BATON ROUGE, La. -- Senior pitcher John Valek III faced the minimum in six of his seven innings to lead fifth-ranked LSU to an 11-1 win over Sacramento State Sunday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU improved to 5-2 on the season with the series win while Sacramento State dropped to 4-3. The Tigers returns to action at 6 p.m. Wednesday against Nicholls in Thibodaux. The game will be televised on Cox Sports Television. Fans can listen to the game on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including 98.1 in Baton Rouge.
Valek III is now 2-0 on the year with the win. The southpaw pitcher struck out six and limited the Hornets to one run on four hits.
Sacramento State starter Max Karnos (0-1) suffered his first loss of the season after allowing five runs on seven hits thru four innings of work.
The Tigers used a five-run third inning to grab the momentum early. Shortstop Cole Freeman reached on a fielding error and second baseman Kramer Robertson followed with an infield single to third base to put runners on the corners. Centerfielder Jake Fraley ripped a single through the left side of the field to give LSU a 1-0 lead.
After freshman Antoine Duplantis walked on four pitches to load the bases, left fielder Beau Jordan lined a one-out double to right-center field to clear the bases. First baseman Bryce Jordan tallied a single to center field to score Bryce Jordan and give the Tigers a 5-0 lead.
Bryce Jordan doubled to center field with one out in the fifth inning. Designated hitter Greg Deichmann skipped a two-out single up the middle in the fifth to score Jordan and push the LSU lead to 6-0.
Freeman led off the sixth with a single up the middle. The freshman stole second, stole third and then scored on a throwing error by catcher Gunner Pollman. With Robertson on third after a walk and single by Fraley, Duplantis continued his hot start with an RBI single to center field. It marked Duplantis' seventh-straight game with a hit.
The Hornets put their lone run on the board in the top of the seventh off of Valek. Blake Edminson led off with a double to left-center field and eventually scored on a one-out single by designated hitter Matt Smith.
LSU took advantage of mistakes by the Hornets with two outs in the seventh inning to push the lead to 11-1. LSU loaded the bases with an O'Neal Lochridge walk, single by Freeman and Robertson hit by pitch. Gorgolinski then threw two consecutive wild pitches to score Lochridge and Freeman. An error by Pollman behind the plate on his throw back to the pitcher scored Robertson.