AUSTIN, Texas – Second baseman Gavin Dugas launched a three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday night to lift top-ranked LSU to a 3-0 win over Texas at Disch-Falk Field.
LSU improved to 7-1 on the year, while Texas dropped to 3-5. The Tigers return to action at 6:30 p.m. CT Friday when they play host to Butler in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Friday’s LSU-Butler game will be broadcast on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network and streamed on SEC Network +.
With Tuesday night’s game scoreless entering the top of the ninth inning, LSU catcher Brady Neal and shortstop Jordan Thompson drew back-to-back walks from Texas reliever Chris Stuart.
Stuart struck out third baseman Ben Nippolt for the first out of the inning, and reliever Andre Duplantier II was inserted into the game to face Dugas.
Dugas smashed a Duplantier pitch beyond the wall in left-center field, giving LSU a 3-0 advantage with his third homer of the season.
“That was awesome, a great at-bat by Gavin,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “To win games like this against a good team in an environment like this, your dudes have to be dudes, and he was in that moment. Gavin is tough-minded; he had some setbacks last year and going into this year, but he got himself ready to play, and he’s playing better now than he ever has. All credit to him for his determination.”
LSU reliever Christian Little pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth to earn his first save of the year.
Left-hander Nate Ackenhausen (1-0) was the winning pitcher after entering the contest in the fifth inning and working 3.1 scoreless innings, limiting the Longhorns to one hit with one walk and four strikeouts.
LSU starter Thatcher Hurd blanked Texas over the first 4.2 innings, allowing three hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Stuart (1-1) suffered the loss as he was charged with two runs in 0.1 inning with two walks and one strikeout.
Texas starter Lebarron Johnson delivered a strong outing, firing five shutout innings with three hits, two walks and nine strikeouts.
“This was a great experience for our team,” Johnson said. “Going into SEC play in a couple of weeks, we’re going to see the same environments we saw tonight. It won’t be new to us the next time we play on the road in front of a big crowd in a great atmosphere. The players were energized throughout the game, and it was a blast.”
God Bless Gavin Dugas@gavin_dugas04 | LHN pic.twitter.com/0kh57pQqiw
— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) March 1, 2023
The eventual game winner from Gavin Dugas deep to left-center. Hear the call from @LSUTigersVoice in the T9. #TigersWin #LSU https://t.co/QUMbbuGjeQ
— LSU Sports Radio Network 🐅📻 (@LSUradio) March 1, 2023