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May 11, 2013Sean McMullen's sacrifice fly drove in pinch-runner Jared Foster with the winning run in the eighth inning as LSU won the Southeastern Conference Western Division title with its 2-1 victory against Texas A&M Saturday afternoon at Blue Bell Park in College Station.
HOW THEY SCORED
LSU third inning - A walk to Ty Ross and singles by Andrew Stevenson and McMullen loaded the bases. After Stevenson was picked off second base by pitcher Parker Ray, Mark Laird singled home Ross. LSU 1, TEXAS A&M 0
Texas A&M fourth inning - With two out, Daniel Mengden reached on an infield single to shortstop. Mengden advanced to second when Bregman misplayed the ball. Brandon Wood was hit by a pitch. Krey Bratsen singled home Mengden. LSU 1, TEXAS A&M 1
LSU eighth inning - Ross doubled and moved to third on a bunt single by Stevenson. Foster, who ran for Ross, scored on McMullen's sacrifice fly to rightfield. LSU 2, TEXAS A&M 1
LSU HITTING STARS
Laird and Stevenson, two freshman outfielders, combined for five of LSU's eight hits. Laird, who had three hits, drove in the Tigers' first run with a single in the third. Stevenson, who reached three times on two hits and a walk, had singles to set up both LSU runs. He singled following a walk to Ross in the third and had a bunt single following Ross' leadoff double in the eighth.
LSU STARTING PITCHER
Ryan Eades pitched well enough to win, but his teammates gave him no offensive support. He allowed one run and eight hits before being replaced with two runners on base and one out in the seventh. Eades, who walked one and struck out, permitted a batter to reach base in each inning. In three innings, Eades kept Texas A&M from scoring by getting the third out with a runner at either third or second. With runners on second and third and two out in the first, Eades got Hunter Melton to fly out to leftfielder Raph Rhymes. With a runner at second and two out in the third, Cole Lankford popped out to Bregman. With a runner at second and two out in the fifth, Lankford flied out to Stevenson in centerfield. The Aggies were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position against Eades.
Chris Cotton, who picked up his 11th save of the season in the completion of the suspended game earlier in the day, recorded his third victory of the year. He got Mikey Reynolds to hit into an inning-ending double play with two runners on base in the seventh. Cotton allowed a one-out single in the eighth before retiring the next two batters.
Since the SEC expanded to 12 teams in 1992, LSU has won outright or shared 14 of the 22 Western Division titles. In coach Paul Mainieri's seven seasons, the Tigers have won outright or shared four divisional championships - 2008-09 and 2012-13. . .This game was scheduled for seven innings since the teams had to resume a suspended game on the final day of the series. In such a situation, SEC rules mandate that the regularly-scheduled game must go seven innings. . .LSU is 5-1 in extra-inning games this season with its lone loss coming at Alabama. . .Bregman (six games), Rhymes (five games) and JaCoby Jones (nine games) were a combined 0-for-11 as all three players had hitting streaks end. . .Ross, whose double set up the winning run, had just five hits in his previous 27 official at-bats. . .Laird had his first multiple-hit game since April 30 against McNeese State. Laird was 1-for-15 since that game against the Cowboys. . .Stevenson had his first multiple-hit game since March 26 against Tulane. Stevenson was 6-for-41 since that game against the Green Wave. . .The Tigers were 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Only Laird drove in a run with one of those hits. . .Stevenson was picked off second with the bases loaded and no one out in the third inning. . .Both Bregman and Rhymes hit into double plays. . .Ray, the Aggies starter, gave up one run and five hits in 5.1 innings. Texas A&M closer Jason Jester was charged with the loss. . .Reynolds, Bratsen and Jace Statum each had two hits for the Aggies. . .LSU is 45-7 overall, 21-6 in the SEC. The Tigers have matched the school record for most regular-season victories for a 56-game schedule. The 1997 LSU team had a 45-11 mark in the regular season. . .The Tigers continue to be in second place behind Vanderbilt in the overall SEC standings.
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
Coach Paul Mainieri
"One of our goals at the beginning of the season was to win the division title. I'm extremely proud of our players for their tremendous effort in getting the job done. It's the first of what we hope will be a number of championships this season. We've had a remarkable season, but we realize we've only just begun. There are many more goals in front of us."
LSU will play UNO at The Box on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The Privateers (7-40), who have not played a game since May 1, are a Division I independent this season before entering the Southland Conference next year. Mainieri is undecided on the starting pitcher for the Tigers.