BATON ROUGE, La. - Cade Doughty and Saul Garza both launched multi-run homers over the left field wall Friday night at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field as the LSU Tigers earned the 8-1 win in the series opener against Indiana. LSU starts the season 1-0 and will resume play tomorrow with a doubleheader against Indiana to complete the series. The second game of the series starts Saturday at 1 p.m. CT, with game three of the series to follow 60 minutes after the completion of the first game.
The Tigers didn't waste any time as the offense produced two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Centerfielder Daniel Cabrera hit a leadoff single and second baseman Cade Doughty followed with a two-run shot over the left field wall. Doughty is the first LSU player to hit a home run in their first career at-bat since Beau Didier did against Villanova an Feb. 21, 2009 at The Box.
LSU struck again in the bottom of the third, to extend the lead to 5-0. Doughty drew a one-out walk and third baseman Zack Mathis hit a blooper to shallow right allowing Doughty to move over to third. With runners on the corners, catcher Saul Garza launched a three-run blast to left field.
Indiana right fielder Ethan Vecrumba reached on a fielding error in the top of the fifth. Shortstop Jeremy Houston then drew a walk. Designated hitter Drew Ashley grounded out, allowing Houston to move to second and Vecrumba to third. Center fielder Grant Richardson followed with a grounder to second that allowed Vecrumba to score the unearned run. With the run, LSU's advantage was 5-1.
The Tigers responded with two runs in the next inning. Left fielder Drew Bianco and Shortstop Hal Hughes both drew walks to start things off in the bottom of the sixth. Cabrera reached on a fielding error by the Indiana left fielder, then advanced to second. Hughes moved to third on the error, while Bianco moved to third and then scored on another throwing error by the left fielder. The two unearned runs extended the LSU lead to 7-1.
LSU added another run in the eighth on an RBI single from Mathis. The single to left scored Mitchell Sanford who was pinch running for Daniel Cabrera. This extended the LSU lead to 8-1.
Four pitchers combined in the effort.
Cole Henry got the start and worked four innings. He notched eight strikeouts in the win and allowed just three hits. Brandon Kaminer worked 1.2 innings, allowing one unearned run. Matthew Beck tossed two innings and recorded two strikeouts. Aaron George closed the game off with 1.1 innings of work and two strikeouts.