LSU Gold

Anderson, Neal Lead LSU to 16-4 Win at Rice Wednesday Night

Left-hander Kade Anderson worked five innings to earn the victory and catcher Brady Neal blasted two homers and collected five RBI as LSU improved to 8-1 on the year.

by Bill Franques
Box Score Schedule Highlights +0
Anderson, Neal Lead LSU to 16-4 Win at Rice Wednesday Night

HOUSTON – Freshman left-hander Kade Anderson pitched five innings Wednesday night without allowing an earned run, and catcher Brady Neal launched two homers as second-ranked LSU defeated Rice, 16-4, at Reckling Park.

LSU improved to 8-1 on the season, while Rice dropped to 3-5.

The Tigers return to action at 7 p.m. CT Friday when they face Texas in Minute Maid Park in the Astros Foundation College Classic. The game will be aired on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, and it will be streamed free on all of the Houston Astros social media channels.

The LSU-Texas game will be televised by Space City Home Network and available on the channel in the entirety of the Astros five-state viewing area of Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Space City Home Network is available on DirecTV, AT&T Uverse, Xfinity, Consolidated Communications, btel, Astound, Phonoscope, and I-Net.

Anderson (2-0) pitched brilliantly Wednesday night, limiting the Owls to three runs – none earned – on three hits in five innings with one walk and seven strikeouts while firing 82 pitches.

“Kade was great, he’s a stud,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “I’m certainly happy he’s here with us.”

Rice starting pitcher Robert Fernandez was charged with the loss, as he surrendered three runs on two hits in 1. 2 innings with two walks and one strikeout.

The Tigers reached base 26 times in the contest with 11 hits, 10 walks and five hit-by-pitches.

“We did good job with plate discipline tonight,” Johnson said. “A lot of free passes, and then we cashed in with two outs and runners in scoring position. If you can do that, you can have a very good night. Our kids are great, they work hard, they’re bought in and will continue to improve.”

Neal was 2-for-4 on the night with two homers, five RBI, three runs and a walk.

“I think Brady is one of the best players on our team,” Johnson said, “and I thought the same thing last year before he was injured. The pure talent he has is very evident, and we saw it tonight.”

Centerfielder Paxton Kling was productive from the lead-off spot, driving in four runs and scoring twice to spark the Tigers’ offensive output.

LSU struck for three runs in the top of the second inning as first baseman Jared Jones delivered an run-scoring single, and  Kling lined a two-out, two-run single.

The Tigers added six runs in the third as Neal launched a two-run dinger, and third baseman Tommy White slapped a two-RBI single to highlight the inning.

Rice reduced the deficit to 9-3 in the bottom of the third with three unearned runs caused by a pair of LSU errors. A two-run, two-out single by designated hitter Nathan Becker punctuated the inning for the Owls.

LSU, however, added two runs in the fifth as Kling and second baseman Steven Milam each lifted sacrifice flies.

The Tigers erupted for five more runs in the seventh, as Neal blasted a three-run dinger – his third of the season – White produced an RBI double and designated hitter Hayden Travinski lined a run-scoring single.