These 2 pitches made Alex Lange so dominant in LSU’s series-opening win vs. Maryland
Alex Lange needed three pitches to strike out the first batter he faced.
The next batter he faced? The same result.
It set the tone for a dominant performance in which Lange, LSU’s ace right-hander, struck out 12 batters in six innings Friday night. His teammates gave him plenty of help at the plate as the Tigers dropped No. 25 Maryland 6-1 in the series opener at Alex Box Stadium.
“It sets the tone for the whole game, coming out there and showing the other team that you’re going to pound the zone, get strike one and pitch in our counts,” Lange said. “When we’re pitching in our counts, we’re going to be a lot more successful.”
Lange (2-0) actually rang up four strikeouts in the first inning alone, thanks to an error on catcher Michael Papierski on a two-strike curveball Lange spiked a few feet in front of home plate.
It was his ninth career game with 10 or more strikeouts, and Lange finished one shy of tying his career high, which he has tallied on two occasions.
He finished his night by striking out the last two batters he faced in the sixth inning. His 88th pitch of the night screamed past Maryland shortstop Kevin Smith, and Lange thumped his chest as he strode off the mound.
“He felt great. He probably could’ve pitched another inning, but it just wasn’t worth doing it,” coach Paul Mainieri said. “I thought he set the tone for the night.”