LSU wins 7-6, sweeps Georgia to open SEC play
BATON ROUGE, LA – Shortstop Kramer Robertson scored four runs and right-hander Eric Walker struck out a career-best eight batters as the No. 6 LSU baseball team completed the series sweep against Georgia, defeating the Bulldogs, 7-6, Sunday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium Skip Bertman Field.
With the win, LSU improves to 16-5 on the year and 3-0 in Southeastern Conference play. Georgia falls to 8-13 and 0-3 in the conference with the loss.
Walker improved to 3-0 on the year after firing six innings, allowing only three runs on five hits.
Caleb Gilbert earned his second save of the season. The sophomore right-hander entered in the ninth and allowed two runs on three hits and struck out one.
The loss was charged to Georgia starter Chase Adkins, who threw 4.1 innings and allowed four runs on five hits and struck out one.
“It’s hard to win baseball games in this league, and this weekend wasn’t easy, but we were able to finish the job,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “I knew we would have our work cut out for us today; their starting pitcher had some very good numbers, but Eric Walker was able to outpitch him ever so slightly, and we were able to eke out a win.”
LSU returns to action Wednesday, March 22 against Southeastern Louisiana at 6:30 p.m. CT at The Box. The game will be available online only via SEC Network+ and can be accessed atWatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. The game will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge. Fans can also go to LSUsports.net/live for live stats and audio.
Shortstop Kramer Robertson led off the bottom of the third with a single to centerfield. The senior moved to second on an errant throw by Georgia’s third baseman and advanced to third on a double play ball. With two outs, and Robertson on third, right fielder Greg Deichmann singled through the left side to give LSU the early 1-0 lead.
With two outs in the top of the fifth and Georgia first baseman LJ Talley on first base after being hit by a pitch, second baseman Will Proctor sent a home run to the left field landing to give the Bulldogs the 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, LSU recorded three runs. Robertson was hit by a pitch, left fielder Antoine Duplantis walked and Deichmann walked to load the bases with one out for Zach Watson. The centerfielder took a walk to drive in Robertson and knot the game at 2-2. With two outs, third baseman Josh Smith took a 3-2 pitch and walked in Duplantis to give the Tigers the 3-2 lead. Designated hitter Beau Jordan followed with the Tigers’ only hit of the inning, a single to third base, which scored Deichmann as LSU snagged the 4-2 lead.
The Bulldogs plated a run in the sixth to put Georgia within one, 4-3. With left fielder Keegan McGovern on third after being hit by a pitch earlier in the inning and designated Michael Curry on first after hitting into a fielder’s choice, there were two outs for LJ Schunk. The third baseman roped a single through the left side to drive in McGovern.
In the top of the seventh with the bases loaded and one out, McGovern was hit by a pitch, and drove in catcher Austin Biggar to tighten LSU’s lead to 5-4.
The Tigers drove in two runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it 7-4 LSU. With Jordan on second after a walk and a wild pitch, Robertson reached on an errant throw by the shortstop, which scored Jordan from second and put the shortstop on second base. Second baseman Cole Freeman ripped a single through the right side to drive in Robertson and extend the Tigers’ lead.
The Bulldogs fought back in the top of the ninth inning and plated two runs. Biggar and Proctor laced back-to-back base hits to put runners on first and second for Tucker Maxwell. The centerfielder doubled to left-center to score Biggar, and shortstop Cam Shepherd followed with a grounder to second base to score Proctor. Georgia had the tying run at third base with two outs, but Gilbert recorded a strikeout to end the game.
“Caleb was throwing the ball hard, he was throwing strikes, but give credit to Georgia, they put the bat on the ball,” Mainieri said. “Caleb made some big pitches when he needed to at the end against some very tough hitters.”
Zack Hess entered to pitch the seventh inning and allowed one run on one hit and walked one. Matthew Beck fired two shutout innings, allowing only one walk.