LSU loses, 11-5, to suffer first-ever SEC series loss to Missouri
LSU had lost just one baseball game to Missouri since the latter joined the SEC.
But the No. 8 Tigers fell behind their unranked counterparts for the third straight game Sunday and, for the second time in as many days, could not overcome the deficit.
LSU allowed the first eight runs of the teams' series-deciding contest before finally answering far too little and too late in the eventual 11-5 loss.
Coach Paul Mainieri's squad had won 12 of the first 13 meetings since the other Tigers entered the league in 2012 before dropping two of three this weekend in Columbia, Mo.
Starting pitchers Eric Walker and Art Joven worked through quick 1-2-3 frames in the first inning.
Just as his teammate T.J. Sikkema had in the previous game, Joven gave LSU deep into his start.
The junior lefty allowed just two walks in five no-hit innings to begin the afternoon.
But the Missouri lineup wasted no more time getting on the scoreboard.
Back-to-back singles to start the second inning by Peter Zimmerman and Chad McDaniel set up a three-run Tony Ortiz home run for the early lead.
And those home-standing Tigers only continued to add from there, with runs in four straight innings to extend the margin.
Clayton Peterson singled to lead off the third inning, advanced on a Chris Cornelius double and scored on a Kameron Misner sacrifice fly.
Gomez and Alex Peterson single to center to start the scoring push in the fourth inning.
The Missouri runners came home on a sacrifice bunt by Clayton Peterson and two-out double to right by Cornelius, respectively.
Walker's afternoon ended with six runs, eight hits, one walk and three strikeouts in four innings in the loss.
But reliever Matthew Beck couldn't manage to cool Missouri's bats, either.
Zimmerman, McDaniel and Mark Vierling reached on a walk, single and throwing error, respectively, to immediately load the bases against the new LSU pitcher.
Zimmerman and McDaniel each scored on sacrifice flies before Beck could escape the fifth.
LSU finally found its first success against Joven in the sixth inning.
Sophomore catcher Brock Mathis led off the inning with a single to left field and advance to third on a Josh Smith single to right to junior shortstop would stretch to second on the throw.
A passed ball allowed Mathis to score his team's first run and Smith to advance to third.
Smith followed home, unearned, on a Giovanni DiGiacomo groundout.
But LSU wouldn't get much closer than 8-2.
Joven earned the victory by allowing those two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out six batter in 6 2/3 innings.
Vierling doubled in the bottom of the seventh and eventually scored on a Gomez sacrifice fly to provide an insurance run.
LSU scored three runs off a pair of relief pitchers in the top of the eighth as Antoine Duplantis tripled home Smith and DiGiacomo and then scored on a Brandt Broussard single.
But a two-run Misner home run off Devin Fontenot in the bottom half of the inning stretched the lead back to 11-5.