LSU bounced back from their heart breaker against Florida Wednesday night by staving off elimination with a 6-4 win over South Carolina in 12 innings.
Todd Peterson became an SEC Tournament legend with his two-run, two-out double in his 1st career at-bat in the top of the 12th, but Peterson only batted because he was performing so well on the mound. Peterson threw the last five innings and allowed two runs on four hits, although one hit should have been ruled an error and a run unearned.
LSU reached the scoreboard first in the 2nd inning when Zach Watson hit an infield single with the bases loaded. With the bases still loaded, a balk call walked Hal Hughes home for the Tigers’ second run.
South Carolina cut the LSU lead in half in the 4th when Hunter Taylor hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to score Jonah Bride.
That run was enough to chase LSU starter Caleb Gilbert from the contest. Gilbert’s day ended after 3.1 innings pitched where he allowed one run (earned) on just two hits and two walks, but had some command issues. Austin Bain came in for relief, breaking the DH in the process. This comes back later in the story.
Justin Row tied the game at two in the 6th inning with a solo shot to left field off Bain. LSU had an opportunity to push ahead in the ensuing inning with a leadoff double from Jake Slaughter, but LSU failed to advance him past third base.
LSU made good on their second chance the following inning after Duplantis led off the inning with a single up the middle, moving to third on two wild pitches. Hunter Feduccia hit a sacrifice fly to shallow right field, and Duplantis advanced home. It looked like the throw home hung Duplantis out to dry, but replay quickly showed that the tag never actually touched him thanks to a crazy athletic slide and LSU edged in front 3-2.
But LSU couldn’t seal the deal, as Zach Watson misplayed a line drive from LT Tolbert that turned into a triple. Jacob Olon tied the game with a one-out single up the middle, and the game was shipped to extras.
Duplantis led off the first extra inning with another leadoff single, but Austin Bain swung through a hit and run and Duplantis was out on the steal attempt. That loomed large as Bain singled anyway and Daniel Cabera hit into a fielders’ choice that may have scored Duplantis.
LSU pulled ahead for good with one of the more memorable two out rallies in the season in the 12th. Duplantis reached on a throwing error before moving to scoring position on Bain’s walk, scoring on Cabrera’s base hit up the middle to put the Tigers in front 4-3.
Up a run with Peterson shoving, Mainieri made the decision to let Todd Peterson take his first career cuts in order to have him close out the game. What happened after that will always live on in LSU lore:
In his first career at-bat at LSU, @Todd_Peterson3 does this!— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) May 25, 2018
: https://t.co/osU46zu2I0 pic.twitter.com/faElPgjJiA
Peterson allowed a run on two hits in the bottom half of the inning, but closed out the game with a strikeout.
In the post-game interviews Peterson had stated that he told Mainieri that he had “dropped bombs” in high school, swaying Mainieri to let him bat. In the post-game press conferences not broadcast on live television, Peterson had backtracked and copped to not actually batting at all in high school, thus contributing to the legend.
Here's @Todd_Peterson3 admitting he lied to @LSUbaseball coach Paul Mainieri about batting in high school pic.twitter.com/DPPul3UJoZ— WWL-TV Sports (@wwltvsports) May 25, 2018
LSU advances to play Friday, but managed to catch a huge break after the game when it was announced that the Arkansas/Florida game would be bumped to Friday morning. LSU will play the loser of that game with the advantage of not having played a game earlier in the day.