Five-Run Fifth Keeps Baseball Streak Alive, 5-3
BATON ROUGE — Facing a three-run deficit, LSU notched five runs in the fifth inning, and right-handers Daniel Bradshaw and Louis Coleman fired five scoreless innings out of the bullpen to lift the Tigers to a 5-3 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette Tuesday night in Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers (29-16-1) posted their sixth-straight victory. The Ragin’ Cajuns dropped to 22-23 with the loss.
LSU will travel to Lexington, Ky. this weekend to face No. 19 Kentucky in a Southeastern Conference series. Game 1 begins at 5:30 p.m. CT Friday.
Bradshaw (3-5) hurled four relief innings Tuesday night, allowing only three hits and fanning six to record the victory. Coleman tallied his first save of the season as the junior surrendered one hit and struck out two in the ninth.
“Pitching was the key for us tonight,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “I thought Bradshaw was just outstanding, and Louis Coleman‘s ninth inning was dominating. He threw the ball great.”
Shortstop DJ LeMahieu paced the Tigers’ offensive assault in the fifth, hammering a two-run double down the left field line. The double extended the true freshman’s hitting streak to 12 games. First baseman Matt Clark collected two hits on the night, including a two-bagger of his own.
“This team has gotten to the point now where we don’t even flinch when we fall behind,” Mainieri added. “There’s so much confidence offensively that we can string some things together.
“When kids come from behind to win games, it builds a real team spirit; it makes the team really believe in itself.”
Designated hitter Scott Hawkins hit a two-out double in the first inning, and first baseman Chance Harst drove him in on an RBI single to give the Ragin’ Cajuns a 1-0 lead.
UL-Lafayette added a run in the second to go up 2-0, as shortstop William Long pulled an RBI single through the right side of the infield.
After the Ragin’ Cajuns notched a run in the third, LSU bounced back in the fifth to score five runs and take a 5-3 advantage. LeMahieu ripped a double into the gap in left field to plate two runs. LeMahieu later crossed the plate when third baseman Matt Hicks threw the ball away on center fielder Leon Landry‘s sacrifice bunt.
Right fielder Derek Helenihi singled to knock in third baseman Michael Hollander for the fifth run.
UL-Lafayette threatened in the eighth with two runners on base and the go-ahead run at the plate, but a fantastic defensive play by Landry kept the Ragin’ Cajuns off the scoreboard. The freshman sprinted to the warning track on a deep fly ball hit by ULL second baseman Jordan Poirrier and made a sensational catch while falling to the ground.
UL-Lafayette starter Brent Solich (1-4) was charged with the loss. The left-hander gave up five hits and five runs (two earned) in 5.1 innings with one walk and three strikeouts.
LSU 5, Louisiana-Lafayette 3 (Apr 29, 2008 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Louisiana-Lafayette. 111 000 000 – 3 10 3 (22-23)
LSU……………………. 000 050 00X – 5 6 0 (29-16-1)
Pitchers: Louisiana-Lafayette – Solich, Brent; Glass, Buddy(6).
LSU – Austin Ross; Daniel Bradshaw(5); Louis Coleman(9).
Win-Daniel Bradshaw(3-5) Save-Louis Coleman(1) Loss-Solich, Brent(1-4) T-2:31 A-7981
Actual Attendance: 4,050