Eight pitchers combine in LSUs shutout of ULM

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BATON ROUGE, La. – Eight LSU pitchers combined to limit UL Monroe to no runs on seven hits Tuesday night as the Tigers blanked the Warhawks, 5-0, in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

LSU improved to 22-14, while ULM dropped to 13-19. The Tigers return to action at 7 p.m. CT Thursday when they face Ole Miss in Game 1 of an SEC series in Oxford, Miss.

Freshman right-hander Will Hellmers (6-1) – the first of eight LSU hurlers – was credited with the win, as he worked three scoreless innings, throwing just 29 pitches. Hellmers allowed three hits with no walks and one strikeout, and he lowered his ERA to 3.10 on the year.

The Tigers collected 11 hits in the game, as centerfielder Giovannni DiGiacomo was 3-for-4 with two runs scored, and catcher Alex Milazzo contributed two RBI, including a run-scoring single.

“We were planning to have Hellmers work only two innings, but he was so efficient with his pitches, we decided to let him go three,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “That’s an amazing ratio of pitches per inning, and he gave us three very good innings.

“I think the highlight for me was the way (freshman left-hander) Javen Coleman threw the ball. He threw it exceptionally well, and I just loved his mound presence and self-confidence. The way he threw the ball I think can really help us this weekend.”

Coleman pitched the fourth inning in relief of Hellmers and allowed one hit with no walks and two strikeouts.

ULM starting pitcher Tyler Lien (3-2) was charged with the loss, as he surrendered one run on four hits in three innings with no walks and three strikeouts.

LSU took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on third baseman Cade Doughty’s RBI single, and the Tigers extended the margin to 2-0 in the fourth when Milazzo’s single drove home a run.

Rightfielder Dylan Crews doubled to lead off the fifth inning and scored on leftfielder Gavin Dugas’ single to give LSU a 3-0 advantage.

The Tigers added two runs in the sixth as Milazzo’s fielder’s choice grounder with the bases loaded plated one run, and a second run scored on a ULM infield error.

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