Third-ranked LSU made its 8-1 victory against Lamar on Tuesday night look a lot easier than it really was, thanks to a wild bottom of the eighth.
The Tigers took advantage of the Cardinals’ wildness to score six runs on two hits in their final at bat. But before that, LSU needed solid outings from all five pitchers, a JaCoby Jones homer for the second consecutive game and a tie-breaking RBI double from Mason Katz in the sixth to eke out a 2-1 lead.
“It was definitely not as easy as it looks if you just see the score,” Katz said. “It was a real good game. We got the lead toward the end (in the sixth), and then in the eighth, they just kind of gave it to us. When that happens you have to let them do it.”
The Tigers (4-0) play BYU at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Alex Box Stadium.
LSU broke a 1-1 tie with two outs in the sixth against Lamar reliever David Carver. Raph Rhymes’ fly ball dropped in for a hit in right field and Katz followed with an RBI double to right.
The Tigers took advantage of wildness from Cardinals pitchers to break the game open in the eighth. Will Hibbs walked Rhymes leading off, gave up an infield single to Katz and walked Jones.
After Hibbs got Ty Ross on an infield pop, Travis Moore relieved. Moore’s first pitch to pinch hitter Chris Chinea was a wild pitch, making the score 3-1 before Chinea walked.
Another wild pitch made it 4-1 before Christian Ibarra walked. Chris Sciambra walked to force in a run and J.T. Aubrey relieved and walked Mark Laird to force in another run. Alex Bregman’s sacrifice fly made it 7-1.
The final run scored on an infield single by Andrew Stevenson, who entered the game as a pinch runner for Rhymes earlier in the inning.
Cody Glenn pitched five solid innings for the Tigers, allowing three hits, two walks and an unearned run and striking out five.
“Cody Glenn settled in and did a really good job for five innings,” Tigers coach Paul Mainieri said. “He gave us chance to win, which is his job.”
Hunter Devall (1-0), Nate Fury, Joey Bourgeois and Chris Cotton combined to hold the Cardinals scoreless over the final four innings as Lamar didn’t score after the first.
Devall retired all four batters he faced on 13 pitches, and Fury got the final two outs in the seventh. Bourgeois gave up a one-out single in the eighth, then got the second out before yielding to Cotton, who gave up a single before striking out cleanup hitter Brad Picha to end the threat.
After the outburst in the bottom of the eighth, Cotton sailed through the ninth in order for his second save.
LSU fell behind for the first time this season as Lamar scored an unearned run in the first without getting a hit.
Glenn struck out the first two batters, but the second one, Sam Bumpers reached first on Tyler Moore’s passed ball on strike three. After walking the next two batters and loading the bases, Glenn got Seth Dornak to hit a potential double-play grounder to third but Ibarra misplayed it for an error as Bumpers scored.
Glenn avoided further damage by getting Aaron Olivas on a pop to short center and Brandon Provost on a fielder’s choice grounder to short.
“I’m happy with my performance, but those two walks are going to haunt me for a while,” Glenn said. “I overthrew a little bit. It took me a little while to bounce back, but I felt a sense of urgency to show I can do the job.”
The Tigers tied the score in the second when Jones hit a solo homer to left, his second in as many games.
Mainieri said right-hander Kurt McCune, who hasn’t pitched in the first four games, has two stress fractures in his back and will be sidelined for a month. ... Right-hander Nick Rumbelow (oblique) is making progress and might be available to pitch next week.
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