Week one of the 2022 baseball season is in the books and there’s plenty to like about LSU’s debut under coach Jay Johnson. Sweeping Maine was an obvious and attainable goal in week one but it’s the way the Tigers did it that leaves plenty to be excited about moving forward.
Here’s a little about what we learned from LSU during the opening weekend.
The Offense Has a Good Problem
If there’s one thing we learned about this 2022 offense, it’s that there is an embarrassment of riches at its disposal. To score 51 runs on 45 hits is no easy feat, no matter the competition and what was more impressive is that the Tigers made it look so easy.
Throughout the weekend, Johnson was able to turn this lineup any which way he wanted and it produced. It was one of the more consistent statements heard throughout the offseason and boy did it ring true against Maine. Just about every offensive player had their moments, with Tre Morgan, Dylan Crews, Jacob Berry and Cade Doughty proving why there’s so much warranted confidence in the top of this order.
But just like seemingly every year a fresh face implants himself into this order and for LSU it was transfer sophomore Brayden Jobert who stole the show, batting .667 with two home runs and nine RBI in his first weekend with the program.
“We’ve been practicing really hard and coach Jay has us so dialed into our plan that I feel like it was expected,” Jobert said. “We’ve got a really good squad this year and I’m very excited for the rest of the season. We can roll out two different lineups and be the same exact team and not a lot of teams in the country can do that. “
Johnson has preached preparation being the model for success since day one of accepting this job and thought his team was extremely well prepared for opening weekend and was pleased to see that carry in the results.
“I think our players were very prepared and once we settled in, there’s a lot to like and a lot to point as a model of how we want to operate going forward,” Johnson said. “There’s no expectation that it will be that easy every weekend but it was an impressive performance.”
Second Year Pitchers Taking Major Strides
It started with Blake Money on Friday night and continued all the way through Garrett Edwards on Sunday afternoon. The development of LSU’s returning group of sophomore pitchers has been highly anticipated and the group performed extremely well during opening week.
Money looked every bit the part of a Friday starter, commanding the strike zone and throwing 56 of his 79 total pitches for strikes. He struck out a career high 10 batters and didn’t allow a run in seven innings of work. But what really impresses his coach is the poise and improved demeanor when he throws the ball and being able to let out the emotions when necessary.
“I think it’s great,” Johnson said. “It’s real too, and I think what I like about it is there’s a mature element of that where he can go from channeling that and get right back to the next pitch.”
Javen Coleman would throw 24 of his 30 pitches for strikes in three innings of one run baseball with three strikeouts in another winning effort for the Tigers. Then on Sunday it was Ty Floyd who earned the start, throwing five innings of one run baseball with a career high eight strikeouts followed by Garrett Edwards, who struck out two of the three batters he faced in relief work.
The one returning sophomore we didn’t get to see is Will Hellmers, who is likely a candidate to earn the start against Louisiana Tech on Wednesday. This was about as good a start to the weekend as these young up and coming pitchers could’ve hoped for.
(Photo courtesy of LSUsports)