With Sweep, Baseball Off to Best Start Since '97
BATON ROUGE, La. -- No. 3 LSU (22-2, 5-1 SEC) racked up 22 runs over three games and completed a sweep over Auburn (15-9, 0-6 SEC) with an 8-2 victory on Sunday afternoon in Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers took Game 1 by a score of 9-4 and Game 2 by a score of 5-1. LSU will return to action on Tuesday as the Tigers travel to New Orleans to face Tulane at 6:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on CST and can be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Netowrk.
LSU has won 22 of its first 24 games, matching the start of LSU’s 1997 National Championship team and the Tigers’ 1986 squad. The 5-1 start to SEC play is the best conference start for LSU since the 2010 season.
Starting pitcher Cody Glenn (4-1) teamed up with a stellar defensive effort to efficiently work through 7.2 innings of work, which was the longest stint for an LSU starting pitcher this season. The southpaw allowed six hits and two runs and struck out three in the winning effort. .
“I was really proud of Cody for bouncing back the way he did after a rough outing last weekend,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “He ran in to some trouble early, but he kept his composure and worked into a rhythm through the middle innings. We played great defense behind him as we have all weekend, and today’s game put the finishing touch on a very good weekend.
“I felt before the game that our players would perform with a purpose today, and they gave tremendous effort to earn this sweep.”
Shortstop Alex Bregman crushed nine hits in the series, extending his hitting streak to 12 games, and has notched three hits in four consecutive games and three hits in seven games this year. Outfielder Mark Laird recorded eight hits and scored seven runs over the weekend.
LSU outscored Auburn by a combined 9-0 margin in the first inning of the three games of the series. In the bottom half of the frame Sunday, LSU exploded for four runs off of Auburn starter Will Kendall (0-1).
Rhymes plated rightfielder Chris Sciambra with a fielder’s choice RBI after Sciambra led off the inning with a double. Second baseman JaCoby Jones drew a bases-loaded walk for the second run. Auburn inserted pitcher Terrance Dedrick, and designated hitter Chris Chinea greeted him with a two-RBI single to right.
Auburn responded in the top half of the second with a one-out double by Garrett Cooper and a RBI single by Blake Austin.
LSU kept the runs coming in the bottom of the second. Laird and Bregman knocked consecutive one-out singles. Laird scored from second on Rhymes’ RBI single between first and second. A wild pitch scored Bregman to increase the lead to 6-1.
The Tigers added two runs in the bottom of the sixth on consecutive two-out doubles down the left field line by Laird and Bregman. Centerfielder Andrew Stevenson reached on a two-out walk after entering the game in the top of the third and scored the seventh run.
Auburn scored a run in the top of the eighth off of Ryan Tella’s sacrifice fly. Right-hander Will LaMarche forced a line out to end the eighth after entering the game with two men on and two out. Chris Cotton pitched a scoreless ninth for LSU.
LSU 8, Auburn 2 (Mar 24, 2013 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Auburn.............. 010 000 010 - 2 6 1 (15-10, 0-6 SEC)
LSU................... 420 002 00X - 8 13 1 (22-2, 5-1 SEC)
Pitchers: Auburn - Will Kendall; Terrance Dedrick(1); Conner Kendrick(5); Dillon Ortman(7);
Chase Williamson(8) and Blake Austin; Kody Ortman. LSU - Cody Glenn; Will LaMarche(8);
Chris Cotton(9) and Ty Ross; Michael Barash.
Win-Cody Glenn(4-1) Loss-Will Kendall(0-1) T-2:37 A-10960
Actual Attendance: 6,137