No.12 Kentucky keeps the series alive after an impressive 13-10 victory over No.1 LSU on the road in Baton Rouge.
After LSU led 6-2 going into the fifth inning, Kentucky scored 10 unanswered runs that would ultimately propel the Wildcats to victory.
“Kentucky has a good offense and they put pressure on you in a lot of different ways,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “I thought we dictated the type of game that was played last night, and they dictated the game tonight. We’ve got to be better from the mound, we’ve got to be better defensively. I like the fight of our team, but if we play a little bit better, we win that game.”
Kentucky reliever Darren Williams (3-0) was credited with the win. Williams worked three whole innings and finished with three hits, three runs (all earned), two walks and three strikeouts
LSU reliever Griffin Herring, who came in for starter Ty Floyd, was charged with the first loss of his collegiate career. The true freshman finished six hits, seven runs (three earned), one walk and one strikeout through 1.1 innings pitched.
The Wildcats must have thought it was Groundhog Day again as third baseman Tommy White got the Tigers on the board first with an RBI double, bringing home centerfielder Dylan Crews.
However, Kentucky showed no hesitation to get on the board next time up at the plate as designated hitter Chase Stanke smoked a two-run homer in the second to take a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers would continue the arms race in the bottom half of the inning when left fielder Tre’ Morgan lined a two-RBI single over the head of Kentucky shortstop Grant Smith to retake the 3-2 lead for LSU.
In the fourth inning, Morgan was hit by a pitch from Williams and Crews lined a double to right-center to score Morgan to make the score 4-2. After Crews’ at-bat, White launched a three-run dinger to straightaway centerfield in the bottom of the fourth to give the Tigers a 6-2 lead going into the fifth. White’s home run was his 12th of the year.
However, the Wildcats would claw it’s way back in the game after they scratched across five runs in the fifth, highlighted by Nolan McCarthy’s three-run triple and an RBI single from Stanke to take the 7-6 lead.
Kentucky would score five runs in the seventh as well, which came as a result of three free passes, three hits, an error, and a sac fly. The Wildcats led 12-7 after seven innings.
However, LSU would begin to make a last-ditch effort to come back and win the game in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The inning got started with a walk from pinch hitter Josh Pearson and an HBP from Morgan. Crews came through with a single to load the bases for the Tigers, and White drew the walk to make the score 12-8.
First baseman Jared Jones looped a two-RBI single to left field to close the margin even further to 12-10.
With the Tigers in striking distance of making a huge comeback, Emilien Pitre’s third hit of the game would result in a Wildcat runner coming home to account for the final margin. Reliever Ryder Giles recorded the save when he forced Morgan to ground the ball into a double play to win the game for Kentucky.