LSU defeats Auburn 6-2 to take series
BATON ROUGE, La.-Top-ranked LSU erupted for six runs in the first three innings Sunday and defeated Auburn by a score of 6-2 to win the SEC series at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Senior left-hander Zac Person (2-0) earned the win for the Tigers. He had his second career start and pitched for a career-high of three innings, giving up one hit and striking out two, surrendering no runs.
"We chose to start Zac Person because he's an experienced pitcher who we thought would get us off to a good start, and that's especially important in the third game of a series," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. "We also had potential weather issues, so getting off to a good start was critical and Zac did that for us. (LSU relievers) Parker Bugg and Jesse Stallings followed Zac with very good outings and allowed us to win the series.
"We're at the halfway mark of the SEC schedule with 10 league wins, so we're pleased with that record, but we know we can improve. We didn't swing the bats especially well this weekend, and (freshman ace right-hander) Alex Lange didn't pitch in the series, but we still won two out of three, so I'm very proud of our guys."
Auburn's Rocky McCord (2-3) suffered the loss after giving up six runs-five earned-on six hits, walking two and striking out one in two innings of work. Right-hander Justin Camp came on in relief of McCord, allowing only one hit in his 5.1 innings of work, striking out three.
LSU will be back in action Wednesday as the Tigers face Lamar at 6:30 p.m. CT in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The game will be available online only via SEC Network+ and can be accessed at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. It will also be broadcast live on LSU Radio Network affiliates, including 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge. Fans can also go to LSUsports.net for live stats and audio through the GeauxZone.
LSU took the early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first after back-to-back doubles from left fielder Chris Sciambra and right fielder Mark Laird. After an infield single by shortstop Alex Bregman, first baseman Chris Chinea grounded out to the shortstop, allowing Laird to score from third.
In the bottom of the second, centerfielder Andrew Stevenson led off with a walk, and third baseman Conner Hale put runners on the corners after hitting a single to right field. Stevenson scored on designated hitter Jake Fraley's fielder's choice, making the score 3-0 in favor of LSU.
With bases loaded in the bottom of the third inning after Laird singled, Bregman walked and Chinea was hit by a pitch, catcher Kade Scivicque singled to right field, scoring Laird and extending his hitting streak to 20 games. Bregman scored on a wild pitch during Stevenson's at-bat. Stevenson grounded into a fielder's choice, allowing Chinea to score from third base, and LSU took the 6-0 lead after three innings.
In the top of the sixth with two outs, Auburn hit three consecutive singles against Bugg, and designated hitter Blake Logan scored on third baseman Kyler Deese's single, cutting the LSU lead to 6-1.
Auburn scored a run in the top of the eighth inning against Stallings, making the score 6-2 in favor of LSU, after catcher Ben Craft singled Justin Ebert home. Ebert had pinch hit for first baseman Daniel Robert earlier in the inning and singled to right-center.
Bugg and Stallings combined for two earned runs on eight hits and four strikeouts in six innings of work. Bugg pitched a career-high of four innings during his outing.