DAVID FOLSE II
CULTURE MEDIA STAFF WRITER
Coming into the 2023 season, when talking about possible starting rotations, the name Ty Floyd didn’t come up that often.
That conversation has changed.
Floyd threw five no-hit innings, striking out six and the Tigers hit five home runs as top-ranked LSU (14-1) defeated Samford 12-0 Saturday night at Alex Box Stadium. The Tigers will look to sweep the Bulldogs (6-8) on Sunday. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. on SEC Network+.
Thatcher Hurd will get the start on the mound for LSU.
Continuing to use the long ball, LSU got all the runs they would need in the first inning, as a two-run homer by Dylan Crews and a three-run home run by Jared Jones gave the Tigers a 5-0 advantage.
“Our hitters are doing a really good job right now,” LSU head coach Jay Johnson said.
“Talented guys doing a really good job. It was an impressive night at the plate for us with a lot of hard outs too. The entire lineup is taking a lot of high-level professional at-bats and it bleeds into big innings quickly.”
The long ball barrage continued for the Tigers in the third inning as Jones launched his fourth consecutive home run in as many at-bats dating back to Friday’s win and Brayden Jobert added a solo shot to make it 9-0.
“I thought Ty and Nate were throwing their pitches for strikes and when you do that it makes it hard on opposing offenses to sit on a pitch or a side of the plate,” Johnson said. “That’s executing at a really high level. The goal is to get the hitters' brains in a blender. When we are able to land all of our pitches for strikes it makes it really difficult on our opponents.
“For Ty in particular, it's all his pitches for strikes and constant strike zone pressure. Early in the game there were several hitters where he was down 2-1 in the count and it was almost like a surprise because he is ahead of the count so much. Constant strike zone pressure and just a very impressive performance by him.”
With conference play set to start next weekend on the road in College Station against Texas A&M, Floyd continues to make his case to be in the starting rotation for LSU.
Making his second consecutive quality start, Floyd has allowed only two earned runs in 16.2 innings of work on only five hits.
“I’ve been able to locate the fastball well as of late and throw my off-speed pitches in particular the change-up and slider,” Floyd said.
“Whenever I do that I feel like I have a lot of success.”
Known for his high velocity fastball, one of the biggest reasons for Floyd’s success has been the development of secondary pitches, in particular his change-up.
“(Pitching coach) Wes Johnson has done a great job with me to develop my other pitches,” he said. “He has helped me develop a lot of confidence in those pitches. It is showing because being able to throw them for strikes is making me a lot more successful.
“Honestly, it probably took me a good month to have the confidence to be able to throw the off-speed pitches with confidence. Being such a fastball dominant guy it took me a little longer to get things going, but I feel confident in what I have been able to do on the mound.”