Beau Jordan's Grand Slam leads LSU past Mizzou 9-5
COLUMBIA, Mo. – For the second time in less than 24 hours, one of LSU’s Jordan twins struck a mighty blow to help the Bayou Bengals defeat Missouri.
Beau Jordan’s grand slam put the exclamation point on a five-run seventh inning which broke open a tie game and lifted ninth-ranked LSU to a 9-5 victory which clinched the Southeastern Conference baseball series Saturday.
LSU (24-11 overall, 8-6 SEC) goes for its first SEC series sweep of 2016 Sunday at 1 p.m. A pair of left-handers are scheduled to start on the mound, John Valek III (5-1, 3.48) for LSU and Michael Plassmeyer (3-2, 4.22) for Missouri.
The game will be televised on ESPNU, and it may be viewed online on WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app. It will also be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network (WDGL-98.1 FM in Baton Rouge, WWL-870 AM in New Orleans).
After taking two of three the previous two weekends from Arkansas and Auburn, Missouri (20-17, 4-10) lost a series to an SEC West foe for the first time this year.
“This was another hard-fought victory, and I’m very proud of the way our hitters competed against one of the best pitchers in the country (Mizzou’s Tanner Houck),” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We had a great approach against him, and we finally broke it open with Beau’s grand slam in the seventh.”
With the game knotted 4-4 entering the LSU seventh, Houck retired Cole Freeman to start the inning, but gave up singles to Jake Fraley and Kramer Robertson, and in between Greg Deichmann.
Bryce Jordan, whose three-run homer in the fifth helped LSU (No. 9 Baseball America, No. 11 D1 Baseball, No. 12 USA Today) prevail 7-5 in the opener Friday, drew a bases-loaded walk to force home Robertson with the go-ahead run.
Houck (4-3), who struck out eight but yielded six hits and five walks over 6 1/3 innings, was lifted by Missouri coach Tim Jamieson in favor of fellow right-hander Liam Carter. Houck threw 107 pitches and hit two batters.
Beau Jordan turned on Carter’s second pitch and launched it over the left center field fence for his first career grand slam and fourth homer this season.
He also singled home LSU’s first run in the second inning, giving him five RBI for the game and tying the team’s season high. Bryce Adams also drove in five and hit a grand slam vs. Cincinnati Feb. 21.
Three of the four runs on the slam were charged to Houck, leaving him with a season-high eight runs (all earned) allowed.
LSU starter Alex Lange (4-2), pitching in his native state, struck out six and gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits over six innings for the win, throwing 110 pitches.
“Alex really battled throughout his outing and put us in a position to win,” Mainieri said. “I know he was excited to be pitching in his home state for the first time as a college player, and he delivered the type of performance we needed to win this series.”
Reliever Parker Bugg held Missouri scoreless until Zach Lavy doubled with two out in the ninth. Bugg pitched the final three innings for his second save.
Both of Bugg’s saves have been of three or more innings. He worked 3 2/3 innings in the rubber game of the Auburn series April 3.
Hunter Newman also earned a three-inning save Friday in relief of Jared Poche.
Missouri took its only lead of the game by scoring twice with two out in the third. Connor Brumfield singled to lead off, took second on Jake Ring’s ground ball and third on a wild pitch.
With two out and a 3-1 count against Zach Lavy, who went 3-for-3 Friday, LSU intentionally walked Lavy to bring up Trey Harris.
Harris singled deep in the hole behind second. Freeman made a diving stop, but did not attempt a throw.
A double steal by Lavy and Harris put both runners in scoring position. Lange then walked Brian Sharp and Kirby McGuire, with the latter forcing home Lavy to make it 2-1 in the home team’s favor.
Houck hit Robertson to start the fourth. He looked like he would get out unscathed after retiring both Jordans, but Chris Reid’s ground ball single up the middle plated Robertson to forge a 2-2 tie.
Houck hit Michael Papierski before yielding a first pitch triple to Antoine Duplantis deep in the left center field gap, scoring the go-ahead runs.
Missouri got one of the two runs back in the fourth on Brett Bond’s leadoff homer.
LSU is now 10-0 all-time vs. Missouri, 5-0 in Columbia. The game attracted a season-high 2,559 patrons to MU’s Taylor Stadium.