Lions fall to No. 3 Tigers

A bizarre Wednesday night game that included a two-out double suicide squeeze bunt and numerous plays at the plate ended with the Lions (28-14) falling just short of a win against No. 3 LSU Tigers (33-9), 4-3.  
The Lions managed a lone run in the top of the first after junior second baseman Brock Hebert scored on a wild pitch.  
Head coach Jay Artigues gave the nod to senior right-hander Josh Janway to start, and, for the first two innings, held the Tigers scoreless.
When the third inning rolled around, Janway gave up back-to-back singles to second baseman Jacoby Jones and center fielder Arby Fields. Artigues signaled to the bullpen for freshman Tanner Rainey who surrendered four runs, two of which were earned by Janway. The third inning would be the first and only inning that the Tigers scored a run.
 “We didn’t put enough pressure on them offensively,” said Artigues. “We punched out 13 times. You have to be willing to take some chances and we did, and it paid off on a couple of runs.”
With two outs in the top of the fourth, Hebert broke for home on a wild pitch, but was called out after stepping out of the baseline trying to avoid a tag by catcher Ty Ross.
Senior shortstop Ben Hernandez singled through the right side of the infield during the top of the sixth, and promptly stole second. A wild pitch by junior pitcher Joey Bourgeois allowed Hernandez not only to take third, but score as well.
An Hebert triple put another run on the board for the Lions in the top of the eighth, but Hebert was again caught trying to score on a wild pitch.
The bottom of the eighth saw one of the strangest double plays seen by either side, and brought the officiating into question. With one out in the inning, and shortstop Austin Nola on first, first baseman Tyler Moore hit a sinking line drive to right field, which was presumably caught in air by outfielder Alex Marse. However, first base umpire Myron Miller signaled that Marse had trapped the ball between the ground and his glove. Moore, thinking it was caught in air, started back towards the dugout, while Marse threw the ball to first base. Senior first baseman Michael Rutland threw the ball to Hernandez at second to tag Nola out.
“Will Davis, our first base coach, said the right fielder clearly caught the ball about knee high,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said, in an interview with Nola.com.
Manieri was more than accepting of the win, despite the questionable calls, which favored both sides.
“Regardless of what you think happened, you have to abide by what the umpire called,” Mainieri said in an interview with The Reveille. “Fortunately in the end we won the game, so let’s just put it behind us.”
Although some of the freshman may have been intimidated by  the large crowd, veterans like Hebert, Janway, and senior first baseman Jonathan Pace were still focused on the task at hand.
“Once you settle in, baseball is baseball,” said Hebert. “The bases are the same distance away, and the pitching mound is the same distance away.  You still have to throw it across the little white plate.”