Despite finishing late Friday night, LSU baseball overcame a four-run deficit to beat the Texas A&M Aggies 12-6 in 13 innings and officially qualify for next week’s SEC Tournament in Hoover.
Friday’s game felt more like a basketball game with the Tigers and Aggies going on scoring runs. The first inning was full of action as LSU put two runs on the board in the top half of the first thanks to a Gavin Dugas homer, and A&M responded immediately with three in the bottom half.
Texas A&M would then put up another three runs in the second to push the lead to 6-2.
It took some time, but LSU would bounce back in a big way in the fifth inning. Mitchell Sanford hit an RBI single up the middle to pull LSU within three, and the Cade Doughty tied things with one swing of the bat.
T5 | FIRST PITCH SWINGING, FIRST PITCH CRUSHING‼️— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) May 22, 2021
C. Doughty smashes a 3-run HR to LF and the Tigers have tied it
LSU - 6
TAMU - 6
: SECN+ pic.twitter.com/TdWglF8EQl
But the Tiger bats wouldn’t be in a position to tie and eventually win the game without the efforts of the LSU bullpen and three freshmen arms in particular. Michael Fowler came on in the third inning and pitched two-and-a-third innings where he only allowed one hit.
But Fowler ran into issues in the fifth. Fowler gave up a leadoff single and had a throwing error allowing the runner to advance to second. Fowler then walked the next batter, the runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt, and Fowler then loaded the bases by hitting an Aggie batter.
Ty Floyd came on in relief and put out the fire. Floyd not only escaped the bases loaded jam, he would go 3.2 innings and only allowed one hit while striking out four.
Garrett Edwards then took over in the ninth and would keep the momentum going pitching two scoreless innings before handing the ball over to Devin Fontenot in the 11th.
Neither the LSU nor the A&M offense could get anything going until the Tiger bats awoke in the 13th inning.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Zach Arnold finally broke through with a two-run single to left. Cade Doughty immediately followed that up with a back breaking two-run double, and Brody Drost and Cade Beloso each tacked on a run for good measure.
TALK DOUGHTY TO ME— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) May 22, 2021
C. Doughty drives one deep to and the Tigers lead, 10-6!
: SECN+ pic.twitter.com/jBdDY9WeVG
Working with a six-run lead, Fontenot finished off A&M and punched LSU’s ticket to Hoover. The win also eliminated A&M from postseason play and was Paul Mainieri’s 1,500th career win. He is the fifth coach in NCAA Division I baseball history to join the 1,500 wins and national champion club.
You always say that it's hard to win college baseball games. Congratulations on winning 1,500 of them, Coach! pic.twitter.com/EU90S1DLlc— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) May 22, 2021
It’s a quick turnaround for LSU and A&M. Saturday’s finale is set for 2:00 and can be streamed on SEC Network+.