Baseball Wins Season Opener, 4-1

by Brandon Berrio
Baseball vs. Kansas - G1 Highlights Baseball vs. Kansas - G1 Audio Replay Printable Box Score +0
Baseball Wins Season Opener, 4-1

BATON ROUGE, La. – Second-ranked LSU opened up the 2015 season with a 4-1 win over Kansas Friday night at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The win marked the 14th straight time the Tigers have started the season with a victory.

LSU has outscored its opponents 49-14 over its seven season-opening victories in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field, which opened in 2009.
LSU returns for Game 2 of the series tomorrow at 2 p.m. Freshman right-hander Alex Lange will get the start on the mound for the Tigers.

Saturday’s game will be streamed live on SECNetwork+ through Watch ESPN and the WatchESPN app. The game can also be heard live in the Geaux Zone at and in Baton Rouge on WTGE-FM 100.7.
“I thought we played a great ball game,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Our pitching was excellent, and it was complimented by some tremendous plays on defense. I wish we could have been more productive on offense, but frankly, I expected that in the first game of the season in cold weather. I think our hitters will come out more relaxed tomorrow and swing the bats more efficiently.”

LSU sophomore left-hander Jared Poche’ (1-0) earned the 10th win of his career with six scoreless innings. Poche’ only allowed two hits and struck out five batters with one walk. He fired an economical 84 pitches, 50 for strikes. The southpaw didn’t allow a Kansas baserunner to advance into scoring position.
LSU got off to a hot start in the bottom of the second. After singles by DH Chris Chinea and centerfielder Andrew Stevenson, catcher Kade Scivicque cleared the bases with a home run to left field to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead.
LSU tacked on another run during the third inning. Rightfielder Mark Laird set the table with a leadoff walk and stole second base. With two outs, Chinea singled up the middle to score Laird and extend the LSU advantage to 4-0.
Kansas broke up the Tigers’ bid for a shutout with a  run in the top of the eighth inning. With a runner on first base, Joven Afenir doubled into the left-centerfield gap to narrow the deficit to 4-1.
LSU redshirt freshman right-hander Jesse Stallings struck out the side in the ninth, working around a leadoff double to earn his first career save and seal the victory for the Tigers.

The bullpen effort was also highlighted by sophomore right-hander Collin Strall, who fired a scoreless seventh innings with two strikeouts.