BATON ROUGE -- LSU second baseman DJ LeMahieu drove in the game-winning run on a two-out, walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to give the sixth-ranked Tigers a dramatic 7-6 victory over Auburn Saturday afternoon in Alex Box Stadium.
With the win and Arkansas’ loss to Tennessee, the Tigers (32-12, 13-7 SEC) moved into first place in the Southeastern Conference Western Division standings. Auburn (25-18, 8-12 SEC) dropped its eighth game in the past 10 contests.
Freshman right-hander Matty Ott (3-1) earned the victory, firing two perfect innings after relieving starter Louis Coleman in the eighth. Auburn’s Austin Hubbard (2-2), who surrendered the game-winning run, was charged with loss.
“We fell behind, but we had some guys in our dugout who just refused to quit,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said. “We battled hard. Hanover gave us a little bit of a spark with an early home run, and all those other guys got the big hits for us.
“DJ got a curveball up in the zone. He was able to get the good part of the bat on the ball, and we got to go home happy.”
Coleman scattered 10 hits and six runs over seven innings while walking one and striking out six.
Auburn struck first in the top of the second with a solo shot to lead off the inning and a two-run homer to take an early 3-0 advantage, but LSU got one back in bottom of the frame after Hanover launched his own solo dinger into the left field bleachers, cutting the lead to 3-1.
The Plainsmen scored another run in the fourth to extend their lead to 4-1. Designated hitter Dan Gamache, who homered in the second, collected his third RBI of the afternoon with a two-out single.
However, LSU responded with two runs in the fifth to reduce the lead to 4-3. Gibbs tripled, and first baseman Buzzy Haydel drove him in on a sacrifice fly. Shortstop Austin Nola followed with a double to left center, and center fielder Mikie Mahtook came through with the Tigers’ second triple of the inning to bring home Nola.
Back-to-back solo homers from Mitchell and Gibbs in the bottom of the seventh put the Tigers ahead, 5-4, but Auburn came right back with a two-run eighth to retake the lead, 6-5.
LSU tied it up at 6-6 in the bottom of the frame as the Tigers loaded the bases with three consecutive singles, and Mitchell drove in a run on a grounder to second.
Ott kept Auburn off the scoreboard in the top of the ninth to give the Tigers momentum going into the bottom of the inning. Nola led off the frame with a base hit, and pinch-hitter Chris McGhee moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Three batters later, LeMahieu delivered the game winner with his RBI single into center field.
LSU goes for its first SEC series sweep Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. Comcast Sports Southeast will show the game on a tape-delayed basis at 6 p.m. on Cox Sports Television. Furthermore, live video, audio and stats will be available in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.