Conner Hale had three hits and two runs batted in and Aaron Nola allowed one run in seven innings as LSU defeated Auburn 11-3 in the second game of their Southeastern Conference series Friday night at Plainsman Park.
HOW THEY SCORED
LSU second inning - With one out, Hale doubled. After Tyler Moore flied out to the centerfielder, Hale scored on a double by Christian Ibarra. LSU 1, AUBURN 0
LSU fourth inning - Sean McMullen hit a home run over the rightfield fence. Danny Zardon walked and Hale singled. A bunt single by Moore loaded the bases. Zardon scored when Ibarra was hit by a pitch. Hale scored when Andrew Stevenson forced Ibarra on a ground ball to the second baseman. Moore scored on a ground ball to the second baseman by Mark Laird. Stevenson scored on the play when second baseman Dan Glevenyak made a throwing error. LSU 6, AUBURN 0
LSU fifth inning - Pinch-hitter Jake Fraley singled. McMullen walked. Pinch-hitter Chris Sciambra forced Fraley at third on a bunt to the pitcher. McMullen and Sciambra scored on a double by Hale. A double by Moore drove in Hale. Ibarra was hit by a pitch. After Stevenson grounded out to the pitcher, both Moore and Ibarra scored when shortstop Damon Haecker made a throwing error on Laird's ground ball. LSU 11, AUBURN 0
Auburn seventh inning - Haecker singled. After Damek Tomscha flied out to the centerfielder Stevenson, Blake Austin singled. A walk to Ryan Tella loaded the bases. Haecker scored when Jordan Ebert grounded out to shortstop Alex Bregman. LSU 11, AUBURN 1
Auburn eighth inning - With one out, Glevenyak singled. Glevenyak went to third on a double by Anfernee Grier. Haecker walked to load the bases. Glevenyak scored on a sacrifice fly to Laird in rightfield by Tomscha. Grier scored on a single by Austin. LSU 11, AUBURN 3
LSU WASTED SCORING OPPORTUNITIES
First inning - With two out, Chris Chinea doubled. McMullen grounded out to the first baseman.
Eighth inning - With one out, Fraley singled. After pinch-hitter Jared Foster struck out, Kramer Robertson walked. Pinch-hitter Kade Scivicque flied out to the leftfielder.
Ninth inning - With one out, Ibarra walked. Ibarra moved to second on a wild pitch by Jacob Milliman. Stevenson struck out and Laird flied out to the centerfielder.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYER
Hale had his first multiple-hit game in 12 days with two doubles and a single. Hale had two doubles in a game for the first time this year. Hale doubled in the second and scored on a double by Ibarra. He had a single in LSU's five-run fourth and a two-run double in the five-run fifth. Hale was 2-for-13 since his last multiple-hit game against Texas A&M on May 4. He had three hits in a game for just the third time this season.
Nola received much run support as he worked seven innings en route to his ninth victory of the season. Nola now has 28 career victories which tie him with Brett Laxton for No. 10 on LSU's all-time rankings. Nola gave up five hits, walked one and struck out nine. He now has 331 career strikeouts. Nola moved into third place on LSU's all-time strikeout list. He passed Mike Sirotka on Friday. Auburn didn't get a runner past first base against Nola until the seventh inning when it scored a run. The run scored on an infield ground ball. Nola struck out Sam Gillikin with runners at second and third to end the inning.
Hunter Devall and Parker Bugg each threw an inning in relief of Nola. Devall had a rough eighth inning as he allowed two runs and three hits. Devall struck out Tella with two runners in scoring position to end the inning. Bugg allowed one hit in throwing a scoreless ninth.
Chinea was the designated hitter and batted third. McMullen started in leftfield. Moore was the catcher and Zardon was the first baseman. . .Fraley, who didn't start, came off the bench to get two hits and extend his hitting streak to five games. . .Moore also extended his hitting streak to five games with a pair of hits. . .McMullen's home run was his third of the season. He hit two homers in 2013. . .Laird and Zardon were the only starters without a hit. Laird was 0-for-6, while Zardon was 0-for-1 before being taken out for a pinch-hitter in the fifth. . .LSU has scored at least ten runs in three consecutive games for the first time since last season. LSU had scored double-digit runs just six times all year prior to the last three games. . .LSU stranded eight runners, five in scoring position. LSU was 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position. . .Auburn starting pitcher Michael O'Neal gave up six runs and six hits in three-plus innings. . .Auburn had nine hits - two each by Haecker, Austin and Ebert. . .LSU is 39-14-1 overall, 16-11-1 in the SEC. . .LSU is in fourth place in the overall conference standings - one game behind Mississippi State. LSU is percentage points ahead of South Carolina and Vanderbilt. The top four teams get a first-round bye in the SEC tournament. LSU will receive a first-round bye by winning Saturday. If LSU loses Saturday, it will be the No. 5 seed. . .Auburn is 28-27 overall, 10-19 in the SEC. Auburn is in 13th place in the overall standings - half a game behind Georgia. The top 12 teams qualify for the SEC tournament. . . The paid attendance was 3,396.
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
"Aaron Nola demonstrated again that he is the best pitcher in the country with another tremendous outing. It's such a privilege to coach one of the greatest pitchers in LSU history. He set the tone early and our hitters came through with the run support we needed. We're playing with a lot of confidence right now, but we have a lot left to accomplish on the final day of the regular season. The game (Saturday) is very important to us because a win allows us to finish in the top four in the SEC and really boosts our body of work for the postseason."
LSU will go for the series sweep against Auburn at Plainsman Park on Saturday at 1 p.m. Kyle Bouman (3-2) will be the starting pitcher for LSU. The LSU-Auburn game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net.