Hofstra baseball dropped its fourth consecutive game to begin the season after an 8-1 loss to No. 2 LSU Wednesday night at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Starting pitcher Zack Hess held his own for the Tigers, throwing five shutout innings with six strikeouts, two hits and two walks.
Junior Greg Deichmann put LSU on the board in the bottom half of the first inning with a two-run home run measured at 486 feet, per Coordinator of LSU Baseball Operations Nate Fury.
The Hofstra pitching staff kept the LSU offense stagnant until the fifth inning when Antoine Duplantis and Kramer Robertson notched RBI singles each, extending the Tigers’ lead to 4-0.
Robertson finished with two hits, including a double and Duplantis crossed home plate twice for LSU.
In the following frame, the Tigers battled for two more runs off the bats of Michael Papierski – a RBI double – and Cole Freeman – a RBI base hit. They each logged two hits in the game.
First baseman Jake Slaughter brought Robertson in to score in the seventh with a single to left field and Rankin Woley doubled in a run in the eighth, furthering LSU’s lead to eight runs.
Hofstra scrapped a run in the top of the ninth inning to avoid the shutout. Rob Weissheier and Teddy Cillis reached base with a pair of singles, followed by a throwing error from Chris Reid that scored Weissheier. Weissheier’s hit was the first of his collegiate career.
Cillis remained hot at the plate with two hits in three at-bats plus a walk, bringing his season batting average to .444 and on-base percentage to .545.
Steven Foster had the other hit in the ballgame – a single in the fifth inning. Foster is 4-for-13 to start out his junior campaign (.308).
The Pride’s offense continued to struggle to begin the season, compiling four hits in this game to oppose LSU’s 12. Hofstra has 16 total hits through four games and three total runs.
Hofstra saw eight different pitchers take the mound, who each tossed one inning. Michael James received the loss, allowing two runs in the first inning.
Gjon Ljucovic, James Beasley and Kieran Ryan followed James with a shutout inning each and one total hit. Matt Weissheier and John Ryan pitched the fifth and six inning and allowed two earned runs each. Seamus Brazill and Brad Witkowski finished out the game for the Pride, surrendering one run each.
Ljucovic, Beasley and Ryan all made their collegiate debuts in this game and senior Witkowski pitched for the first time since his freshman season back in 2014.
For the Tigers, Todd Peterson, Nick Bush, Matthew Beck and Will Reese threw a combined 3.1 innings without giving up a run. Hunter Newman surrendered the one run, though it went unearned.
Hofstra ends its Louisiana road trip at the Mardi Gras Invitational in Thibodaux against Nicholls State, Southern and Grambling State. The Pride takes on Nicholls State Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. (CST).