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Tigers Beat Kentucky 11-6 in SEC Tournament Opener

A good start in Hoover

Thanks to some nasty weather in Hoover, LSU finally—finally—took the field in the SEC Tournament and beat Kentucky 11-6 late Thursday night/early Friday morning.

LSU was originally supposed to play Wednesday but the game got moved to Thursday at what was supposed to have been some time yesterday afternoon, only for it to be moved again to Thursday night at a time TBD.

TBD wound up being 9:41 P.M. and the Tigers and Wildcats played well past midnight, finishing sometime around 1:30/2:00 A.M.

“It was an unbelievable environment tonight, and I’m really thankful for our fans for coming and I thought it provided us a lot of energy.” Jay Johnson said. “I don’t think there’s a venue that could better prepare you for what’s coming in the postseason. The SEC Tournament is a great, great event.”

Freshman outfielder Josh Pearson put his name in the LSU record books as the first Tiger to ever collect five hits in an SEC Tournament game. Pearson was 5-5 with three singles, a double, and a two-run homer in the home half of the seventh inning.

Kentucky drew first blood Thursday night tagging Ma’Khail Hilliard for two runs in the top of the second. But the Tiger bats had Hilliard’s back and scored three runs in the third, fourth, and sixth innings.

Tre’ Morgan got LSU on the board with an RBI groundout after the Tigers loaded the bases. Tyler McManus gave LSU a lead with a two-run double to left that scored Jordan Thompson and Pearson.

Dylan Crews picked up an RBI single in the fourth, and Pearson brought home Drew Bianco with a single to left. With runners on the corners and one out, Thompson threw down a sac bunt attempt and Crews made an incredible slide to avoid the tag by Kentucky catcher Alonzo Rubalcaba at home plate.

That slide by Crews pushed LSU’s lead to 6-2 and LSU would cruise from there. Thompson and McManus picked up their third RBIs of the night in the bottom of the sixth to push LSU’s lead to 9-2, before Pearson’s homer finished the Tiger scoring for the night.

Kentucky was able to close the gap with a run in the seventh and three in the eighth. All four runs were charged to Devin Fontenot, who made his 111th career appearance which is now the most by an LSU pitcher in program history.

Up next for LSU is a particularly spicy Friday night game with Tennessee who ran away with the SEC’s regular season championship. The Vols went 50-7 in the regular season and an absurd 25-5 against the league and figure to be the No. 1 overall seed when the NCAA Tournament field of 64 releases Monday.

First pitch is, you guessed it, TBD and with the way things have gone in Hoover I feel confident in saying it’ll wrap up sometime before July 4 weekend. Probably.