Mark Laird singled home pinch-runner Jared Foster with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning to give LSU an 8-7 victory against Tennessee in a Southeastern Conference game Friday night at The Box.
HOW THEY SCORED
Tennessee first inning - Will Maddox singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by A.J. Simcox. Maddox scored on a single by Christin Stewart. Nick Senzel doubled home Stewart. TENNESSEE 2, LSU 0
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LSU fourth inning - Jake Fraley doubled and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Conner Hale. Fraley scored on a double by Tyler Moore. After an infield single by Christian Ibarra, Moore scored on a double by Kramer Robertson. Ibarra and Robertson scored on a double by Andrew Stevenson. After Laird struck out, Stevenson scored on a single by Alex Bregman. LSU 5, TENNESSEE 2
Tennessee sixth inning - Nathaniel Maggio singled and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Schultz. After Vincent Jackson flied out to the leftfielder Fraley, Maggio scored on a single by Maddox. After Maddox stole second base, Simcox walked. An infield single by Stewart loaded the bases. Maddox, Simcox and Stewart scored on a pinch-hit double by Derek Lance. TENNESSEE 6, LSU 5
Tennessee seventh inning - Taylor Smart singled and scored on a double by Maggio. TENNESSEE 7, LSU 5
LSU seventh inning - Fraley and Hale singled. Both runners moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Moore. A walk to Ibarra loaded the bases. Fraley scored when Robertson forced Ibarra at second base on a ground ball to the shortstop. TENNESSEE 7, LSU 6
LSU eighth inning - With two out, Sean McMullen singled and stole second base. McMullen scored on a double by Fraley. TENNESSEE 7, LSU 7
LSU ninth inning - Moore walked. Foster, who ran for Moore, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ibarra. After Robertson struck out, Stevenson was intentionally walked. Foster scored on a single by Laird. LSU 8, TENNESSEE 7
LSU WASTED SCORING OPPORTUNITIES
First inning - With two out, Bregman doubled. McMullen grounded out to the second baseman.
Second inning - With two out, Moore doubled. Ibarra flied out to the rightfielder.
Third inning - With one out, Stevenson and Laird singled. Bregman flied out to the centerfielder and McMullen flied out to the leftfielder.
Sixth inning - Stevenson singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Laird. Both Bregman and McMullen flied out to the rightfielder.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYER
Laird had the most important hit of the night with his game-winning single up the middle with two out in the bottom of the ninth. Laird was 2-for-5 with his other hit being an infield single in the third. Laird extended his hitting streak to six games. He is 11-for-26 during the hitting streak.
Aaron Nola endured one of the worst outings of his career. He was lifted with two runners on base and two out in the sixth inning with LSU leading Tennessee 5-3. The Vols ended up taking a 6-5 lead before the end of the inning. Nola gave up a season-high eight hits and was charged with a season-high five runs. He walked four, which equaled the most in his career. Nola struck out a season-low four batters. He also failed to last six innings for the first time this season. The damage could have been worse as Tennessee stranded six runners in scoring position in the first four innings. With runners at second and third in the first, Nola struck out Smart and retired Maggio on a topped ball in front of the plate. Nola got Simcox to fly out to Laird in rightfield with a runner at third and two out in the second. Schultz grounded out to the second baseman Robertson with the bases loaded and two out in the third. Nola retired Stewart on a ground ball to the first baseman Hale with a runner at third and two out in the fourth. Nola also made two throwing errors on pickoff throws to first base.
Zac Person had a miserable night as he gave up hits to four of the six batters he faced. Entering the game with two runners on base in the sixth, Person yielded an infield hit by Stewart to load the bases. Lance then cleaned with the bases with a double. In the seventh, Person allowed a run on a single by Smart and a double by Maggio. Following a sacrifice bunt, Person was lifted in favor of Brady Domangue. Pinch-hitter Pierce Bily fouled out to Hale. Then, Hunter Devall came on to pitch to Maddox, who was thrown out by Hale on an attempted drag bunt. Robertson made a great play covering first base for the out. McCune allowed a leadoff single in the eighth, but got a line-drive double play on a hit-and-run to end the inning. Broussard, who recorded his second victory of the year, struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth.
Bregman was back in the No. 3 spot in the batting order. Stevenson was the leadoff batter with McMullen the cleanup hitter. Robertson was the second baseman with Hale at first base. Kade Scivicque, who had four hits in his last 32 at-bats, was not in the starting lineup. . .Stevenson extended his hitting streak to four games with a single in the third. He finished the night with three hits and an intentional walk prior to Laird's game-winning single. . .Moore had two doubles in a game for the first time in his career. The multiple-hit game was the first for Moore since April 9 against Lamar. He was 3-for-17 since that game against the Cardinals. . .For the second straight game, Fraley had three hits. He had two doubles in a game for the first time this year. . .Both Bregman and Ibarra had two hits. The multiple-hit game was the first for Ibarra since April 15 against USM. Ibarra was 2-for-13 since that game against the Golden Eagles. . .LSU had a season-high seven doubles. . .The Tigers put down four sacrifice bunts which tied the school record for a game. . .The only starter on either team not to get a hit was Tennessee's Schultz, who was 0-for-2 with two sacrifice bunts. . .Tennessee starting pitcher Peter Lenstrohm allowed five runs and nine hits in 3.1 innings. Josh Peterson allowed the tying run in the eighth and Andrew Lee gave up the winning run in the ninth. . .LSU stranded 13 runners, eight in scoring position. The Tigers were 7-for-19 with runners in scoring position. . .Tennessee stranded nine runners, eight in scoring position. . .Nola was named one of 47 nominees for National Pitcher of the Year. Nola's four strikeouts give him 306 for his career. He moved past Louis Coleman into ninth place on the school's all-time list. . .LSU committed three errors, which equaled its season-high. . .The Tigers are 4-3 in one-run games this season. . .LSU has won seven consecutive games against Tennessee. . .The Tigers are 32-10-1 overall, 11-7-1 in the SEC. LSU is in third place in the overall SEC standings - 1½ games behind Florida. . .The Volunteers are 25-15 overall, 7-12 in the SEC. Tennessee is in 13th place in the overall league standings. The top 12 teams qualify for the SEC tournament. . .The paid attendance was 11,571 - the second largest of the season behind the season opener against UNO (12,472). The actual crowd was 8,060 - the second largest of the season behind the UNO game (9,229).
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
"You never know what's going to happen. Nola proved today that he's human. He's allowed to be off for one game. He wasn't terrible. He just didn't dominate. Tennessee knocked him out of a rhythm right away. He never got in a groove. They jumped on his fast ball a couple of times in the first inning. He has to pitch off his fast ball. He struggled through, but he left the game in the sixth inning with the lead."
"I told Laird that they were not going to pitch to Stevenson in the ninth. He needed to be loose and aggressive. He had to believe in himself. He hit a ball as hard as he could up the middle. The kid's an athlete. I think he's a winner. If you need a base hit, he's the guy. He can make contact. I have a lot of confidence in him."
"Fraley is another athlete. He passes the eye test. Jake can run and he can hit. He has that little bit of a gamer in him too."
"Tonight was not my night at the plate. They tried to keep throwing me away. Coach told me to just go away with the pitch. I fouled one down the leftfield line. The 3-2 pitch (for the winning hit) was right down the middle. Anybody on our team could have hit that pitch. I just barreled up the ball."
LSU will play host to Tennessee in the second game of their SEC series at The Box on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. Jared Poche (6-3) will be the starting pitcher for the Tigers. The LSU-Tennessee game will be broadcast on CST.