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Tigers Fight Through Mistakes To Sweep Kansas

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via Watson Tiger

It was said on Saturday that even with the series lost, Kansas would fight hard on Sunday to at least steal the sweep away from LSU. The Tigers did everything in their power to give Kansas that win, but LSU still prevailed to sweep the weekend with a 7-4 victory.

The Tigers struck first in the first, with speedy Mark Laird stealing 2 bases to setup an easy ground out RBI for Conner Hale. Kansas was unfazed and immediately struck back, taking full advantage of a throwing error by Bryce Jordan at 3rd and a wild pitch with a runner on 3rd to score 2 in the 2nd. It was followed in the 4th by a first pitch home run to left by Blair Beck. Freshman Jake Godfrey was unable to continue the trend of great freshman pitching debuts as a combination of his own wildness and defensive mistakes behind him caused him to give up 2 hits, 3 walks, and a HBP as his pitch count ballooned to 87 before he was pulled in the 4th.

The back and forth continued as LSU put up 2 runs in the 5th to tie the game, but gave the lead right back as 2 HBPs from Russell Reynolds and more defensive mistakes plated a run for the Jayhawks. The Kansas dugout looked extremely confident that their plans to spoil the weekend a little would work. Unfortunately, Kansas picked the worst time to run out of pitching. The Tigers scored 4 RBI singles in the 6th as KU couldn't get to their late relief fast enough. Seeing a chance to secure the win, freshman sidewinder Collin Strall, a steadier Zac Person, and presumptive closer Jesse Stallings each took one of the final innings, facing 1 batter more than the minimum and notching a combined 4 Ks to seal the series sweep.

While a 7-4 win with 12 hits for LSU seems comfortable, the Tigers mistakes were a bit alarming. 4 defensive errors and 4 HBPs meant that 3 of Kansas' 4 runs were unearned. Some of it can be contributed to a lineup featuring tryout starts by Bryce Jordan at 3B, Conner Hale at 2B, and Michael Papierski at C. This early in the year, a little experimentation at some positions is ok, and if the worst that happens is a series sweep that's secured in the 6th inning instead of the 3rd, LSU has a fine year to look ahead to. Just glancing at some of the box scores around the country, LSU had one of the tougher weekends in college baseball. While it's still too early to tell, I wouldn't be surprised if this series sweep over Kansas looks a lot more impressive in May.

Box Score