Alex Lange allowed one run and struck out 11 batters in seven innings as LSU defeated Mississippi State 3-1 in a Southeastern Conference game at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville on Thursday night.
HOW THEY SCORED
Mississippi State first inning – Ryan Gridley hit a leadoff home run over the leftfield fence. MISSISSIPPI STATE 1, LSU 0
LSU fourth inning – Greg Deichmann walked and Nick Coomes singled. Beau Jordan walked to load the bases. Deichmann scored on a sacrifice fly to the centerfielder by Josh Smith. After Michael Papierski popped out to the third baseman, Coomes scored on a single by Zach Watson. LSU 2, MISSISSIPPI STATE 1
LSU eighth inning – With one out, Smith singled and advanced to second base on a wild pitch by Peyton Plumlee. Smith moved to third on a single by Michael Papierski and scored on a sacrifice fly to the rightfielder by Watson. LSU 3, MISSISSIPPI STATE 1
KEY STRETCH OF GAME
Trailing by one run, Mississippi State loaded the bases with one out in the sixth inning on a single by Hunter Vansau and walks to Josh Lovelady and Luke Alexander. Lange struck out Tanner Poole and retired Hunter Stovall on a fly ball to rightfield. Lange pitched out of a bases-loaded, two-out situation in the seventh.
KEY TEAM STATISTICS
LSU outhit Mississippi State 8-6. All eight Tigers hits were singles. . .LSU stranded nine runners – four in scoring position. The Tigers were 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The Bulldogs stranded 12 runners – seven in scoring position. Mississippi State was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. . .There were no errors in the game.
INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS
LSU Antoine Duplantis: 2-for-5 Zach Watson: 1-for-3, 2 RBIs Alex Lange: 7 innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 1 earned run, 5 walks, 11 strikeouts MISSISSIPPI STATE Brent Rooker: 2-for-4 Ryan Gridley: 2-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 run scored, 1 home run Konnor Pilkington: 6 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 2 earned runs, 4 walks, 1 strikeout
LSU’S PLAYER OF THE GAME
Lange was spectacular while winning his seventh game of the year. After allowing a home run to Gridley to open the bottom of the first, Lange held Mississippi State scoreless through the seventh inning. The Bulldogs were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position against Lange, who gave up six hits and walked five – two intentionally. Vansau grounded out to second base with a runner on second to end the first. Stovall flied out to centerfield with a runner on second and two out in the second. Vansau struck out with two runners on base and two out in the third. Stovall flied out to rightfield with the bases loaded and two out in the sixth. Lovelady struck out with the bases loaded and two out in the seventh. Lange threw 125 pitches.
LSU used its regular lineup. . .Watson twice delivered with a runner in scoring position – a RBI single in the fourth to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead and a sacrifice fly in the eighth for an insurance run. . .Cole Freeman was thrown out trying to score from first base on a single by Duplantis in the third. . . Deichmann walked four times – once intentionally. . .Deichmann and Jordan were the two LSU players without a hit. . .Plumlee threw three innings in relief of Pilkington and gave up the Tigers’ run in the eighth. . .Zack Hess and Hunter Newman each threw an inning in relief of Lange. Hess had a 1-2-3 eighth inning with two strikeouts. Newman walked one and struck out one in the ninth. Newman picked up his ninth save of the season. . .LSU is 37-17 overall, 19-9 in the SEC. Mississippi State is 34-20 overall, 17-11 in the SEC. . .Kentucky beat Florida 12-4 on Thursday, so there is a three-way tie for first place in the overall SEC standings. LSU is tied for first place with Florida and Kentucky. . .Mississippi State is in third place in the Western Division – two games behind the Tigers. Arkansas, which beat Texas A&M 6-4 in ten innings Thursday, is now second in the SEC West – 1½ games behind LSU. . .The paid attendance was 7,613. . .Jared Poche will be the starting pitcher against Mississippi State on Friday.
FROM THE LOCKERROOM
Coach Paul Mainieri’s comments: “it was a tremendous victory for the Tigers. Our guys did a tremendous job against Konnor Pilkington. We hit the ball so hard and forced him to throw a lot of pitches. We hit so many balls right at people and they made some terrific plays. Alex Lange did what he does. He competed like crazy for our team. He gets big outs when needed. Alex Lange is the definition of clutch pitching. He gets in jams and just finds a way. Alex got some big outs and competed with everything he has.” UP
LSU will play Mississippi State at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville in the second game of their Southeastern Conference series Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Central. The LSU-Mississippi State game will be available on the SEC Digital Network.