We started 17-0. Now 18-4. We never had to hit in the 9th inning until game 18 - now we've done it in 4 out of 5 games.
Evan Mitchell started the game and really didn't do that bad, only giving up one hit in 4 innings of work. That one hit, however, was a Mason Katz homerun - his third of the series. Why wasn't he getting some chin music after single-handedly winning the game Friday night?
There weren't too many highlights outside Trey Porter's 3 for 4 night. Brett Pirtle came in for Matthew Britton and was able to belt a two-run HR in the 9th, but the game was decided at that point after Preston Brown gave up a 3-run HR in the top half of the inning.
It is the little things that are stinging the most.
In the 22nd game of the season, John Cohen trotted his 20th different lineup out there. Detz got his first start of the year at 3B, and promptly made an error in the 5th inning which lead to an unearned run. Detz was at third because Wes Rea made his defensive return to the lineup - the first time since March 1st vs. St. Joe's.
Where is Daryl Norris? He has not started in either of these two games vs. LSU. Put Detz at 2B - what are we doing with Britton getting his second start of the year in this crucial game, when we need offense vs. a great LSU pitcher?
Detz error was one of three on the night for the Dawgs. There should have been a 4th error on either Britton or Ammiratti allowing the 3rd run to score when he was dead to right at the plate.
Nine men left on base. That makes 17 for the series.
Five double plays in the series including this game's 3rd inning rally killer by Detz with men on 1st and 2nd.
The 6-9 hitters in the lineup are now 3 for 31 (.097) in this series with 10 strikeouts. In this game specifically they were 2 for 14 with 6 K's.
In the 4th inning, Porter led off with a double. Jacob Robson couldn't get the bunt down and eventually got caught looking on a strike three called. Wes Rea hit a deep fly ball to center field but Porter was still at 2nd base. If Robson would have been able to get the bunt down, Rea's fly out would have scored a run. I don't necessarily agree with bunting your 6-hole hitter in that situation - especially since his efforts to get it down were very weak - but you've got to execute.
The top of State's order has actually been producing. Frazier, Bradford and Porter all had multple-hit games and Renfroe extended his hitting streak to seven games. Through the first two games the 1-5 hitters are 17 for 40 (.425). So, what could we do to get these guys to come around to score? HOW ABOUT PLAY NORRIS AND NOT BRITTON OR PIRTLE.
The pitching hasn't been bad per se, we are playing LSU. But State only gave up three long balls prior to this series, and the Tigers have already gone deep four times with one more game to go.
LSU has now won their 7th straight series over the Bulldogs. The last time State won was 2006 - the season we started 18-0. With the fast start comparisons of that team to this, it doesn't bode well that they beat LSU in the first series before falling apart and this team can't.
Got to find a way to salvage one game on St. Patrick's Day. Maybe the green hats will bring some luck.
Thanks to WCF for a bunch of game notes included in this recap.