Ronnie Gideon hit a home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Texas A&M a 4-3 victory against LSU in the rubber game of their Southeastern Conference series Sunday afternoon at Blue Bell Park in College Station (Tex.).
HOW THEY SCORED
LSU first inning - Andrew Stevenson tripled. Stevenson scored on a sacrifice fly to the centerfielder by Mark Laird. LSU 1, TEXAS A& 0
Texas A&M first inning - Blake Allemand singled and moved to second on a ground out to third baseman Christian Ibarra by Patrick McLendon. Cole Lankford flied out to Stevenson in centerfield. Allemand scored on a double by Nick Banks. LSU 1, TEXAS A&M 1
LSU fifth inning - Conner Hale hit a leadoff home run over the leftfield fence. LSU 2, TEXAS A&M 1
Texas A&M fifth inning - Gideon doubled and scored on a single by Jace Statum. Shortstop Alex Bregman failed to catch a low throw from pitcher Cody Glenn on a ground ball hit by Krey Bratsen. Allemand lined out to Bregman. McLendon walked to load the bases. Statum scored on a sacrifice fly to leftfielder Jake Fraley by Lankford. TEXAS A&M 3, LSU 2
LSU seventh inning - Hale singled. After Tyler Moore pooped out to the pitcher on a bunt, Hale scored on a double by Ibarra. LSU 3, TEXAS A&M 3
Texas A&M eighth inning - Gideon hit a leadoff home run over the leftfield fence. TEXAS A&M 4, LSU 3
LSU WASTED SCORING OPPORTUNITIES
Third inning - Moore doubled and went to third on a ground out to the first baseman by Ibarra. Stevenson popped out to the shortstop and Laird ground out to the first baseman.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYER
Hale tried to carry LSU to victory with his bat. He hit a solo home run, his third if the season, to put the Tigers ahead 2-1 in the fifth. Hale had a leadoff single and scored on a double by Ibarra which tied the score at 3-3. Hale, who was 5-for-13 in the series, has hit safely in six consecutive games. Hale is 9-for-22 during the hitting streak.
Alden Cartwright gave coach Paul Mainieri just what he wanted - four sold innings. Cartwright allowed one run and three hits with two walks and one strikeout. Cartwright stranded a runner at second base in the first inning by striking out Ryne Birk. He got into trouble in the third by giving up a walk and a hit-and-run single. However, Cartwright struck out Birk for the first out. Catcher Kade Scivicque picked Lankford off third base on an unsuccessful safety squeeze attempt for the second out. Cartwright retired Troy Stein on a fly ball to the centerfielder Stevenson to end the inning.
The Tigers bullpen was unable to protect a one-run lead. Cody Glenn gave up a double by Gideon and a single by Statum which tied the score. Bregman then didn't handle a low throw by Glenn on a ground ball hit back to the pitcher. After getting Allemand to line out to Bregman, Glenn was replaced by Brady Domangue. That pitching change didn't work as Domangue walked McLendon on four pitches. Entering with the bases loaded, Zac Person got two fly ball outs. However, the Aggies took a 3-2 lead on the first fly out by Lankford. Nate Fury replaced Person after he hit the leadoff batter in the sixth. The Aggies loaded the bases with one out with a single and a walk. Fury escaped the jam by retiring Bratsen on a shallow fly ball to Laird in rightfield and getting Allemand to hit into a force play on a ground ball to the second baseman Hale. Kyle Bouman couldn't get out of the seventh after LSU tied the score at 3-3. After getting a ground out, Bouman yielded two singles and walked a batter. Fortunately, Lankford was thrown out by Scivicque as he tried to advance on a pitch in the dirt. Joe Broussard replaced Bouman with runners at first and second and two out in the inning. Broussard prevented Texas A&M from taking the lead by getting Stein to ground out to Bregman. However, Broussard allowed the home run by Gideon to start the eighth and suffered his first loss of the season.
LSU had the same starting lineup for the second straight game. Hale was at second base, Moore was at first base, Fraley was in leftfield and Scivicque was the catcher. . .The Tigers had nine hits as Laird and Scivicque were the only starters without a hit. . .Chris Sciambra pinch-hit for Scivicque and opened the ninth with a single. However, he was thrown out trying to steal second when Hale swung and missed on a hit-and-run play. . .Ibarra was 0-for-9 in the series before his RBI double in the seventh. . .Scivicque, who went 1-for-7 in the series, has only five hits in his last 46 at-bats. . .LSU stranded five runners, three in scoring position. The Tigers were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. . .Texas A&M starting pitcher Grayson Long allowed three runs and seven hits in 6-plus innings. . .Andrew Vinson, who worked the last two innings, picked up the victory. Vinson gave up one hit and struck out two. . .The home run by Gideon was his first of the season. Gideon and Banks each had three of Texas A&M's ten hits. Statum had two singles. . .All three games in the series were divided by one run. It had been 17 years since LSU was involved in a SEC series in which all three games were decided by one run. In 1997, the Tigers beat South Carolina 9-8 and 11-10 and lost 8-7. LSU is 6-5 in one-run games this season. . .LSU had won four consecutive series before dropping this one to Texas A&M. The Tigers have won just one of four SEC road series this season. . .LSU is 35-13-1 overall, 13-10-1 in the SEC. The Tigers are fifth in the overall SEC standings - ½ game behind Mississippi State and Vanderbilt. The top four teams get a bye in the SEC tournament. . .Texas A&M is 30-19 overall, 12-12 in the SEC. The Aggies are in eighth place in the overall league standings. . .LSU assistant coach Will Davis was suspended for Sunday's game after being ejected in the ninth inning of Saturday's contest. Javi Sanchez coached third base in the series finale. . .The paid attendance was 6,325.
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
"It was a very tough loss today, but I thought we competed as hard as we could and had a chance to win the game. Our pitching staff is shorthanded right now. Today, we pieced it together with seven pitchers and nearly earned a win. This was a very tough, hard-fought series with all three games being decided by one run. I feel like our players really battled in a difficult road environment. We're still very much in the thick of the SEC Western Division race. We're looking forward to playing our final six league games over the next two weekends. Our players have final exams this week and then our focus will turn toward playing back at home next weekend against Alabama."
LSU will play host to Alabama in the opening game of their SEC series at The Box on Friday at 7 p.m. The Crimson Tide (30-18, 13-11) was swept at home by Florida this weekend. Alabama will play Jacksonville State on Tuesday night. Aaron Nola (7-1) will be the starting pitcher for the Tigers.