It was the high pressure matchup we expected in a #1 vs #2 game. A fantastic duel between two of the conference's best pitchers. A hard fought comeback, and a late inning nightmare. Disaster. Redemption. The Triumph of the Human Spirit. And some favorable bad umping.
LSU came back from Poché's early struggles to take the lead in the 7th, fueled partially by Jake Fraley stealing 3B on a walk. Or Did He?
So he didn't. But the ref called him safe anyway. Commence your "offsides" jokes and laugh int he face of some sad Aggies all you want. The blind ump didn't cause Schlottmann to throw the ball into center field on the next play, scoring Fraley and giving LSU the lead.
Would have been nice to hold on to it too, but of all times to have another blown save, Jesse Stallings picked the worst. Say all you want about leaving Parker Bugg in to finish the job, if you have trust in your closer, which Mainieri clearly did, you put him in with a 1 run lead in the 9th. Yeah, it backfired, but these things happen. In the future, Mainieri obviously wont have that trust in Stallings, so it wont happen then. It only cost us a run and some action from Jake Godfrey, who didn't look ready for relief in the SEC, and Collin Strall, who we might see again briefly tonight.
The Bottom of the 9th was simple enough. The bad side of the aggressive base running coin caught Fraley in a really bad decision to try and make two out of a single to short right, but a Jared Foster single and steal set LSU up for Danny Zardon's heroics
Never leave us, Jim Hawthorne.
Zardon got the shaving cream for his troubles
There was a lot of chatter last night during the game about how LSU is too aggressive on the base paths and how it cost us an easier win, but I disagree with that logic. Look, LSU is going to make their own luck this year and force the issue in every game. And in 1 night against one of the SEC's best teams against stolen bases, LSU took 2, was never caught stealing, and only lost a base runner on a hit and run that was doomed by only the exact hit that could have done him in. Them's the breaks folks, we are going to lose more baserunners this year to aggressive play. It's GOING to happen. Either get on this train or cover your eyes in fear.
(I'm a little ranty today, apparently. THAT GAME WAS AWESOME. YOU SHOULD FEEL AWESOME ABOUT IT. IT FEELS GREAT!)
Tonight's game is on SECN-Alternate. CLICK HERE TO FIND THE CHANNEL