Ryan Eades threw seven effective innings and Mason Katz and Alex Bregman hit home runs as LSU defeated Mississippi State 7-3 on Saturday night at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville.
HOW THEY SCORED
LSU second inning - Katz hit a leadoff home run over the leftfield fence. LSU 1, MISSISSIPPI STATE 0
LSU fifth inning - Ty Ross walked and Andrew Stevenson reached when third baseman Alex Detz misplayed his bunt. JaCoby Jones doubled home Ross and Stevenson. LSU 3, MISSISSIPPI STATE 0
Mississippi State sixth inning - With one out, Trey Porter doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch by Eades. Porter scored on Jacob Robson's ground ball to second base. LSU 3, MISSISSIPPI STATE 1
LSU eighth inning - Raph Rhymes singled. After Katz and Christian Ibarra flied out to centerfield, pinch-hitter Sean McMullen walked. Ross singled home Rhymes. LSU 4, MISSISSIPPI STATE 1
LSU ninth inning - Stevenson singled and Jones doubled. After Mark Laird grounded out to the pitcher, Bregman hit a three-run homer over the leftfield fence. LSU 7, MISSISSIPPI STATE 1
Mississippi State ninth inning - Nick Ammirati singled. Brett Pirtle followed with a two-run homer. LSU 7, MISSISSIPPI STATE 3
LSU WASTED SCORING CHANCES
First inning - With one out, Laird walked. After Bregman flied out to rightfield, Laird moved to second on a wild pitch by Evan Mitchell. Rhymes grounded out to third base to end the inning.
Fourth inning - With two out, Katz walked and Ibarra reached on an error by shortstop Adam Frazier. Tyler Moore grounded out to second base.
Seventh inning - With two out, Laird walked and advanced to third on a throwing error by pitcher Ross Mitchell on an attempted pickoff. Bregman grounded out to second base.
LSU HITTING STAR
Batting first in the lineup, Jones had two doubles. Jones' first double knocked in two runs in the fifth and gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead. Jones' second double preceded Bregman's three-run homer in the ninth. The only other time Jones had two doubles in a game was last season against Florida. Jones was 0-for-5 in the series opener against the Bulldogs.
LSU STARTING PITCHER
A year ago, Eades won only twice out of his ten SEC starts. On Saturday, Eades limited Mississippi State to one run and six hits in seven innings while winning his fourth game of the season. He walked two and struck out eight - which equaled his most in a SEC game. A wild pitch by Eades enabled the Bulldogs to score their one run. Three times in the early innings, Eades escaped trouble. With runners at second and third and two out in the first, Porter grounded out to first base. With runners at first and second and one out in the third, Eades got Detz to hit into a double play. In the fourth, Porter led off with a double. Eades struck out Robson and retired Wes Rea and Ammirati on line drives to centerfield.
With Eades going seven innings, the bullpen was set up perfectly - Joey Bourgeois for the eighth and Chris Cotton for the ninth. Pitching with a 4-1 lead, Bourgeois threw a scoreless eighth. He gave up one hit and struck out one. Even though it was not a save situation, Cotton worked the ninth. He gave up three hits, one being a two-run homer by Pirtle. Cotton did strikeout two batters. Cotton had allowed just one run in his previous 11 appearances.
Stevenson got the start in centerfield with Laird moving to rightfield. Chris Sciambra went to the bench for the second game of the series. Stevenson was 1-for-2 and was hit by a pitch. . .Moore was the designated hitter and was hitless in two at-bats. Alex Edward and McMullen also had at-bats as the designated hitter. Edward was 0-for-1, while McMullen was 0-for-1 with a walk. . .Rhymes was the only starter other than Jones to have two hits. Rhymes had only two hits in the previous four games. . .Bregman extended his hitting streak to seven games with his ninth-inning home run, his second of the year. . .Katz' home run was his ninth of the season the 26th of his career. He has homered seven times in the last five games. . .LSU was 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position. . .Frazier, C.T. Bradford and Porter had seven of the Bulldogs' ten hits. . .Starting pitcher Evan Mitchell allowed just one hit, but three runs in his four innings. . .The Mississippi State bullpen struggled again as it yielded four runs in five innings. . .The Tigers have now won 13 games in a row - their longest winning streak in four seasons. LSU won 14 straight games in 2009. . .The Tigers have now won seven consecutive series against Mississippi State - all with Paul Mainieri as coach. LSU has won five straight series in Starkville - four under Mainieri and one under Smole Laval. . .The Tigers are 18-1, while the Bulldogs are 18-4.
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
Coach Paul Mainieri
"It was a superb effort by Ryan Eades. He competed with every pitch and did a masterful job. It's so important after winning the first game of a series for your Saturday starter to give you a chance to clinch the series. Ryan did just that tonight. He was tremendous in keeping their hitters off balance. Our defense made some great plays behind him."
LSU will play Mississippi State at Starkville in the series finale Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Cody Glenn (3-0, 0.73 ERA) will be the starting pitcher for the Tigers.