COLLEGE STATION, Texas – First baseman Cole Lankford’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday lifted Texas A&M to a 3-2 win over fifth-ranked LSU at Blue Bell Park.
The Aggies evened the Southeastern Conference series at one game apiece, improving to 29-19 overall and 11-12 in SEC play. LSU is 35-12-1 overall and 13-9 in the league.
The teams conclude the series at 1 p.m. CT Sunday in a game that will be televised by ESPNU. The game can also be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, and live audio is available in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.
With the score tied at 2-2 entering the bottom of the ninth, the Aggies put together a rally against LSU reliever Kurt McCune (2-2). Centerfielder Krey Bratsen led off with a single and moved to second on walk to shortstop Blake Allemand.
Designated hitter Patrick McLendon followed with a single to load the bases and set the stage for Lankford’s game-winning hit into right field.
Texas A&M right-hander Daniel Mengden (4-6) fired the Aggies’ first complete game of the season, retiring the final 14 LSU hitters in a row. He limited the Tigers to two runs on five hits in nine innings with one walk and five strikeouts.
“Their pitcher is very talented and he did a great job, but we face great pitching every weekend in the SEC,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We have to rise up and execute more effectively at the plate, but we couldn’t muster the offense we needed today.”
LSU starting pitcher Jared Poche’ delivered a strong outing, allowing just two runs on seven hits in seven innings with five walks and three strikeouts.
“Jared, as he always does, competed with every pitch and gave us a chance to win,” Mainieri said. “He never gives up, and he never gives in to the hitters, but we couldn’t generate the runs to support him.”
The Aggies scored a run in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead against LSU starter Jared Poche’. Shortstop Blake Allemand led off the innig with a single and later scored on first baseman Cole Lankford’s RBI single.
The Aggies extended the lead to 2-0 in the second as rightfielder Nick Banks doubled and scored on second baseman Ryne Birk’s run-scoring single.
LSU tied the game with two runs in the fourth against Mengden. Catcher Kade Scivicque doubled and scored on second baseman Conner Hale’s triple. Hale scored when Mengden struck out first baseman Tyler Moore, but the pitch got past catcher Mitchell Nau, allowing Hale to cross the plate.