Coming off a series in which they took 2 of 3 from Kentucky and a midweek win over Missouri State, the Tigers rolled into Baton Rouge this weekend with fairly good amount of momentum. Unfortunately for them, they just didn’t have quite enough in any of the games this weekend.
Jake Berry exploded onto the scene last year at Arizona, and this year he took his talents to Baton Rouge following his old head coach, Jay Johnson. MLB scouts project him as a future first round pick, and on Thursday night he made it clear to the Tigers there’s a reason he’s earned all that recognition.
In the first inning, Berry took Mizzou ace Spencer Miles deep, and then he did it again in the third. Wedged in between those two home runs were a couple Missouri runs, but in the fifth inning, LSU got to Miles once again, plating three more runs. The Tigers were able to get a consolation run in the eighth inning, thanks to a Torin Montgomery RBI-single, but that’s all the Tigers would manage.
Luke Mann, Fox Leum, and Trevor Austin each had two-hit games, but the Bayou Bengals just had a little bit more in the tank to finish the job in this one.
Here’s Luke Mann’s third inning triple that momentarily gave the Tigers the lead:
Friday night started off with a bang for LSU when Dylan Crews knocked in the first run of the game with solo-homerun from the leadoff spot. Despite the early bomb, Tony Neubeck settled in for Mizzou, and the bats followed.
RBI singles from Josh Day and Torin Montgomery in the third inning gave the Tigers the lead, but LSU responded. A solo home run from Brayden Jobert in the fourth tied the game, and in the sixth, Tyler McManus joined in the solo home run parade for LSU to put them up 3-2.
As the game progressed into the late innings, the Tigers continued to search for just one run to extend the game, and finally in the eighth, Luke Mann delivered a solo blast of his own to tie the game.
Unfortunately for Mizzou, Mann had a chance to win the game in the ninth, but he wasn’t able to deliver again. The Tigers got the winning run in scoring position in the final frame with just one out, but were unable to drive him in with Mann making the third out of the inning.
In the tenth, the Tigers got the winning run to second again, but once more came up empty, and after missing two opportunities to seal the victory, LSU finally made them pay in the bottom of the tenth. A walk-off single sealed the series and a 4-3 victory for LSU.
Here’s Mann’s game-tying bomb in the eighth:
Just playing to salvage something from this series on Saturday, it was the Tigers who made some early noise when Trevor Austin hit a two-run home run in the top of the first. However, unlike the previous two games, there would be plenty of runs scored in this one, and the Bayou Bengals quickly tied the game at two thanks to another Jobert home run and a Berry RBI in the third.
While tying game was nice, LSU was hardly done. In the fourth, they added three more, and then another run in each of the fifth and seventh. In the meantime, the Tigers had only managed another Trevor Austin RBI and trailed 7-3.
In the eighth, it was beginning to look like things were wrapped up, but the Tigers rallied by manufacturing some runs. Ross Lovich hit a sac-fly, Mikey Coletta knocked in another when he reached on an error, and Austin drew a bases-loaded walk. Thanks to those three runs, the Tigers now just trailed 7-6 in with a chance to tie the game in ninth, but much like the previous two games of this series, LSU had an answer for this Mizzou rally, too.
In the bottom of the eighth, Josh Pearson gave LSU some insurance with an RBI to make it 8-6, and in the ninth the Tigers went three-up, three-down.
Here’s Austin’s first inning bomb:
Standout Performer of the Weekend
Trevor Austin came out of the gates hot this year, then hit a major slump midseason, but he’s slowly regained his form recently, and he came alive this series. Austin went 5-12 at the plate with a hit in each game including two two-hit games, and four RBI in the series finale. Seeing him battle back from his early season adversity has been a great story, and he’s really made himself a force at the 2-hole again. Hopefully he can keep the hot hitting going into next weekend.