Connor Hale hit a three-run, two-out homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to give LSU a 9-7 victory against Alcorn State in a non-conference game Tuesday night at The Box.
HOW THEY SCORED
Alcorn State third inning - With one out, Edgardo Salas doubled and went to third on a wild pitch by Henri Faucheux. Salas scored on a single by Scott Peavey. After a single by Earl Burl, Angel Polo flied out to rightfielder Chris Sciambra. Christian Hickman was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Peavey, Burl and Hickman scored on a double by Ashton Lewis. Brandon Ollet singled home Lewis. ALCORN STATE 5, LSU 0
LSU third inning - With one out, Cade Stone tripled. Stone scored on a sacrifice fly to the centerfielder by Sciambra. ALCORN STATE 5, LSU 1
Alcorn State sixth inning - Jared Listach singled and was forced at second on a ground ball to shortstop Alex Bregman by Moses Charles. After Charles stole second, he scored on a single by Salas. ALCORN STATE 6, LSU 1
LSU sixth inning - Pinch-hitter Andrew Stevenson reached on an error by the shortstop Charles. Stevenson went to second on a ground out to the pitcher by Bregman. Kade Scivicque reached on an error by Charles. Jake Fraley hit a pinch-hit three-run homer over the right field fence. ALCORN STATE 6, LSU 4
Alcorn State eighth inning - Charles doubled and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Salas. After Peavey grounded out to the third baseman Ibarra, Charles scored on a wild pitch by Nate Fury. ALCORN STATE 7, LSU 4
LSU eighth inning - With one out, Fraley was hit by a pitch. Mark Laird flied out to the rightfielder. Tyler Moore hit a home run over the rightfield fence. Pinch-hitter Sean McMullen walked. Ibarra singled. Hale hit a home run over the leftfield fence. LSU 9, ALCORN STATE 7
LSU WASTED SCORING OPPORTUNITIES
Second inning - With one out, Danny Zardon singled. Zardon advanced to second on a ground out to the first baseman by Dakota Dean. Chris Chinea grounded out to the second baseman.
Fifth inning - Chinea walked. After Jarret DeHart struck out, Chinea moved to second on Stone's ground out to the second baseman. Sciambra popped out to the shortstop.
Seventh inning - With one out, Ibarra walked and moved to second on a wild pitch by Daniel Belmont. After Hale flied out to the leftfielder, Ibarra went to third on an infield single by Stevenson. Bregman grounded out to the pitcher.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYER
For the second consecutive game, Hale came through with the hit which drove in the go-ahead run. Hale, who had doubled to break a 4-4 tie in the eighth inning Sunday against Tennessee, capped a five-run eighth inning rally against the Braves on Tuesday. Hale, who entered the game at second base in the seventh, flied out in his first at-bat. The home run was the second of the season for Hale. Six of Hale's 20 runs batted in have come in the last two games.
Making his first start after 21 relief appearances, Parker Bugg threw two scoreless innings. Alcorn did put three runners on base - two in the first inning. With one out in the first, Bugg hit Salas with a pitch and gave up an infield single by Peavey. Bugg ended the threat with a strike out and a force play. Bugg yielded a one-out single by Lewis in the second. He then got outs on a strikeout and a fly ball.
Alcorn State treated Henri Faucheux very rudely with five runs on six hits in the third inning. Faucheux could have escaped the inning by allowing just one run, but he gave up a three-double by Lewis and a RBI single by Ollet with two outs. Kyle Bouman allowed one run in three innings. He had a one-two-three fourth inning, but gave up three hits in both the fifth and sixth. Chinea threw out a runner trying to steal second to get Bouman out of trouble in the fifth. Salas singled home a run in the sixth off Bouman. Salas was thrown out at the plate by Bregman on the front end of a double steal to prevent more sixth-inning damage. Bouman ended the sixth by striking out Polo with two runners on base. Fury, who threw two innings, wild pitched home a run with two out in the eighth. Fury got credit for his second victory of the year when LSU rallied in the bottom of the eighth. Brady Domangue, who walked one and struck out one in the ninth, registered his first save. The Tigers only had one more available pitcher - Cody Glenn, if the game would have gone into extra innings. Kramer Robertson, who pitched in summer ball in 2013, was warming up in the bullpen when the game ended.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri rested all but three of his regulars - Bregman at shortstop, Scivicque at first base and Chinea at catcher. Three freshmen made their second starts of the year - Dean at second base, Jarret DeHart at designated hitter and Stone in leftfield. Zardon, another freshman, started at third base. Jared Foster and Sciambra started in centerfield and rightfield, respectively. . .Sciambra, Zardon and Stone were the only starters to pick up a hit. Stone had a triple . . .In the sixth and seventh innings, Mainieri put all of the regulars into the game. . .The comeback from a five-run deficit was the largest for the Tigers in two seasons. LSU trailed Florida by five runs before winning 8-7 in 2012. . .The Tigers hit three home runs in a game for the second time this season. LSU had three homers in a February 28 game against Yale. . .Fraley extended his hitting to six games with his home run. . .Laird's hitting streak ended at eight games after he went 0-for-2. . .All but one of the Tigers' runs came on homers. . .LSU stranded five runners, three in scoring position. The Tigers were 3-for-7 with runners in scoring position. . .Alcorn State starting pitcher Ryan Fuentes worked one scoreless inning. Justin Lemond gave up four runs and three hits in five innings. Three of the runs were unearned due to two errors by Charles prior to Fraley's home run. Daniel Belmont allowed the homers by Moore and Hale. . .The 16 hits for Alcorn were the most allowed by LSU in a non-conference regular season game in five seasons. Southeastern Louisiana had 16 hits when the Tigers won 6-5 in 2009. . .Both Earl and Lewis had three hits for Alcorn State. Polo was the only Braves starter without a hit. . .LSU has now won 26 consecutive games against SWAC teams. The Tigers' last loss to a SWAC team came against Southern in 2005. . .LSU is 34-11-1, while Alcorn State is 8-37. . .The paid attendance was 10,237. The actual crowd was 2,940.
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
"That was no fluke when Alcorn was ahead. They played unbelievably. Their outfielders were running everything down. Their second baseman made a couple of great plays. Their catcher made a great block when the pitcher spiked a curve ball in the dirt. They had 16 hits and there was nothing cheap about them. When we were down 6-1, I was glad we were only down 6-1. We threw two runners out at the plate. We were fortunate."
"I tried to give the reserves some playing time. After they got two at-bats, I took them out. The best chance for us to win was to get the starters back in there. In baseball, you can have bad luck when you hit the ball right at them. But, if you hit the ball over the fence, there can be no bad luck. I don't care who the opponent was. That was a phenomenal comeback."
"In my first at-bat, the pitcher threw me a flat fast ball. I got the same pitch in the second at-bat. That time the pitch was a little more elevated. I knew it was gone when I hit it. I wasn't expecting to play. I thought the young guys would play good. A win like this will do so much for us. It will boost our confidence."
LSU will play the first game of its SEC series against Texas A&M at Blue Bell Park in College Station on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The Aggies (28-18) defeated Texas State 9-2 on Tuesday night. Aaron Nola (7-1) will be the starting pitcher for the Tigers. The LSU-Texas A&M game will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.