LSU Gold

LSU Wins Third Game, 16-4; Captures Round Rock Classic Championship

LSU pounds out 23 hits, its largest hit output since 2014, as the Tigers roll to the Round Rock Classic title. Centerfielder Dylan Crews goes 5-for-6 at the plate with three doubles and four RBI and wins tournament MVP honors.

by Kirby Koch
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LSU Wins Third Game, 16-4; Captures Round Rock Classic Championship

ROUND ROCK, Texas – Top-ranked LSU scored 16 runs on 23 hits Sunday afternoon to win the sixth and final game of the 2023 Round Rock Classic, 16-4, against the Sam Houston Bearkats at Dell Diamond.

With LSU’s 12-run victory, the Tigers were awarded the Round Rock Classic championship belt. Due to three teams – LSU, Iowa and Sam Houston – finishing 2-1 on the weekend, run differential became the determining factor. Comparatively to Iowa and Sam Houston, LSU’s run differential against those two teams was greater than either the Hawkeyes or Bearkats versus the other 2-1 squads.

LSU improved to 6-1 on the season and Sam Houston dropped to 5-3 on the year.

Centerfielder Dylan Crews paced LSU’s 23-hit output by going 5-for-6 at the plate with three doubles, four RBI and four runs. Crews’ three doubles tied the LSU single-game doubles record set on several occasions, most recently by Tre’ Morgan on March 27, 2021, at Tennessee.

Rightfielder Brayden Jobert enjoyed a huge day as well, as he was 4-for-6 with two home runs, a triple and five RBI. Jobert became the first Tiger to hit two homers in a game since he did it himself on May 21, 2022, at Vanderbilt.

Crews was named the Most Valuable Player of the Round Rock Classic, and he was joined on the all-tournament team by LSU teammates Jobert and pitcher Paul Skenes.

“Dylan Crews is the best player I’ve ever coached, and I had 14 former players play in the Major Leagues last year,” LSU coach Jay Johnson said. “That tells you how good he is. The talent is easy to see, the way the ball comes off the bat, the plays he makes in center field. What I’m most proud of is the way he continues to develop and be in control of himself when everyone in the park knows he’s the best player out there.”

LSU’s 23-hit total marked its most hits in a game since May 13, 2014, when the Tigers also collected 23 hits against Northwestern State in Baton Rouge.

“Tonight was our best game of the year,” said Johnson. “We had a goal of playing our best game so far, and we accomplished that. I’m thankful that our guys have been very coachable, and I’m excited for the future of this team.”

A slew of relievers entered Sunday’s game for LSU including Garrett Edwards (1-0), who was awarded his first victory of the season. He finished the night tossing 3.1 innings while giving up one run on four hits. The trio of Bryce Collins, Griffin Herring, and Blake Money threw a combined 3.2 innings and held the SHSU offense to three runs on one hit.

“Sam Houston in its first two games this weekend did an unbelievable job of hitting mistakes,” Johnson said, “our plan to not allow their lineup to see any of our pitchers more than one time through the lineup. That was the plan going in; we weren’t going to let them see anyone twice, and it lined up well for us.”

Freshman Chase Shores got his second start of the season, firing a solid two innings and giving up no runs on three hits.

LSU opened the scoring in the first by blitzing the SHSU starter Logan Hewitt (1-1) with a two-run home run from Jobert. Crews gave Jobert the RBI opportunity with a single through the left side. LSU led 2-0 after one inning.

Hewitt worked two innings for Sam Houston and was charged with eight runs on nine hits.

The Tigers added eight runs over the next two innings, which included a five-run second. LSU first baseman Jared Jones got it started with a double down the left-field line. Shortstop Jordan Thompson drove in Jones with an RBI single. With Thompson and second baseman Gavin Dugas occupying a base, Crews smoked a double down the left-field line scoring both Thompson and Dugas.

LSU’s Jobert punctuated the inning with another two-run dinger to right field, scoring Crews and pushing the margin to 7-0.

Jones began the third inning with the Tiger’s third home run of the game, which gave LSU an 8-0 lead. After two singles and a passed ball, Crews came up to bat and popped one up on the infield. The first baseman misplayed the ball, allowing two runs to score. LSU’s lead increased to 10-0 after three.

In the top of the fourth, left fielder Tre’ Morgan singled and Jones walked with Thompson heading to the plate. He poked a single through the right and SHSU right fielder Clayton Chadwick misplayed it, allowing Morgan and Jones to score easily. Thompson wound up at third, and LSU’s lead sat at 12-0 after four.

The Bearkats would respond in the bottom half of the fourth with four straight free passes and a two-RBI single, narrowing the gap to 12-3.

LSU made it a 10-run game again in the top of the fifth after Crews smoked a double into the left-center field gap and Jobert’s third hit of the day drove in Crews from second. The Tigers led 13-3 after five innings.

The Tigers would add three more down the stretch, while the Bearkats added one to account for the final margin.