaking ball, which he used to ring up four of his six strikeouts.
“At this level, you have to throw three pitches for strikes if you want to be successful,” Hess said. “I had to learn that the hard way this fall.”
He only ran into trouble twice, and he deftly maneuvered his way out of it both times.
Hofstra (0-4) put runners at second and third with two out in the second inning after a Josh Smith error and a one-out single by left fielder Teddy Cillis. But with the tying run on second, Hess froze Mikey Riesner on a two-strike breaking ball.
With two outs in the fourth, Hess momentarily lost his command. He walked David Leiderman on four pitches, then followed that by throwing four straight balls to Cillis after jumping ahead 0-2. But LSU catcher Michael Papierski threw Cillis out at second, getting Hess out of the jam.
For a while, it looked like Hess needed to be sharp. By the time he’d thrown his final pitch, the only runs LSU had scored came across on Deichmann’s monster blast in the first inning.
That quickly changed, however. The top of the Tigers order strung together four consecutive two-out hits to score two runs in the bottom of the fifth, then added two more in the sixth, one in the seventh and one more in the eighth to swell their lead to 8-0. LSU finished with 12 hits, its fourth consecutive game with 11 or more.
That was more than enough for the LSU bullpen. A night after blowing a five-run lead in an 11-8 loss at UNO, the LSU relievers allowed just two hits and one unearned run in four innings.
Included in that number was freshman right-hander Todd Peterson, who logged two perfect innings, and left-hander Nick Bush, who faced three batters and struck out two in his first career appearance after missing last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
With the resounding win, LSU quickly erased the sour taste from Tuesday’s UNO loss.
“We take pride in not having losing streaks at LSU,” Mainieri said. “We take pride in going out there and playing well, and I thought we did.”
LSU returns to Alex Box Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday to begin a three-game series with Maryland.