COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Sean McMullen lifted a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth inning to provide the go-ahead run and propel third-ranked LSU (45-7, 21-6) to a 2-1 victory over Texas A&M at Blue Bell Park.
The win gave LSU the 2013 SEC Western Division championship, its second in a row and its fourth in coach Paul Mainieri’s seven years at the helm of the Fighting Tiger program. LSU has now won 17 Western Division titles in its history.
The win also clinched a series victory for the Tigers, who completed a 7-4 triumph over the Aggies Saturday morning after the game was suspended Friday night in the top of the seventh inning.
“One of our goals at the beginning of the season was to win the division title, and I’m extremely proud of our players for their tremendous effort in getting the job done,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “It’s the first of what we hope we will be a number of championships this season. We’ve had a remarkable season, but we realize we’ve only just begun. There are many more goals in front of us.”
LSU returns to action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when the Tigers play host to New Orleans in Alex Box Stadium.
|SEC Baseball Standings|
All Times Central and Subject to Change
Saturday, May 11
Sunday, May 12
Print SEC Tournament Bracket (.pdf)
The scheduled seven-inning game Saturday was tied 1-1 in the top of the eighth when catcher Ty Ross led off with a double against Aggie reliever Jason Jester. Centerfielder Andrew Stevenson reached safely on a bunt single, moving pinch runner Jared Foster to third.
McMullen launched a fly ball to deep right field to score Foster and give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
LSU reliever Chris Cotton pitched the final 1.2 innings to earn the win and improve to 3-1 on the year. Cotton limited the Aggies to no runs on one hit with no walks or strikeouts.
Jester (2-3) was charged with the loss as he surrendered one run on three hits in 2.2 innings with one walk and no strikeouts.
LSU starting pitcher Ryan Eades turned in a strong outing, allowing just one run on eight hits in 6.1 innings with one walk and one strikeout.
A&M starter Parker Ray worked 5.1 innings and limited LSU to one run on five hits with three walks and a career-high five strikeouts.
LSU struck for three runs in the second inning Friday night against Texas A&M starter Matt Kent. Second baseman JaCoby Jones delivered an RBI single, Stevenson sacrificed a run home and McMullen belted an run-scoring double.
RBI singles by McMullen and by Foster highlighted a three-run fourth inning as LSU extended its lead to 6-0.
McMullen collected his third RBI of the game in the sixth with a double that scored Stevenson, who had singled with one out.
The Aggies reduced the LSU lead to 7-2 in the sixth, collecting four hits in the frame, including a two-run single by second baseman Blake Allemand.
Texas A&M cut the deficit to 7-3 when the game resumed on Saturday morning, as designated hitter Daniel Mengden unloaded his third homer of the year against LSU reliever Joey Bourgeois. The Aggies added a run in the eighth, but LSU right-hander Nick Rumbelow induced a double-play grounder from Mendgen to end the inning with runners at first and second.
Cotton earned his 11th save of the year by retiring Texas A&M in order in the bottom of the ninth.
LSU starter Aaron Nola (10-0) limited the Aggies to one earned run on six hits in six innings with no walks and four strikeouts. Kent (2-3) was charged with the loss as he surrendered three runs on six hits in 1.2 innings with no walks and no strikeouts.
LSU 2, Texas A&M 1 (May 11, 2013 at College Station, TX)
LSU....................... 001 000 01 - 2 8 1 (45-7, 21-6 SEC)
Texas A&M........... 000 100 00 - 1 9 0 (27-24, 11-15 SEC)
LSU 7, Texas A&M 4 (May 10, 2013 at College Station, TX)
LSU....................... 030 301 000 - 7 17 1 (44-7, 20-6 SEC)
Texas A&M........... 000 002 110 - 4 10 0 (27-23, 11-14 SEC)
Pitchers: LSU - Aaron Nola; Joey Bourgeois(7); Nick Rumbelow(8); Chris Cotton(9) and Ty Ross.
Texas A&M - Matt Kent; Jason Freeman(2); Andrew Vinson(4); Corey Ray(7) and Troy Stein.
Win-Aaron Nola(10-0) Save-Chris Cotton(11) Loss-Matt Kent(2-3) T-2:47 A-5488
HR TA - Daniel Mengden (3).