Da Boot Sports
By: David Penn
BATON ROUGE, LA - LSU bounced back after a midweek loss at UNO to claim game one against the Georgia Bulldogs on Friday night at Alex Box Stadium/Skip Bertman Field.
With the win, LSU improves to 28-13, 11-8 in the conference standings just one game back from the West leading Arkansas.
Ma’Khail Hilliard started for LSU and went six innings, limiting the Bulldogs to just a pair of runs off a two run homer in the top of the third inning.
“Great game tonight,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “Ma’Khail was exceptional and demonstrated again why we call him the ace of our staff. He competes with such poise and confidence, and he delivered for us in a huge way against a very good team.”
Hilliard had to work out of two jams when the Dawgs loaded the bases but was able to deliver from the plate and get the outs needed to avoid any potential damage. Hilliard threw over 100 pitches in his six innings of work and was just under 75% strikes thrown. He allowed two runs on eight hits, walked three, and fanned seven Georgia hitters. Eric Reyzleman and Riley Cooper would pull middle relief duty for LSU and Paul Gervase would earn the save.
Catcher Tyler McManus got LSU on the board when he lifted a two run shot into the seats in the second inning. Georgia’s Connor Tate answered in the top of the third with a two run blast of his own. Not to be out done, Cade Doughty answered the UGA homer immediately by belting a two run dinger in the home half of the third. Josh Stevenson would add a run on his sac fly that scored teammate Jordan Thompson. Dylan Crews would cap off the scoring with his eleventh “Crews Missile” of the year.
Johnson said. “He got the ball up against Crisp, which you have to do because he does a good job of sinking his fastball. Cade got inside it, and I can’t believe it got out because it was hit so low and so hard, but that’s a testament to Cade’s strength and ability.”
The Tigers will look to seal the series on Saturday at Alex Box Stadium in game two vs UGA at 2:00pm CT. The game can be heard on LSU Sports Radio and streamed on SEC+. With Arkansas losing to Ole Miss and Auburn losing to Tennessee on Friday night, LSU sits just one game back of first place in the SEC West, tied with Auburn for the second spot.