LSU completes three-sport sweep of Texas with 4-3 win

LSULSU

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HOUSTON — LSU may not rule all of Texas just yet. But the Tigers own the Lone Star State’s Longhorns.

Football. Basketball. Doesn’t seem to matter. And another close one.

But the LSU baseball team completed the Tigers’ major-sport sweep of the Texas Longhorns Friday night with a 4-3 win to cap the opening day of the Shriners Classic at the Minute Maid Park home of the Astros.

With a rollicking crowd of 15,735 split roughly 50-50 between Texas and LSU fans, Daniel Cabrera’s 2-run homer in the sixth was the key blow and Cole Henry and Jaden Hill combined to strike out 16 Longhorns.

The baseball win followed the football and basketball teams’ victories over the Longhorns in Austin, the first time in history the two schools have met in all three sports in a single sports season.

“I guess it was up to us to hold up our end of the bargain,” head coach Paul Manieri said afterwards as chants of “L-S-U” rained down from fans behind the Tigers’ dugout. “Football. Basketball … I guess I can can go back to Baton Rouge now.”

Not quite. The Tigers will be back in action here today at 3 p.m. against Baylor, which beat Missouri 4-2 in Friday’s first game. They’ll finish the weekend Sunday at 11 a.m. against Oklahoma, a 6-3 winner over Arkansas. All games are on Cox Sports.

“That was really a great baseball game,” Mainieri said after improving to 7-3 and handing the Longhorns their first loss of the season to fall to 9-1. “What an atmosphere that was, for the kids to play in a Big League park.”

The Tigers showed Big League stuff on the mound as well, as Henry and Hill held Texas to four hits.

Henry gave up all three — two earned — while working the first six innings with 10 strikeouts before handing the game over to Hill, his road roommate. Hill promptly held the Horns hitless over the final three innings while consistently hitting 97-98 mph with his  fast ball and mixingin a deadly slider to strike out six

“I don’t know why Hill is in college to be honest with you,” said Texas coach David Pierce.

“I can’t remember the last time we struck out 16 batters,” Mainieri said. “That’s a pretty good combo when you can throw two arms like that out there.”

Henry (2-1) got the win after Cabrera turned on a first-pitch breaking ball for a 2-run line shot in the bottom of the sixth. It also avenged a three-game sweep the Tigers suffered to the Longhorns last year in Austin.

“It was a good feeling the way they got us last year and the way their fans treated us,” said Cabrera, who said he was sitting on a breaking ball. “It was awesome tonight.”

The Tigers finished with nine hits.

LSU took the lead early, pushing across a pair of runs in the second inning when Cabrera got the Tigers’ first hit, followed by an RBI triple off the top of the left field wall by Saul Garza.

Garza later scored when a replay review showed that Cade Doughty beat out an infield single that was originally ruled the third out.

The Longhorns tied it in the top of third on DJ Petrinksy’s solo home run and a sacrifice fly by Zach Zubia.

The Longhorns took a 3-2 lead an inning later with an unearned run following third baseman Zach Mathis’ throwing error on a bunt.

Henry had only one rough inning when he needed 35 pitches to get through the third while allowing Texas’ first two runs.

Mainieri almost took him out then, and came even closer after Texas score the unearned run in the fourth with no outs.

But Henry talked him out of it and  backed it up by retiring the last nine hitters he faced before Hill came on for the final three.

“I kind of got my second wind there,” Henry said. “It was a great team effort. I had to battle through that one inning.”TODAY  LSU vs. Baylor, 3 p.m. / Cox Sports

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