LSU takes game 3 over No. 6 Mississippi State
BATON ROUGE, La. – The Tigers used 12 hits to score 11 runs and take Game 3 of the Southeastern Conference series over Mississippi State, 11-8, Sunday afternoon in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
With the win, No. 5 LSU improved to 27-13 on the year and 10-8 in SEC play while Mississippi State fell to 27-13-1 and 10-8 in the league.
The Tigers will return to action Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in New Orleans at Turchin Stadium. The game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network and can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge. Fans can go to LSUsports.net for live stats and audio through the GeauxZone.
After entering in the third inning, junior right-hander Russell Reynolds (1-0) fired 2.2 innings, limited the Bulldogs to two hits and struck out two to earn his first win of the season.
Konnor Pilkington (1-1) was charged with the loss after allowing four runs—three earned—on three hits. The freshman left-hander struck out two in his 3.1 inning start for the Bulldogs.
“I’m so proud of our guys for continuing to battle in this game after we faced the early deficit,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “They could have easily thrown in the towel when we were down 3-0 in the fourth inning, but they didn’t, they remained focused and energized, as I knew they would. These are high-character kids, and they earned a significant victory today.”
LSU starter John Valek III pitched 2.1 innings and allowed three runs on six hits and walked one.
“I hated to take John out early in the game, because he has been so good for us all year,” Mainieri said. “He wasn’t pitching poorly, but I just felt that Russell could get us out of the jam with us stuff. Russell came in and stabilized the game, and he gave us the momentum to rally in the bottom of the fourth.”
Mississippi State centerfielder Jake Mangum singled up the middle to lead off the top of the third. Designated hitter Jack Kruger followed to put runners in scoring position with no outs. Right fielder Brent Rooker doubled to right-centerfield, plating Mangum. In the next at-bat, left fielder Reid Humphreys drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to centerfield, and first baseman Nathaniel Lowe doubled to left-centerfield to put the Bulldogs up 3-0.
The Tigers took their first lead of the weekend in the bottom of the fourth after back-to-back singles by centerfielder Jake Fraley and left fielder Beau Jordan put runners on first and second for Jordan Romero. The catcher followed with a double down the left field line to score Fraley. After a ground out by shortstop Kramer Robertson plated Be. Jordan, Romero scored on an error by the second baseman. With two outs, second baseman Cole Freeman singled up the middle to bring in Deichmann from third and give LSU the 4-3 lead.
With two outs in the fifth, Romero sent his second double of the day to the left-centerfield wall, and Robertson took his first pitch to left-center for a double, scoring Romero. With two outs and runners on the corners, Robertson crossed home plate on a double steal that put Deichmann on second, and designated hitter Bryce Jordan ripped a 1-2 pitch into the left field landing to extend the Tigers’ lead to 8-3.
In the top of the sixth with a runner on first, second baseman Hunter Stovall doubled to right center to score shortstop Ryan Gridley from first. Mangum followed with single to score Stovall and cut the LSU lead to 8-5.
Fraley launched a triple to right-centerfield in the bottom of the sixth, scoring right fielder Antoine Duplantis, who reached via walk to lead off the inning. With runners on first and third and no outs, Romero grounded into a double play, scoring Fraley, and Robertson capped off the inning with a solo shot to left field—his first of the season—to put the Tigers up 11-5.
Gridley singled through the right side to open up the top of the eighth inning, and he scored on the one-out single by Mangum. With the bases loaded, Humphreys drilled a single to left field, driving in two Bulldogs to make it 11-8 LSU.