LSU wins SEC series at Vanderbilt for first time since 2005
Center fielder Dylan Crews hit two home runs in the first two innings, starting pitcher Ty Floyd gave up one run in 5.1 innings and LSU’s oft-maligned infield turned two rally-killing double plays Friday night in an 8-3 Tigers’ victory at 21st ranked Vanderbilt to win an SEC series in Nashville for the first time since 2005.
LSU (36-18 overall, 16-13 SEC) had lost 11 of the last 13 series to the Commodores (35-18, 14-15 SEC) including four straight in Nashville. The teams play the regular-season finale Saturday at 1 p.m.
LSU’s hot bats, which pounded 16 hits including five homers in Thursday night’s 13-2 series-opening win, provided Floyd with a 5-0 lead through the first 2½ innings.
Crews hit the game’s first pitch from Vandy starter Christian Little for a home run. Then, he capped the Tigers’ four-run second inning with a two-out, two-run homer.
Crews was 2-for-4 with the two homers and three RBI, upping his home run total this season to 20. He is hitting .750 (6-for-8) in the first two games vs. Vandy with one double, three homers, seven RBI and five runs scored.
“A great night again for Dylan," LSU coach Jay Johnson said. "We had outstanding plate discipline throughout the lineup. We played a very complete game, and this is a good win for us."
Floyd (5-3), a sophomore, was credited with the win which was his first SEC career victory as a starter. He held the Commodores to one run on four hits in 5.1 innings with no walks and seven strikeouts.
“I’m real proud of Ty,” Johnson said. "We’re starting to see what he can become.”
Floyd gave up a solo home run to Commodores' third baseman Parker Nolan on a 3-2 pitch. The ball appeared to be a high pop fly to left field, but the wind carried it out of the park.
The Tigers added a run in the fourth for a 6-1 advantage shortly after Vandy reliever Nick Maldonado replaced Little.
Maldonado settled into a groove striking out 5 of 7 LSU batters in the fifth and sixth innings before three straight Tigers’ hits in the seventh produced an RBI double by second baseman Cade Doughty and an RBI single by shortstop Jordan Thompson for an 8-1 cushion.
LSU reliever Jacob Hasty relieved Floyd in the sixth inning. Aided by double plays to end the Vanderbilt sixth and seventh innings, Hasty threw three scoreless innings before giving up a two-run homer to left fielder Javier Vaz in the ninth inning.
Tigers' closer Paul Gervase replaced Hasty two batters later with one out. He immediately allowed a double but then retired the final two batters to clinch the win.