Davis’ homecoming spoiled on LSU offensive outburst

BATON ROUGE, La. – Cutter McDowell had a special game at the plate with two home runs, but back-to-back long balls in the second inning sparked LSU’s offense as the Tigers downed the Lamar University baseball team 10-4 Tuesday night at Alex Box Stadium in non-conference action.

Cutter McDowell popped a first pitch home run, his second leadoff bomb of the season, and put the Cardinals (22-16) up 1-0, but the Tigers (26-12) responded in the second inning with back-to-back blasts from Nick Coomes and Josh Smith that put them up 3-1.

Coomes’ blast was a two-run shot after Jordan Romero worked a two-strike count into a full-count walk. Smith’s homer was on the first pitch he saw. Those were the first three runs of a six-run second inning, in which the Tigers had two long balls and four singles.

The Cardinals pulled to within two runs by the fourth inning. McDowell uncorked his second home run in the third inning, which led off the frame. In the fourth, Bryndan Arredondo led off with a double down the left field line to get in position for Chad Fleischman’s bomb to left field. McDowell’s homer was the third overall, and Fleischman’s was his fourth.

McDowell’s two homers in a single game is the second time the Cardinals have done it in the 2017 campaign, first since Russell did it against Fairfield in the second week of the season.

The Tigers drew it back to a three-one lead in the fifth when Antoine Duplantis hit a sinking line drive into center field with Coomes in scoring position. Coomes reached on walk and took second on a single from Beau Jordan. They poured it on with three more in the seventh and took a commanding 10-4 lead.

Ryan Johnson (1-1) took the loss on 1 2/3 innings with six runs on six hits, one walk and two strikeouts. He was relieved by Brent Janak, who needed just one pitch to get out of the second inning. He worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings with just one walk allowed. Brett Brown took over in the fifth, and he pitched two innings with two runs allowed on two hits and two walks.

Ryan Cawthon worked an inning and gave up two runs on four hits. Tanner Driskill came on to close it out in the ninth. He gave up one base knock, but struck out two batters.

Caleb Gilbert started the game for the Tigers, who used six pitchers in the contest. Gilbert pitched two frames and his only run allowed was McDowell’s leadoff homer. Matthew Beck relieved him and gave up three runs on five hits, and was followed by Austin Bain’s 2 1/3 scoreless frames. 

Nick Bush, Zack Hess and Hunter Newman all worked an inning each.

The Cardinals put up nine hits in the game, led by three from McDowell (3-of-5) and two each from Silvers (2-for-4) and Arredondo (2-for-3). McDowell and Fleischman – 1-for-3 – had two RBI in the contest. Lamar drew two walks and struck out seven times.

The Tigers put up 13 hits, led by Duplantis’ three base knocks with Kramer Robertson and Zach Watson following at two apiece. Every Tiger in the starting lineup recorded a base knock. Coomes had two RBI on his homer, and Greg Deichmann – who LU pitching struck out three times – and Romero each had RBI singles.