Feature photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.
LSU pitcher Jared Poche’ nearly achieved the unfathomable Saturday, following up his no-hitter last weekend with eight more hitless innings before an infield chopper blemished his line score.
In the No. 5 Tigers 14-0 win, Poche’ struck out six and stymied Maryland all afternoon until center fielder Zach Jancarski legged out an infield hit to lead off the ninth inning.
The senior left-hander no hit Army in a seven-inning game last weekend, striking out four and allowing only one man to reach on an error. He walked two and plunked one batter this time, but didn’t struggle to quickly dispose of the Terrapins lineup, throwing 98 pitches before being pulled.
Aware of the situation brewing, fans stayed glued to their seats and reacted to Poche’s pitches in a manner normally reserved for games 14 runs tighter than the score in place. Groans echoed when the umpire refused to ring up Dan Maynard on a backdoor curveball. The audience fumed when a first pitch offering wasn’t called LSU’s way against Kevin Biondic.
Neither inconvenience would ultimately matter, Poche’ would strike out both batters on curves to end the eighth.
Following Jancarski’s hit, Poche’ left to a chorus of cheers and congratulatory hugs from each of his teammates before entering the dugout.
Three LSU triples in a seven-run third inning tied the school’s single-game record, paving the way to their double-digit shutout win. First baseman Jake Slaughter, aptly named given the day’s scoreboard, collected three hits and three RBI in his three at-bats before being pulled.
Right fielder Greg Deichmann also tied a school record of his own, lofting two sacrifice flies in the first two innings, matching the LSU single-game mark. He registered an official at-bat in the third by knocking in a run with a single. Manager Paul Mainieri also rewarded his lefty slugger with an early exit, with Deichmann taking the bench 1-for-1 with three RBI.
Outfielder Antoine Duplantis went 3-for-3 for LSU with an RBI triple and three runs.
Victimized by the Tigers relentless line-to-line hitting, Terrapins starter Taylor Bloom had to be lifted from the game in the third. With two innings to his name, he gave up seven hits and six runs, five of them earned. The 2016 third-team All-Big Ten member lost to No. 12 Louisville last week and is now 0-2 with a 14.40 ERA.
LSU didn’t back down against reliever Cameron Enck, either. The Tigers greeted the right-hander by putting each of the six men he faced on base, with the only out Enck picked up coming when Deichmann tried to stretch a single into a double.
Slaughter pushed another run across with a double when Hunter Parsons took over for Enck. That run counted against Enck, who surrendered five and saw his ERA balloon to 27.00.
Maryland, now 1-4, will try to avoid a sweep Sunday morning at 11 a.m. Freshman Tyler Blohm will make his second start and try to build off a winning appearance against Alabama State last week. He will oppose freshman Eric Walker, who defeated Air Force with six strikeouts and two runs allowed over five innings in his first start.