LSU, Auburn Split SEC Doubleheader
AUBURN, Ala. – Junior left-hander Jared Poche’ limited Auburn to one run through 6.1 innings Saturday night, while third baseman Chris Reid and catcher Jordan Romero collected two RBI apiece to lead No. 14 LSU to an 8-6 win in Game 2 of an SEC doubleheader at Plainsman Park.
Auburn, paced by catcher Blake Logan’s four RBI, posted an 8-5 win over LSU in Game 1 of the twin bill.
LSU is 17-9 overall and 3-5 in the SEC, while Auburn is 13-14 overall and 2-6 in league play. The teams conclude the series at 1 p.m. CT Sunday in a game that may be viewed on SEC Network + and heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.
Poche’ (3-3) earned his 21st LSU career win, firing 105 pitches through 6.1 innings. He allowed one run on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts.
“Jared Poche’ was tremendous tonight; that was certainly one of the best performances of his career,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Auburn has such a potent lineup, and Jared was outstanding against some of the best hitters in our league. He gave us exactly what we needed to even this series and give us some momentum heading into the final game tomorrow.”
Auburn starter Cole Lipscomb (1-3) was charged with the Game 2 loss, as he surrendered seven runs – five earned – on eight hits in 6.1 innings with no walks and five strikeouts.
“I’m proud of the way we rebounded after the first game,” Mainieri said. “We took advantage of our scoring opportunities and had five hits with runners in scoring position in the second game.”
LSU struck first in Game 2 when Reid ripped a two-run triple in the top of the second inning to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
Romero unloaded a solo homer – his fourth dinger of the season – to increase LSU’s lead to 3-0 in the fourth.
Auburn scored its first run in the fifth when centerfielder Anfernee Grier singled, moved to third on a single by leftfielder Joshua Palacios and scored when designated hitter Jordan Ebert grounded into a double play.
Romero’s RBI double in the sixth gave LSU a 4-1 advantage, and the Tigers added three runs on four hits in the seventh. Rightfielder Antoine Duplantis and first baseman Greg Deichmann lined RBI singles to highlight the outburst.
LSU increased its advantage to 8-2 in the ninth when second baseman Cole Freeman led off the frame with a bunt single and later scored from third base on a wild pitch by Auburn reliever Ben Braymer.
Auburn mounted a furious rally in the bottom of the ninth against LSU closer Caleb Gilbert, scoring four runs on five hits. However, Gilbert was able to end the game when third baseman Kyler Deese grounded out with runners at the corners.
Auburn starter Justin Camp (2-1) earned the win in Game 1, as he limited LSU to two runs on four hits in five innings with four walks and one strikeout.
LSU sophomore right-hander Alex Lange (2-2) was charged with the loss, as he allowed seven runs on five hits in 6.2 innings with six walks and eight strikeouts.
“Alex didn’t have his best stuff today,” Mainieri said, “but he kept battling into the seventh inning. He demonstrated to his teammates how to keep competing hard even if things aren’t going your way.”
Auburn grabbed a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning of Game 1, as the big blow in the rally was a two-out, three-run double by Logan.
LSU responded with two runs in the top of the fourth when Romero delivered a two-out, two-run double.
Auburn extended the lead to 6-2 in the bottom of the fourth when leftfielder Joshua Palacios launched a two-run homer, his fourth dinger of the season.
Logan’s RBI double in the seventh increased the Auburn advantage to 7-2, and an run-scoring single by Grier in the eighth capped the scoring output.
LSU cut the deficit in half in the top of the ninth as centerfielder Jake Fraley lined an RBI single and Deichmann launched a two-run homer, his fourth dinger of the year.
The Tigers managed to bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but Auburn reliever Izaac Yarbrough – who was credited with his first save of the season -- struck out pinch hitter Trey Dawson to end the game.
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