On Tuesday, Feb. 19, Sophomore lefty Taylor Guilbeau was credited with the win for Alabama, 10-8, over Southern Mississippi in Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Guilbeau (1-0) threw five innings to earn the win, giving Alabama its first 4-0 start since 2011.
“That was certainly a wild finish and that was one thing that we talked to our team about – you have to play nine innings,” UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said on Rolltide.com. “That was something you could see tonight. Obviously in the ninth inning they had a nice comeback, with a couple of miscues by us. The breakdown of the game by me...I thought Taylor Guilbeau gave us the best start that we have had all year. I thought our middle guys did a nice job for us as well, and I think in the ninth, if we can keep it clean, I think [Justin] Kamplain is going to get through that with ease – or easier – than it was there.”
Guilbeau, 19, of Zachary, became the first true freshman to start the season opener for the Crimson Tide since freshmen were allowed to play Division I baseball in 1973. The former ZHS Bronco Baseball player was selected by the New York Yankees in the 39th round of the 2011 MLB Draft and named an honorable mention class 5A All-State honoree following his senior season at ZHS.
He is the son of Robby and Anna Guilbeau and is majoring in criminal justice.
Third-ranked LSU improved to 4-0 on the season by beating Lamar (4-1) by a score of 8-1 Tuesday night at Alex Box Stadium.
"(Starting pitcher) Cody Glenn did exactly what we asked him to do and gave us five strong innings. Our relief pitching and defense were excellent again tonight, and we were finally able to pull away in the eighth inning," said LSU Head Coach Paul Mainieri on LSUSports.net.
But it was former Zachary High pitcher Hunter Devall (1-0) who was credited with helping the LSU Tigers win, striking out one batter through 1.1 innings, as well as left-hander Chris Cotton, who took the mound with two outs in the eighth inning and worked the final 1.1 frames to record his second save of the season.
Prior to LSU, Devall posted a 7-1 mark in 2012 as a senior at Centreville Academy with a 0.98 ERA and three saves in 71 innings, recording 140 strikeouts. He earned 2012 All-State, All-Metro and All-District honors and was named District Co-MVP. Devall recorded a 10-1 mark in 2011 as a junior with a 0.78 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 73 innings, was named Co-State MVP in 2011 and helped lead his team to the state championships in both 2011 and 2012.
Devall was named 2011 Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American and the 2010 Perfect Game World Championships Most Valuable Pitcher.
Devall is the son of Dennis and Jana Devall, and he has one sister, Brooke. He says he chose to attend LSU because "when you grow up in Louisiana, you dream of playing baseball for LSU."
For much more on Devall and Guilbeau, be sure to get your copy of the Zachary Plainsman on Feb. 26.