LSU walks off Nicholls State 5-4 for fifth straight win

March 20, 2019 - 10:07 pm

Paul Mainieri often jokes that Chris Reid could roll out of bed and dunk a hit into left field with no practice. The coach put that theory to the test with a game on the line, and he turned out to be correct.

Reid, sitting on the bench with a sore arm, pinch hit with two outs in the ninth inning and tied the game with a dramatic double to left-center field.

That clutch hit pushed the game into extra innings and Daniel Cabrera delivered a walk-off double in the tenth inning to score Antoine Duplantis. LSU won 5-4 in dramatic fashion to secure a perfect home stand at Alex Box Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Tigers were in need of Reid’s off-the-bench heroics after Nicholls State first baseman Adam Tarver took Todd Peterson deep in the top of the inning, his second home run of the game. LSU wouldn’t have been in a position to rally were it not for a career-high three RBI from Hal Hughes.

LSU (16-5), winners of five in a row, will now try to see if it can figure out how to make that success translate away from the friendly confines of Alex Box Stadium. But they had a dogfight on their hands first.  

Nicholls State ceased the early advantage against Landon Marceaux, who wasn’t particularly sharp after battling an illness all week. The freshman allowed two runs — including a long solo shot to left — in two innings of work before the bullpen took over.

LSU got the game tied in the fifth inning. A walk, an error and a sacrifice bunt put the tying runs in scoring position, and Hughes came through with a two-run single back through the box. Hughes made the start at third base with Chris Reid (sore arm) getting a night off.

Saul Garza made his first start at catcher since undergoing knee surgery for a torn meniscus in the fall. He caught three innings and allowed one stolen base before being lifted for Brock Mathis.

On the subject of returning to action, Chase Costello made his first appearance since March 1 at Texas. Costello has been dealing with a “strange soreness” in his arm.

Costello appeared sharper than at any point before the arm issues. His fastball sat at 93-94 mph and he mixed in a tight slider. He struck out two in a 1-2-3 fifth inning before giving up a solo home run to begin the sixth. The freshman right-hander did recover to complete his second inning of work.

LSU got that run back in the bottom of the inning thanks to some small ball. Giovanni DiGiacomo beat out an infield single and stole second base. That put him in position to score on another clutch single up the middle from Hughes.

Nicholls had a golden opportunity to retake the lead against Matt Beck in the eighth inning, but Beck wiggled out of it. There were Colonels at second and third base with one out, but Beck got a strikeout and induced a fly ball to right to escape.

The Tigers will depart Thursday afternoon for a three-game series at Georgia. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT in Athens.

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