With the way LSU was swing the bats, starting pitcher Ryan Eades had to be at his best in the deciding game of the Baton Rouge Super-Regional against Stony Brook.
Eades was no match for the Seawolves hitters who drove him from the game before the end of the third inning. Eades was charged with four runs as the Tigers dropped a 7-2 decision to Stony Brook at The Box on Sunday night.
Eades lasted just 2.2 innings in the shortest of his 17 starts of the season. Eades had two other short outings this year - three innings with seven runs allowed against Florida and 3.1 innings with six runs allowed against Kentucky. LSU rallied to win the Florida game 8-7. There was no comeback Sunday.
"One through nine, I thought Stony Brook had the toughest lineup we faced all year," LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. "It's hard to find a weakness in that team. I can't imagine anybody in the country better than them. I think they have a chance to win the national championship."
Lefthanded hitters Travis Jankowski and Maxx Tissenbaum gave the righthanded Eades the most problems. Jankowski led off the game with a single and later scored the Seawolves' first. He opened the three-run third with a double. Tissenbaum had a RBI double and later scored in the third.
Stony Brook, which was never on the field with a deficit in the entire series, made sure it got the jump on the Tigers. After Jankowski's game-opening single, Pat Cantwell bunted him to second. William Carmona drove Jankowski home with a single.
The remainder of the first inning wasn't easy for Eades. After getting Tissenbaum on a ground out, Eades walked Kevin Krause. Cole Peragine lined out to left fielder Raph Rhymes. Eades retired the bottom third of the Seawolves lineup in order in the second.
Jankowski led off the third with a double and was bunted to third by Cantwell. Eades made a big pitch by striking out Carmona on a high fast ball. But, Eades was unable to shut the door as the next four batters had hits.
Tissenbaum started things with his RBI double down the right field line. Kevin Krause grounded a single up the middle to bring home Tissenbaum. After a single by Peragine, Steven Goldstein ended Eades' night with a run-scoring single.
"Just like the rest of the team, Ryan did the best he could," Mainieri said. "The two-out hits were what got to him. (Central Florida coach) Terry Rooney told me that Stony Brook comes through with two-out hits. When they had Eades on the ropes, they were able to put him away."
"Ryan has room for improvement. He has nothing to go to when he gets behind in the count. His offspeed pitch has got to get better. To take it to another level, Ryan has to have better offspeed pitches and better command."
Five LSU relievers worked the rest of the way. Joe Broussard and Chris Cotton allowed runs. Broussard entered the game with the bases loaded and two out in the third after Brent Bonvillain walked Kevin Courtney. Broussard struck out Sal Intagliata to end the threat.
Broussard struck out Jankowski to start the fourth, but he got no more outs. Cantwell got hit by a pitch and Carmona walked. Tissenbaum followed with his second double of the game which drove in both runners.
Joey Bourgeois replaced Broussard after Tissenbaum's double and got into more problems on a walk to Peragine and an infield hit by Goldstein. Bourgeois got Courtney on a fly ball to center fielder Mason Katz for the third out. Bourgeois shut out Stony Brook in the fifth and sixth innings.
Cotton, who took over in the seventh, gave up a run one inning later. Carmona doubled and advanced to third on a bunt by Tissenbaum. With the infield playing in, Krause hit a pop fly single just out of the reach of shortstop Austin Nola. Carmona scored to put the Seawolves ahead 7-2.
Nick Goody relieved Cotton in the ninth when Stony Brook put a couple of runners on base. Goody got Carmona to pop out to second baseman JaCoby Jones to end the inning. The LSU bullpen allowed three runs and eight hits in 6.1 innings.
"Stony Brook is an excellent hitting team," Mainieri said. "I really thought our pitchers did a pretty good job against them tonight."