Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE,LA - The No. 1 ranked LSU Tigers defeated the 9th ranked Tennessee Volunteers on Thursday night 5-2 in front of the largest paid crowd in the history of LSU baseball, 13,068, to take a 1-0 lead in their big three game SEC series.
LSU broke the game wide open in the bottom of the eighth inning. After Tennessee plated a run in the top of the frame to even the score at 2-2, the Tigers answered Tennessee's score in explosive fashion.
Dylan Crews led off the bottom of the eighth flying out to second base, then Tommy White grounded out.
Cade Beloso found himself safe at first base thanks to an error by the Vols first baseman. Paxton Kling stepped
to the plate, hitting a slow ground ball to second and was able to beat out the throw, putting runners on first and second with two outs.
Josh Pearson was then hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Next up was Jordan Thompson, who cleared the bases with a stand up, three RBI double into the gap in
right center field.
The huge timely hit gave LSU the lead 5-2 as we headed to the top of the ninth, where Garret Edwards registered the final three outs to clinch the victory for the Tigers.
The contest went scoreless into the fifth inning as Paul Skenes and Chase Dollander had settled into a pitches duel. But it was the Vols who broke the silence with a run in the top of the fifth.
Jared Dickey led off with a single up the middle, followed by a single by Hunter Ensley to put runners on first and second with no outs.
Skenes was able to sit down the next two Tennessee batters with Dickey advancing to third in the process. Christian Scott then singled up the middle to bring Dickey home. 1-0 Vols as the game headed to the bottom of the frame.
The Volunteers run woke up the LSU bats as Jordan Thompson doubled down the left field line. After Neal went down swinging for the first out, Gavin Dugas stepped to the plate and launched a two run homer to left field, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
LSU would be unable to make anymore noise as we headed to the sixth inning with the Tigers up, 2-1.
The game moved into the eighth inning with LSU still holding a 2-1 lead. Paul Skenes' night would end as Jay Johnson went to his bullpen, bringing in Nate Ackenhausen.
Ackenhausen struggled, only going a third of the inning, giving up a single to Maui Ahuna. Ahuna was able to advance to third base after a pass ball and a wild pitch.
Jarrett Edwards replaced Ackenhausen, but quickly gave up an RBI single to Christian Moore, tying the game at 2-2.
Paul Skenes had a fantastic outing going seven strong innings, giving up only one run on five hits, striking out 12 while issuing only one base on balls.
Jarrett Edwards (4-0) would earn the win, pitching 1.2 innings, giving up no runs on two hits with
With the win, LSU is now 23-3 overall and 5-2 in SEC paly, while Tennessee falls to 20-7 overall and 3-4 in the SEC.
Next up is game two of the series on Friday night at Alex Box Stadium/Skip Bertman Field.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:00pm CST.
Photos Below By: Michael Bacigalupi
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