COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Centerfielder Andrew Stevenson doubled and scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning Friday night as fifth-ranked LSU edged Texas A&M, 5-4, at Blue Bell Park.
LSU, which has won 15 of its last 18 games, improved to 35-11-1 overall and 13-8-1 in the SEC. Texas A&M dropped to 28-19 overall and 10-12 in league play.
The teams resume the series at 12 p.m. CT Saturday in a game that will be televised by ESPN2. It can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, and live audio is available in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.
LSU ace Aaron Nola took a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning, but the Aggies staged a wild rally to tie the game. The Aggies had the bases loaded with two outs in the ninth when shortstop Blake Allemand drilled what appeared to be the game-winning hit down the left-field line; however, LSU leftfielder Jared Foster made an incredible leaping grab to send the contest into extra innings.
Stevenson led off the LSU 10th with a double off of Aggie reliever Ty Schlottmann before moving to third base on a wild pitch. Stevenson scored when he beat Schlottmann’s throw to the plate on a chopper in front of the mound by rightfielder Mark Laird.
The Aggies staged another rally in the bottom of the 10th against LSU relievers Joe Broussard and Zac Person, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. However, senior right-hander Kurt McCune earned the save with a brilliant effort.
McCune retired rightfielder Nick Banks on a fly ball to left and second baseman Ryne Birk on grounder to first before issuing an intentional walk to catcher Troy Stein to load the bases. Third baseman Logan Nottebrok then flied to right to end the game and give McCune his third save of the season.
“There were a lot of amazing plays in this game that contributed to a very important win for our team,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Foster’s catch was unbelievable, Stevenson used his tremendous speed to give us the lead again, and the veteran Kurt McCune was so poised and confident in a very difficult situation. To win a game like this after giving up a four-run lead in the ninth is a testament to the character of our players.
“A lot of teams might have folded after losing a lead in the ninth, but our players were determined to bounce right back and earn a victory, and they did just that.”
Broussard, who entered the game during the Aggies’ ninth-inning rally, was credited with the win, improving to 3-0 on the year. Schlottmann (0-2) was charged with the loss after giving up the deciding run in the 10th.
LSU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a solo homer by shortstop Alex Bregman, his third dinger of the year.
LSU extended the lead to 4-0 with a three-run sixth inning. Centerfielder Andrew Stevenson led off the inning with a single, stole second base and moved to third on a throwing error by catcher Troy Stein and scored on Bregman’s double.
Nola was exceptional through the first eight innings, allowing no runs on three hits with seven strikeouts. Only one Aggie runner advanced beyond first base through the first eight frames.