It was the biggest stage of the year, and on it Alex Lange burned brightly.
With Lange’s superhero antics, LSU (37-17) took game one from Mississippi State (34-20) 3-1 Thursday night.
With the win and Kentucky’s bashing of Florida, LSU currently sits in a three way tie for the SEC crown. A sweep of Mississippi State and Florida splitting the last two games with Kentucky would give LSU the SEC crown outright.
Lange worked himself into bases loaded jams in the sixth and seventh innings, but somehow willed his way out of both unscathed. In the seventh it looked like he ran out of gas completely with a pitch count above the 120 mark, giving up back to back with two outs and missing the zone completely to both batters. Lange dug down and found enough inside him to strikeout the batter, carrying a 3-1 lead into the eighth.
It literally played out something like this:
Mississippi State took the lead immediately via a lead off home run from Ryan Gridley in the first inning, but LSU stormed ahead in the fourth. Deichmann was walked to leadoff the inning and that was followed by a single from Nick Coomes. Beau Jordan drew a walk to load the bases for Josh Smith, who put LSU on the board with a sac fly to deep center. Zach Watson put LSU ahead with a two out single up the middle to score Coomes.
LSU added a huge insurance run in the eighth inning when Watson scored Josh Smith after back to back hits for the Tigers. Konnor Pilkington kept the LSU batters in check for the better part of the night but the bottom of the lineup which has been on fire for LSU got to him, scoring all three of LSU’s runs. Duplantis had the only multi-hit night as they preferred not to pitch to Deichmann, taking the bat out of his hands in every at bat during the evening.
Hess and Newman took over for LSU and carried the water the rest of the way. Lange finished with only seven innings of work, allowing one run (earned) on six hits, walking an unusually high five Bulldogs while striking out 11. More impressively, his insane ability to put out his own fires has now reached legendary status. In 18 bases loaded situations this season, batters against Alex Lange are now 0/17 with 12K’s and 1 walk.