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Tigers Cruise in Game One vs. Mississippi State

Back on track

Here’s a math problem for ya: what do four LSU homers plus 13 Paul Skenes add up to? In LSU’s case a 12-1 run-rule win over Mississippi State Friday night.

Skenes was somehow even more brilliant than we’re used to seeing. The best pitcher in the country pitched all seven innings, surrendering just three hits and issuing one walk.

“You can’t take it for granted, but it’s amazing to watch Paul do what he does and execute the way that he does every time he goes out there,” Jay Johnson said.

Skenes came out the gate firing on all cylinders as he struck out the first six batters he faced. Skenes now was 152 Ks on the year, which is good for sixth in LSU single season history. Skenes needs eight more to take sole possession of second place from Anthony Ranaudo (159 in 2009), and will need 50 more to tie Ben McDonald’s record of 202 in 1989.

While Skenes was nearly untouchable, the LSU offense had no issue with the Bulldog pitching. Gavin Dugas was a perfect 4-4 and homered off the first pitch in the home half of the first inning.

The Tigers would plate four more in the second as Brayden Jobert and Jordan Thompson hit back-to-back jacks.

Neither team would score in innings three, four, or five, but scoring returned in the sixth. Mississippi State scored its only run of the ball game when Ross Highfill took advantage of a rare Skenes mistake and homered to left.

But LSU would get that run back plus two more in the home half of the sixth. The inning opened with singles by Alex Milazzo, Dugas, and Tre’ Morgan, and then Dylan Crews was able to draw a bases loaded walk. Tommy White then recorded what would be the first of three RBI of the night as he singled, and then Cade Beloso brought Morgan home thanks to a sacrifice fly.

Leading 8-1 in the seventh, LSU ended the game with four runs to run-rule the Bulldogs. Morgan hit a two-run single to push LSU’s lead to 10-1, and then Tommy White ended the game with a two-run homer to left. White now has 18 homers and 82 RBI.

LSU tries to claim the series Saturday. Ty Floyd will be on the bump with first pitch scheduled for 6:00. The game can be streamed via SEC Network+.

As we creep closer to the end of the regular season, let’s update the race for the SEC regular season championship. Arkansas (18-7) has a half game lead over LSU (17-7) for first place, while the Tigers are a half game up on Vanderbilt (17-8). Meanwhile the Florida Gators (16-9) are looming in fourth place and run-ruled Vanderbilt last night.

LSU has by far and away the easiest remaining schedule of the top-four teams in the SEC.

  1. Arkansas (18-7): vs. South Carolina this weekend, at Vanderbilt next weekend
  2. LSU (17-7): vs. Mississippi State this weekend, at Georgia next weekend
  3. Vanderbilt (17-8): @ Florida this weekend, vs. Arkansas next weekend
  4. Florida (16-9): vs. Vanderbilt this weekend, @ Kentucky next weekend