In their first road game of 2018, the Longhorns showed their inexperience under the bright lights of Alex Box Stadium.
In the first meeting between LSU and Texas since the 2009 CWS finals, David Pierce and the Texas Longhorns moved to 3-2 after getting blown out in Baton Rouge on Friday night.
The Tigers wasted no time jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the bottom half of the 1st after a costly two error inning put Texas in a hole early. The ‘Horns looked shaky on defense and Nolan Kingham did not have his good stuff working like we are used to seeing.
Kingham (L, 1-1): 3 IP, 8 H, 8 R (4 earned), 2 BB, 3 K
Texas would answer in the 2nd after an RBI triple off the bat of Tate Shaw, and a sacrifice fly from Ryan Reynolds made it 5-2.
Momentum appeared to shift to the Longhorns momentarily as Kingham worked an 8 pitch, 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 2nd. Texas appeared to be right back in it.
Unfortunately, even though Texas showed some fight after getting down early, poor defense and timely hitting for the Tigers were too much for the Longhorns to overcome.
LSU blew the game open in the 3rd with two outs, scoring three runs and expanding their lead 8-2. They would never look back as Paul Mainieri’s Tigers would go on to put up 13 runs on the UT pitching staff.
LSU starting pitcher Zack Hess was dominate tonight as he struck out a career high 10 Longhorns over 6 complete innings, only allowing two earned runs. The former Tiger closer showed some rough patches early in the game but quickly adjusted and settled in. Hess had the Longhorns guessing all night and made this Texas lineup look very uncomfortable at the plate.
I’m going to chalk this loss up to nerves and inexperience on the road. It’s not easy walking in to “The Box” with a fairly young team and getting a win. With that being said, if Texas wants to win this series (which I believe they can) David Pierce will need to make some adjustments offensively as this team continues to struggle at the plate, specifically with RISP and will need strong starts from Chase Shugart and Blair Henley to close out the series.
It’s early and this team will continue to improve. It’s better to have games like this early in the season before conference play. Lets put this one behind us and play some more ball tomorrow.
You can catch Game Two Saturday at 6:30 P.M. CT on the WatchESPN app or on SECN+.