BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Longtime Southern baseball coach Roger Cador was honored Tuesday night when LSU hosted the Jaguars, but it was bittersweet for him as the Tigers pulled out the 8-2 win over his former team.
Cador sat in a rocking chair on the mound before the game and then threw out the first pitch for meeting No. 54 between the two schools in a series that dates back to 1970.
It was another beautiful, yet chilly, night at The Box. Fans bundled up to see if starting pitcher Cam Sanders could heat up a little better than his previous outings. The JUCO transfer went 5.1 innings with eight strikeouts, allowing just two hits and two runs.
The Tigers got what turned out to be the game-winning runs in a three-run fourth inning rally. With LSU already up 1-0, St Michael's Chris Reid delivered a sacrifice fly that made it 2-0.
LSU fans also got to see the return of Tigers' slugger Zach Watson, who was 3-for-5 getting back into the line-up like he never missed a day. His RBI single capped the rally and made it 4-0 Tigers going to the fifth.
It was also a nice moment for former Tigers' star Tookie Johnson. His son, Bobby, the Jaguars' catcher, got a base hit to score Southern's second run, but LSU was still leading 5-2.
The Tigers added one run in the sixth and two more in the eighth and improved to 9-4 before heading down I-10 Wednesday for a date with the Ragin Cajuns in their new ballpark, where they won't have Nick Coomes, who has some concussion symptoms after taking one off his face.
LSU is now 52-2 in the all-time series with the Jags and the Tigers never trailed in this one. Todd Peterson pitched 3.2 innings, allowing three hits and striking out six batters.
"It felt really good; I felt like I definitely had my stuff tonight," said Peterson. "I felt really locked in. I kind of think that after the last three performances, I needed to go out and establish who I am and I think I'm getting there. Tonight was a big step."
"I'm sure it's going to be a tough ticket tomorrow," added head coach Paul Mainieri. "I'm sure they're chomping at the bit to have the Tigers over there, much like the Lions last week over in Hammond. But I can assure you, we'll be excited about going over there as well."