Jared Poche’ could have signed with the San Diego Padres after he became the first LSU pitcher to win nine games in three straight seasons. The Tigers are sure glad he didn’t.
The senior left-hander followed up his seven-inning no-hitter against Army on opening weekend with eight more hitless innings against Maryland on Saturday. The no-hit streak ended with Zach Jancarski’s infield single leading off the ninth, and Russell Reynolds came on to finish the Tigers’ 14-0 victory.
Poche’ now has thrown 15 shutout innings, allowed one hit, walked two and struck out 10. Opponents are batting .021 against him.
“I don’t really know how to explain this,” Poche’ said. “I’m just going out there and executing. Obviously, I have a lot of luck on my side right now, and I hope I continue to have that. The good Lord has been blessing me and I’m really thankful for that. I don’t know what to say; this is crazy.”
Poche’ was drafted in the 14th round by the Padres last year and was in contract negotiations with them until he announced two days before the July 15 signing deadline that he would return to school. With 29 career wins, he needs nine more to tie Scott Schultz (1992-95) for the most in LSU history.
The Tigers (7-1) are ranked as high as No. 3 behind TCU and Florida in this week’s major polls.
A look around the country:
SLOW START, NO PROBLEM
Defending national champion Coastal Carolina has lost five of its first nine games, and in Saturday’s 22-9 loss to West Virginia the Chanticleers allowed a program-record 29 hits and the most runs since a 23-5 loss to Clemson in 1991. The Chanticleers, who had significant personnel losses from last year’s team, are accustomed to slow starts. Since 2011 they’ve opened 4-4, 3-4, 4-8, 2-5, 2-2, 7-7 and 4-5.
BAYLOR ON ROLL
Baylor’s 8-0 start is its best since 1984. The Bears are coming off a three-game sweep of South Alabama, which reached a regional final last year. The competition gets tougher yet this weekend when they play Mississippi, LSU and Texas A&M in the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic in Houston. The Bears, who returned eight starting everyday players from last season’s 24-29 team, were picked seventh in the preseason Big 12 coaches’ poll.
Sacramento State senior Justin Dillon pitched the first no-hitter in the Hornets’ 27 years in Division I. Dillon did it in a 2-0 victory over Northern Kentucky on Thursday. He walked one and struck out a career-high 13. It was the first no-hitter in the Western Athletic Conference since April 2010. Dillon has allowed one hit and one run with one walk and 17 Ks in 16 innings.
Florida pitchers allowed just two runs in 27 innings as the Gators posted their first three-game sweep of Miami since 2012. Starting pitchers Alex Faedo, Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar combined for 22 innings and allowed just one run with 26 strikeouts.
Stanford’s Andrew Summerville and Will Mattheissen combined for the program’s fifth one-hitter, and first since 2003, in a 6-0 win over Kansas on Friday. Freshman Erik Miller and two relievers combined on a three-hitter in a 6-0 win Saturday. It was Stanford’s first back-to-back shutouts in 12 years.
GOOD LUCK, ROOKIE
Grand Canyon freshman Tyler Hansen’s college debut had a major-league feel. He was the starter for last week’s exhibition against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the first four batters he faced were all veterans — AJ Pollock, Brandon Drury, four-time All-Star Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb (29 homers last year). Hansen pitched two innings, allowed two hits and two earned runs while walking just one.
“We said, ‘Don’t be fearful.’ I’m sure emotions were running a little high for him, but he did a great job,” GC coach Andy Stankiewicz said.