LSU outplayed Maryland baseball in all facets of the game on Saturday en route to a 14-0 shutout.
All eyes were on LSU starting pitcher Jared Poché, who no-hit Army in his first start of the 2017 season last weekend, and he delivered.
The senior stymied Maryland’s offense all game, working the corners and using all his pitches. Even the Terps’ highly productive middle of the order could not crack the code throughout the entire ballgame. He’s now thrown 15 consecutive innings without surrendering a hit to start his 2017 campaign.
The former 14th-round selection of the San Diego Padres finished with six strikeouts and two walks in his eight scoreless innings.
Maryland’s pitchers didn’t do too much better against a talented LSU lineup. Junior Taylor Bloom was coming off an unimpressive outing against a top-10 team in Louisville, and couldn’t get back on track against the Tigers.
Bloom was unable to get out of the third inning, allowing five earned runs in just two full frames. He allowed seven hits on the day, walked a man and hit two batters before his start was done. The bullpen was once again roughed up in mop-up duty. By the final out, LSU had managed to collect 18 hits, including two doubles and three triples.
After the Terps went down in order in the top of the first, LSU jumped on Maryland starter Taylor Bloom early. The junior right-hander was his own worst enemy early on as he plunked the Tigers leadoff hitter, Cole Peterson, to start the game. A couple of hard hit singles loaded the bases to set up a sacrifice fly from cleanup hitter Greg Deichmann for LSU’s first run of afternoon. Bloom went on to hit his second batter and allow another single before getting two clutch strikeouts to keep the Terps’ deficit at just two runs.
But LSU continued to feast off Bloom, putting up two more runs in the bottom of the second. For the second inning in a row, Bloom started things off by allowing the leadoff hitter to reach base. The batter, Brennan Breaux, would eventually score on an RBI single two batters later to put LSU up by three. The Tigers continued to put pressure on the Terrapins starter by hitting their fifth single of the game, which set up another Deichmann sacrifice fly.
It was a familiar tune the in the third inning, as the Terps could only muster one baserunner after a hit-by-pitch. LSU then went to work on breaking open the middle game of this series in the bottom of the third.
LSU got its leadoff hitter on for the third time in a row. Tigers DH Rankin Woley tripled in the next at-bat to expand the LSU lead to 5-0. This was the final straw for Bloom, as he was pulled after allowing six runs (five earned) in less than three innings of work. Cameron Enck entered in relief, but he was unsuccessful at stopping the bleeding. The right-handed sophomore allowed five hits, two of which were triples, which led to LSU scoring four more runs with him on the mound. This forced John Szefc to turn to his bullpen for the second time in the inning. Hunter Parsons would eventually get the Terps out of the mess, but it was not until after he allowed a 2 RBI double to put Maryland into an 11-0 hole.
Poché was unhittable from the opening pitch, and stymied any chance Maryland had of truly getting back into the ballgame. Speculation mounted as the lead widened and the no-hitter continued. Poché supposedly had a pitch limit of round 90. However, after he pitched a clean seventh and eighth inning, the LSU lefty was allowed to go back out for the ninth inning to try and complete his second consecutive no-hitter.
However, it was not to be. Maryland center fielder Zach Jancarski chopped a ball in between the shortstop and second baseman for the infield single to break the hitless streak. Poché was removed from the game directly after allowing the hit, and Russell Reynolds came in and recorded the next three outs to secure the win.
Maryland will attempt to shake off the defeat and avoid the sweep in the series finale on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. with a pair of freshman set to take the mound in Tyler Blohm for the Terps and Eric Walker for the Tigers.