LSU begins five-game week while adding two more to the injury list

Scooter Hobbs

LSU added two more key players to its baseball wounded list from a weekend sweep, but the Tigers keep slugging their way through it.

And head coach Paul Mainieri was optimistic that neither second baseman Cade Doughty’s shoulder nor relief pitcher Matt Beck’s elbow was as bad as originally feared.

The Tigers begin a five-game week tonight with a second consecutive game against Nicholls and play Southern on Wednesday before a weekend series against Oral Roberts.

Doughty won Saturday’s first game with a 2-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth against Youngstown.

But when Drew Bianco hit a 2-run homer in the second inning against Nicholls in the second game, Doughty suffered a freak injury during the dugout celebration when a teammate bumped his shoulder while Doughty was raising his arms.

Mainieri described the injury as a “subluxation,” which in layman’s terms means the shoulder dislocated but immediately popped back into place.

“He was in an awful lot of pain when it happened,” Mainieri said.

But there was better news after a follow-up examination Monday showed no structural damage.

Mainieri wasn’t sure when Doughty, who’s batting .302 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in the first seven games, will be able to return.

“His body will tell us that,” he said.

Beck’s elbow stiffened up on him during an apperance against UL-Lafayette last Wednesday and he didn’t pitch during over the weekend.

“We’re cautiously optimistic with him as well,” Mainieri said. “He’s been getting better every day. We were very nervous about it when we had to take him out of the game.”

LSU is also missing starting centerfielder DiGiacomo, Giovanni, who suffered a severe hamstring injury in last weekend’s season opening series.

The Tigers (6-1 after a 5-0 week) moved up in three of the major national polls and and held ground in the other — No. 8 in Collegiate Baseball, No. 9 in Perfect Game, No. 11 in D1 Baseball and No. 12 in Baseball America.

Freshman Dylan Crews (.419, three home runs) leads an LSU offense that already has 15 home runs — one more than the Tigers had in all 17 games of last year’s pandemic shortened season.

“Doing a great job of staying on attack at the plate,” hitting coach Eddie Smith. “That’s been a point of emphasis. We simplified some things. We’ve taken on more of an animal instinct.”LSU baseball

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