No.1 LSU defeats No.12 Kentucky 16-6 as they run-rule the Wildcats in eight innings to pick up its 11th run-rule victory of the season on Thursday night.
A huge factor in why LSU was able to win so easily over the Wildcats was due to shortstop Jordan Thompson and right fielder Brayden Jobert both hitting grand slam home runs in the first and second innings. The last time LSU hit two grand slams in a game was on May 13, 2014, when LSU beat Northwestern State 27-0 in six innings.
THE SAN DIEGO SLAMMER IS SLAMMING@J_thompson_13 | SECN pic.twitter.com/Vn0Yb2RYI8— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) April 13, 2023
Brayden Jobert, serving up grand slams tonight @braydenjobert | SECN pic.twitter.com/rtLzda4etb— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) April 13, 2023
“I’m really proud of our guys and the at-bats that they took,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “I felt like they showed up to the park super determined today, and you could see it in batting practice. That’s how they show up every day, but I had a really good feeling going into the game tonight that we were ready to play.”
LSU improves its overall record to 28-5 and its conference record to 8-4. Kentucky drops to 27-6 overall and 7-4 in SEC play.
LSU ace Paul Skenes (6-1) was credited with the win as he earned his sixth victory of the year. Skenes’ final line was seven hits, five runs (four earned), one walk and 13 strikeouts in six innings on the mound. It was the seventh time this season that Skenes was able to reach the 10-plus strikeout threshold. He’s also the first pitcher this season in college baseball to crack 100 strikeouts.
“Paul has set such a high bar and high standard, and eventually, he was going to give up a few runs,” Johnson said. “You don’t see that very often, so credit to Kentucky for getting some swings on him. I’m very proud of Paul, and I’m glad we could get this win for him tonight.”
Riley Cooper relieved Skenes for the final two innings, finishing with two hits, one earned run and two strikeouts.
Kentucky starter Zach Hise (1-1) was charged with his first loss of the season. Hise finished with four hits, 11 runs (six earned), three walks and three strikeouts. Hise also allowed two home runs, both of them grand slams.
In the first inning, LSU let it be known that it was going to feast tonight like a pack of hungry African wild dogs. With second baseman Gavin Dugas on second, Hise walked Dylan Crews, which was strange for two reasons: Tommy White was the next batter and he leads LSU in both home runs and RBIs.
White made Hise pay as he smacked a two-RBI double to left field to bring home Dugas and Crews to give the Tigers an early 2-0 lead.
Later in the inning, with the bases loaded with two outs, Thompson continued his red-hot April as sent a grand slam homer to left-center field to give LSU a 6-0 lead at the end of the first inning.
In the second inning, Kentucky would get its first run of the game after Nolan McCarthy plated home a runner after his RBI single.
However, LSU would score five runs in the same inning. With the bases loaded, first baseman Jared Jones picked up an RBI after he was able to force a walk, allowing left fielder Tre Morgan to come home. On the next at-bat, Jobert would send everyone home after he hit a grand slam dinger of his own over the right-center wall.
In the third inning, LSU would score three more runs after designated hitter Cade Beloso would send a three-run homer to the student section to give the Tigers a 14-1 lead.
CB just following the script @cade_beloso | SECN pic.twitter.com/tSo5o9I08S— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) April 14, 2023
The Wildcats would score four runs in the fourth and fifth innings combined and then would add another run in the seventh inning to cut the deficit to 14-6.
However, LSU would score the final two runs of the game to effectively end the game, with catcher Alex Milazzo recording the RBI single to give the Tigers the run-rule victory.
7️⃣— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) April 14, 2023
Milazzo gets the walk off RBI for the run-rule victory! pic.twitter.com/uSj4lOliVk
The Tigers are scheduled to face the Wildcats tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. CT at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge. The game will be streamed on SEC Network+.