By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
KNOXVILLE, TN: Here we are. LSU is playing in a Super Regional in 2021. Something many of us, including myself, didn't think was possible for this Fighting Tiger team to achieve. Man oh man, is it feeling good to be wrong. LSU finds themselves playing in Knoxville, Tennessee against the Vols, who swept the Tigers early in the regular season in three very close ball games. So LSU will look to keep Paul Mainieri's career going by earning a trip to Omaha..
Tennessee would hang on to take game one, 4-2 in a very good, close baseball game. Ma'Khail Hilliard had a fantastic outing on the mound for the Tigers. I feel like Coach Mainieri took Hilliard out of the game too early, as he was still going very strong at the end of the 5th inning with lots of gas left in the tank.
The Tigers took an early lead in the top of the 2nd. With the rain falling hard, Cade Doughty would hit the ball very hard, sending it quickly over the right field wall for a one out, solo homer, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Lightning in the area would cause a weather delay at the end of the 2nd inning....
After a 50 minute rain delay, we were back at play.. The Tigers would go up and down in order in the top of the 3rd inning. Jordan Beck would leadoff the bottom of the inning with a double to left center. Beck would then advance to 3rd base on a ground out by Pete Derkay. Connor Pavolony would score Beck while grounding out to Jordan Thompson for the second out of the inning to tie things up.
LSU would grab the lead back in the top of the 5th. Drew Bianco would lead off the inning with a single to left field. Cade Beloso would then get hit by a pitch. Both would be able to move up a base on an error, with Bianco scoring from third base after Vol's catcher Pavolony would throw poorly to third trying to gun Bianco down. LSU retakes the lead, 2-1..
Javen Coleman would take the mound to replace Hilliard in the bottom of the 6th. After striking out the leadoff
hitter, Coleman would begin to struggle with control and become a victim of a strange strike zone. After walking Max Ferguson, Jake Rucker would double down the left field line putting runners on second and third with only one out.
Drew Gilbert would reach safely on a fielder's choice, scoring Ferguson and sending Rucker to third. Coleman would then walk Evan Russell to load the bases.
Luc Lipcius would safely reach on a fielder's choice with the Tigers taking the second out of the inning at second base, with Rucker scoring. Jordan Beck would single to right field to score Gilbert before Coleman could register the final out of the inning. We would head to the 7th with Tennessee up 4-2.
The Tigers would try to battle back, putting runners on second and third with two outs in the top of the 9th inning with Jordan Thompson at the plate. Thompson would put up a strong battle at the plate, fouling off several pitches before finally striking out.