By Matt Reynolds
Pitching on Full Display on Day 1 of the 2023 Karbach Round Rock Classic
Game 1: LSU 7, Kansas State 3
Skenes shines as LSU pulls past Kansas State
Right-hander Paul Skenes threw 11 strikeouts in six innings of 1-run ball to elevate the Tigers to 1-0 at the 2023 Karbach Round Rock Classic. After a bumpy 30-pitch first inning where three of Kansas State’s first four batters reached base, Skenes did not allow a single hit in the rest of the outing. He retired 17 of the last 18 Wildcat batters he faced.
“Honestly in the first inning I might’ve been too amped up, but ultimately it came down to finding my changeup, finding my slider, and I was really pleased with that,” said Skenes.
Skenes’ 11 strikeouts set a new KRRC individual game record. Reliever Ty Floyd added five punchouts to help the Tiger arms tie the single-game record for most strikeouts as a team with 16.
Outfielders Gavin Dugas and Dylan Crews led the offense for the Tigers, each going two for four with an RBI single.
The Wildcats’ offense only managed four hits on the day, but catcher Roberto Pena connected for his third home run of the season on a lined shot in the 7th inning.
It was a pitching duel through five innings, as Kansas State lefty Owen Boerema went toe-to-toe with Skenes, giving the Wildcats 4.1 innings with 7 strikeouts on the day.
A hit-by-pitch in the fifth inning ended Boerema’s strong outing on the mound. As for the LSU offense, that hit batter proved to be the jumpstart they needed at the plate and never slowed down.
In the seventh, a two-run double by first baseman Jared Jones would break the game open and put the game out of reach.
Game 2: Sam Houston State 6, Iowa 0
Atkinson’s gem leads to 3-hit shutout over Iowa
The chilly weather Friday night didn’t stop Sam Houston, as RHP Coltin Atkinson delivered his best performance of the season, tying a career-high seven innings of two-hit baseball.
Out of the 23 batters Atkinson faced, he threw a first pitch strike to 18 of them. He struck out seven [five swinging, two looking] and gave the Bearkats a huge boost to start their tournament.
“It’s a big key. As a pitcher, we want to get ahead and that sets up the rest of the at-bat,” said Atkinson. “I was able to do that today and have a lot of success.”
Offensively, the Bearkats were seeing the ball better than ever. They had 15 total hits on the night, with four different players getting three hits each.
Outfielder Clayton Chadwick reached base four times and was constantly making the Hawkeyes’ pitchers work out of tough spots.
As for the Hawkeyes, starter Ty Langenburg pitched 4.2 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits while striking out six.
Two-way player Keaton Anthony had a nice night for the Hawkeyes, getting one hit at the plate and pitching 3.1 innings in relief.
“It’s great, he’s one of our better guys and that’s what we expect out of him,” said head coach Rick Heller. “It was a good matchup for Keaton and we were hoping that he could keep us in it and give our offense a chance to rally back.”
#1 LSU vs. Iowa - Saturday, 12:00 p.m. first pitch
Sam Houston State vs. Kansas State - Saturday, 4:00 p.m. first pitch