BATON ROUGE, La. – Sacramento State junior left handed pitcher Sam Long allowed just one earned run and just six hits over 5.2 innings but No. 5 LSU capitalized on four Hornet errors and held the visitors to just three hits in a 6-0 win on Friday night in Baton Rouge.
Sacramento State (3-2) had runners on base in four of the first five innings of the game and had four at-bats with runners in scoring position but was held at bay by Tiger starter Jordan Poche'. Ranked No. 5 in the nation in the USA Today Coaches poll, LSU (4-1) improved to 4-0 this season at home.
Long had three strikeouts and issued only one walk. He also allowed just one extra base hit but errors in the second and sixth innings scored three unearned runs against him. The Hornets had two hits and three walks against Poche' but he stranded four men on base with eight strikeouts over six scoreless innings for the win.
Senior Chris Lewis walked and reached second in the top of the first but was left aboard. In the bottom half LSU leadoff hitter Kramer Robertson drew a leadoff walk and eventually scored on a two-out RBI single from Beau Jordan. In the second inning the Tigers doubled their lead on a single, a Sacramento State fielding error, and an RBI double from Robertson.
The Hornets got a pair of two-out runners in the fourth inning but could not score. Long retired seven straight LSU hitters and kept the deficit at 2-0 through five innings, but in the sixth the Tigers had a leadoff single followed by a Long throwing error. A sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly produced one run and chased Long, with a second run scoring on another Hornet throwing error.
LSU added a fifth run in the seventh inning on a leadoff walk and stolen base from Jake Fraley and an RBI single by Jordan. Robertson drove in a run with an RBI single in the eighth to complete the scoring.
Sacramento State got singles from freshman Matt Smith and sophomores Bronson Grubbs and Andrew McWilliam. Smith extended his hitting streak to five straight games to open his collegiate career but saw his four-game RBI streak come to a close. The Hornets had scored at least four runs in each of their first four games of the season.
Game two of the series on Saturday will feature Hornet senior Grant Kukuk facing LSU sophomore Alex Lange at noon Pacific time.