Due to the standout performances of left fielder Tre Morgan and pitcher Paul Skenes, No. 1 LSU defeated Auburn 3-0.
Morgan went 3-for-5 with a home run and he brought home all three of LSU’s runs.
Skenes (9-1) hurled for a season-high 7.1 innings and shut out Auburn on six hits with one walk and 15 strikeouts. The last time an LSU pitcher hurled 15 strikeouts in a game was when Tyler Jones struck out 15 at the University of New Orleans on May 17, 2011.
“When Paul Skenes is pitching, I’m living the best days of my life,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “It was a very special performance on the mound against a very good Auburn lineup.”
Ironically, the performance of Skenes was the most strikeouts by an LSU pitcher in an SEC game since Anthony Ranaudo fanned 15 batters against Auburn on April 24, 2009, in Baton Rouge.
Auburn pitcher Chase Allsup (0-1) was charged with the loss. Allsup, who started the game on the mound, pitched four innings and allowed two runs on three hits with two walks and one strikeout.
After Allsup beaned second baseman Gavin Dugas with the first pitch of the game, Morgan blasted a two-run homer to give LSU a 2-0 lead. Morgan’s homer was his fourth of the season and his first since April 18 versus UL Lafayette.
Morgan added an RBI single in the seventh to increase the Tigers’ advantage to 3-0, which ended up being the final score of the game.
“Tre’s swing has actually gotten better and tighter,” Johnson said. “It’s allowed him to tap into his strength more. That home run was one of the best balls I’ve ever seen him hit, and then he gave us just a really professional at-bat for his third RBI. It was a great night for Tre’.”
In relief of Skenes, LSU relievers Nate Ackenhausen and Thatcher Hurd preserved the shutout. Ackenhausen retired the final two batters during the eighth inning and picked up a strikeout as well. After Auburn first baseman Cooper McMurray singled to lead off the ninth inning, Hurd entered the game and retired three straight hitters.
After striking out third baseman Bryson Ware and shortstop Cole Foster, Hurd retired centerfielder Kason Howell on a grounder to LSU shortstop Jordan Thompson for his second save of the season.
“Thatcher showed total poise, total control, and threw every pitch where it needed to be executed,” Johnson said.
LSU will take on Auburn once again on Saturday at 8 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on SEC Network and will be streamed on ESPN+.