May 13, 2011
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
BATON ROUGE, La. - The Tennessee baseball team managed just four hits off of LSU starting pitcher Kevin Gausman as he fired a complete-game shutout to lead the Tigers to a 9-0, series-opening victory on Friday night at Alex Box Stadium.
"(Gausman) did a good job," UT Head Coach Todd Raleigh said. "We had our chances with two on in the third inning, but we made two baserunning mistakes. In the fourth inning, it was a 0-0 game and we had runners on second and third with one out and we didn't score. It seemed like we were kind of flat after that. They scored multiple runs a couple of times and we started trying to do too much. We didn't have a lot of good at-bats at the end of the game.
"We have to come out harder tomorrow. Last week, (LSU) won the Friday night game by a similar score at Alabama and were shut out the next two games. A couple of years ago when they won the national championship, we were here and lost the first game, 18-3, before coming back to beat them the next two days. We were the only team to beat them in a series that whole year, so it is definitely possible. The score of the game doesn't really factor in. We just have to have a different mindset coming out tomorrow. It's not football where you have a week to think about it. We have to come back tomorrow ready to play."
Senior Josh Liles accounted for half of the team's hits with a double and a single to push his career total to 195. Fellow classmate Matt Duffy and junior Charley Thurber had UT's other two hits. For Thurber, his single came in his first at-bat since April 16 at Alabama when he suffered a wrist injury.
Gausman struck out seven in his nine innings of work to improve to 4-6 on the season, while Volunteer junior Steven Gruver fell to 4-7 with the loss. Freshmen Carter Watson and Jon Reed each struck out one in an inning of relief for the Big Orange.
The Tigers opened the scoring in the bottom of the fourth, using three straight hits to start the frame to bring home two runs. A suicide squeeze by LSU right-fielder Alex Edward three batters later made it 3-0 in favor of the home team.
After a scoreless fifth, LSU tacked on five more runs in the fifth and another in the seventh to account for the final score. Gausman retired the last 13 Tennessee hitters to close out the game.
Game two between Tennessee and LSU will take place at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon and will be televised live on CSS and online at ESPN3.com. UT sophomore right-hander Nick Blount (1-3, 5.79) will square off with Tiger freshman Kurt McCune (6-3, 3.51). The series finale is set or 2 p.m. ET on Sunday.