BATON ROUGE, La. -- Tennessee (26-15, 8-12 SEC) defeated sixth-ranked LSU (32-11-1, 11-8-1 SEC), 6-3, to even the SEC series Saturday night at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU and Tennessee meet in Game 3 of the series Sunday at 12 p.m. The game will not be televised, but can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including Baton Rouge flagship WDGL-FM 98.1 FM. Live audio, video and stats of the game may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live.
“I don’t think we played poorly at all, we had some bad fortune and in the end Tennessee earned the victory,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We executed well most of the night, but had some bad luck at times that hurt us. We’ll think about this one for a little while, but beginning at midnight, it’s a new day and we have to move forward. There’s no time to feel sorry for yourself in this league; we’ve got to come out here tomorrow ready to play against a very good Tennessee team.”
Tennessee got on the board Saturday night in the top of the first against LSU starter Jared Poche’. With runners on the corners, designated hitter Nick Senzel reached on an RBI fielder’s choice to score A.J. Simcox.
LSU responded in the bottom of the first to tie the game. Shortstop Alex Bregman singled through the right side of the field to score centerfielder Andrew Stevenson from second base.
Leftfielder Jake Fraley hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Bregman and give LSU a 2-1 lead in the third inning.
Tennessee tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth inning on a solo home run by center fielder Derek Lance.
In the bottom of the fourth, right fielder Mark Laird hit a two-out single to left field to score Chris Chinea and give LSU the 3-2 lead.
Tennessee rallied to score two runs in both the eighth and ninth innings. With runners on the corners in the eighth, Lance hit an RBI ground out against LSU reliever Joe Broussard to score Simcox. Taylor Smart then hit a two-out infield single to score Christin Stewart from second base.
Reliever Parker Bugg began the ninth inning by issuing a walk to pinch hitter Tyler Schultz. Pinch hitter Vincent Jackson then hit a two-run home run to right field to give the Volunteers a 6-3 lead.
Tennessee’s Hunter Martin (3-2), the second of four Volunteer pitchers, earned the win after only two hits in 2.1 innings of work. Andrew Lee earned his second save of the year after entering in the ninth inning and working around a lead-off walk to preserve the victory.
LSU reliever Kurt McCune (1-1) was charged the loss after entering the game in the eighth inning. McCune was charged with two runs on two hits with one strikeout.