LSU hammers Stony Brook in Baton Rouge Regional opener, 17-3
BATON ROUGE — No. 13 seed LSU began its pursuit of a seventh national championship with a bang.
The Tigers (38-24) racked up 10 hits, including a pair of home runs, on their way to a 17-3 rout of Stony Brook (31-22) in their opener at the Baton Rouge Regional. Paul Mainieri’s squad scored at least two runs in each of the first five innings.
It was the best offensive performance by the Tigers since they scored 17 against Southern University back on Feb. 27. It was the worst loss of the season for the Seawolves, both in runs allowed and margin of defeat.
LSU will face Southern Miss in the winner’s bracket on Saturday at 6:00 pm. The Golden Eagles were big winners on Friday as well, beating Arizona State 15-3 in the early game.
Right fielder Antoine Duplantis led the offense by going 3-for-5 with three RBI. His three hits against the Seawolves give him 352 for his career, moving him into a tie with former Tigers first baseman Eddy Furniss for the most in school history.
“Antoine Duplantis, I am so proud of him,” said Mainieri. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of him. To tie the all-time hits record with the great Eddy Furniss. I count myself as the lucky one who’s gotten to see every one of them. It was a great win for us.”
Brandt Broussard, coming off a sterling performance at the SEC Tournament, had three hits in four at-bats. He brought four runs home and scored twice. Saul Garza went 2-for-4 with a double, driving in three runs and scoring two more. Zach Watson (3) and Chris Reid (2) combined for five RBI.
Marceaux (5-2) allowed two run (both unearned) on seven hits over five innings to earn the victory. Four relievers combined to give up just one run and three hits over the final four frames.
Greg Marino (5-5) took the loss for Stony Brook, who will face Arizona State in an elimination game at noon Saturday. Marino lasted only 1 1/3 innings, giving up seven runs (two earned) on three hits, with three walks and a pair of strikeouts.
“We only had 10 hits, but our hits really came in clutch situations,” Mainieri said. “We had a three-run double from (catcher) Saul Garza in the first inning, which kind of set the tone for the ball game. (Second baseman) Brandt Broussard had a big night with a clutch first-inning single and later a three-run homer. What I was really proud about is how our guys just didn’t let up. Every inning we went out there and had terrific at-bats and clutch hits.”
Marceaux, a freshman, took the hill for the Tigers. Though he struggled through most of the season, winning only four of his 12 starts and posting a 4.93 ERA, he had a pair of solid performances in his last two outings.
“Landon did exactly what we had hoped he would do,” Mainieri said. “I’ve had enough experience with that Stony Brook club to know that they’re scrappy, hard-nosed, tough and they were very aggressive.”
LSU stumbled a bit out of the gate, giving up a run after failing to complete a potential inning-ending double play, and fell behind 1-0 after one half inning.
From there it was all Tigers, who reached double figures in runs for the 15th time this season. They improved to 14-1 when scoring 10 or more.
The onslaught began in the bottom of the first with LSU scoring five runs, all unearned, on just two hits. With the score tied at one, two out, and the bases loaded, Garza hit a three-run double down the right field line that put the Tigers in front 4-1. Brandt Broussard followed with an RBI single to score Garza. LSU could have extended the inning but Broussard was tagged out trying to extend his hit into a double.
Leading 7-1 in the bottom of the second Zach Watson came through with the big knock. He drove in a pair of runs with a two-run blast over the left field wall, making the score 9-1.
In the third, LSU added two more runs on a Duplantis single to left that scored Broussard and Josh Smith.
Back up in the fourth, Broussard sent a three-run home run into the left field stands that extended the LSU lead to 14-1. For Broussard, it was the first home run of his LSU career, and only his fifth extra base hit of the season.
The Seawolves managed a run in the top of the fifth, but the Tigers answered quickly and resoundingly, tacking on three more runs in the bottom of the frame to build their lead to 15.
With the outcome decided, the only drama remaining was whether or not Duplantis would break Furniss’ 21 year old record. He popped out to left in the bottom of the sixth, and was left standing in the on-deck circle in the eighth, ending the suspense.
LSU improves to 27-7 in regional play under Mainieri. The Tigers will face Southern Miss (39-19) for the first time since the 2014 Wally Pontiff Jr. Classic, which LSU won 13-5. The two teams have not played in Baton Rouge since 2008. The Eagles will enter the game winners of five in a row.
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David Grubb has more than a decade of experience in the sports industry. He began his career with KLAX-TV in Alexandria, La. and followed that up with a stint as an reporter and anchor with WGGB-TV in Springfield, Mass. After spending a few years away from the industry, David worked as sports information director for Southern University at New Orleans…