NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Freshman right-hander Hayden Stone recorded 10 strikeouts in 5.1 innings Saturday, and leftfielder Bryan Reynolds drove in three runs to lead third-ranked Vanderbilt to a 9-3 win over LSU and a sweep of an SEC doubleheader.
The Commodores posted a 5-3 win in Game 1 behind a superb outing by starting pitcher Jared Miller.
Vanderbilt improved to 18-3 overall and 2-1 in the SEC, while LSU, also ranked as high as No. 3 in the college baseball polls, fell to 17-4 overall and 1-2 in league play.
LSU lost an SEC road series for the first time since April 20-22, 2012, when the Tigers dropped two of three games at Kentucky. LSU had won seven straight SEC road series entering the weekend at Vanderbilt.
The Tigers play host to South Alabama at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field before resuming SEC action with a home series against Georgia beginning on Friday.
“It was obviously a very tough day for us, but you have to give credit to Vanderbilt for playing at such a high level,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “They certainly have the best pitching staff in the country; in fact, there are some Major League teams that would like to have Vanderbilt. Their hitters are scrappy, and they made great plays on defense throughout the series. They’re just a very talented team.
“It’s our job to continue to get the most out of our players, and we’re going to do that. We need to turn the page and move forward, realizing that we still have 27 more SEC games to play.”
Stone (1-0) entered Game 2 with two out in the fourth inning and struck out LSU first baseman Tyler Moore with the bases loaded to preserve the Commodores’ 3-2 lead.
Stone went on to finish the game for Vanderbilt, working 5.1 innings and allowing one run on four hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts.
LSU starter Jared Poche’ (4-1) was charged with the Game 2 loss as he allowed four runs on five hits in 4.1 innings with five walks and three strikeouts.
The Commodores scored three runs in the second inning of Game 2 as catcher Jason Delay belted an RBI double and Reynolds delivered an two-run single.
The Tigers added a run in the fourth when Stevenson drew a bases-loaded walk, but Vanderbilt responded with a run in the bottom of the frame on second baseman Dansby Swanson’s RBI double.
The Commodores broke the game open by sending 10 men to the plate in a four-run sixth inning. Swanson delivered an RBI double, Reynolds and third baseman Xavier Turner had run-scoring singles, and shortstop Vince Conde drew a bases-loaded walk.
The Tigers cut the lead to 8-3 in the seventh on an RBI single by rightfielder Mark Laird, but Vandberbilt restored the six-run margin in the bottom of the inning when centerfielder John Norwood doubled and later scored when Reynolds grounded into a double play.
Vanderbilt grabbed a 3-0 lead against LSU starter Kyle Bouman in the first inning of Game 1 as Reynolds ripped an RBI double, first baseman Zander Wiel belted a run-scoring triple and rightfielder Rhett Wiseman lifted a sacrifice fly.
The Commodores maintained the 3-0 lead through six innings before LSU finally narrowed the gap to 3-1 in the seventh when first baseman Conner Hale walked, advanced to second on wild pitch and scored on catcher Kade Scivicque’s RBI single.
Miller pitched 6.2 innings for the Commodores, limiting LSU to one run on two hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
Vanderbilt extended its lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the seventh on Conde’s two-run, two-out single.
LSU scored two runs in the eighth on RBI groundouts by second baseman Kramer Robertson and designated hitter Sean McMullen, but Vanderbilt closer Carson Fulmer pitched a scoreless ninth to preserve the win for Miller and earn his sixth save of the season.
Bouman (3-1) was charged with the Game 1 loss as he allowed three runs on four hits in four innings with two walks and one strikeout.