COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The LSU baseball team’s series against Texas A&M got off to a late and sloppy start because of persistent rains from late Thursday afternoon until well into the evening.
Things ended pretty sloppily for the Tigers as well when two errors helped the Aggies come from behind with two runs in the seventh inning to win 2-1 at Blue Bell Park.
LSU, 43-7 and 19-6 in the Southeastern Conference after losing its first opening game in nine series, and the Aggies (27-22 and 11-13) will meet again at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Thursday’s game was scheduled to begin at 8:05 p.m. but was delayed at the start for one hour and 46 minutes because of a series of thunderstorms that rumbled across the campus. The first pitch came just 10 minutes before the Southeastern Conference curfew of 10 p.m.
Once the game started it was delayed for 17 minutes in top of the second and again for nine minutes in middle of the third and didn’t finish until after 12:30 a.m. Friday.
“There are no excuses,” Tigers coach Paul Mainieri said. “The conditions were the same for both teams.”
LSU starter Cody Glenn (5-2) took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh, but lost it as his defense let him down.
Glenn allowed a leadoff single to Brandon Wood before Jonathan Moroney reached on shortstop Alex Bregman’s fielding error. Krey Bratsen sacrificed and reached as third baseman Christian Ibarra threw wide of first, allowing Wood to score the tying run and Moroney to reach third. Mikey Reynolds followed with a tie-breaking single.
After a sacrifice and groundout, Nick Rumbelow relieved and walked Troy Stein to load the bases before striking out Hunter Melton to end the inning. Rumbelow pitched a perfect eighth.
Glenn allowed just six hits and two runs, one earned, walking three, hitting a batter and striking out four.
“I thought Cody Glenn pitched his heart out,” Mainieri said. “He deserved to win the game. He did everything he could possibly do to give us a chance to win.
“When you only score one run it’s really hard to win on the road. You have no margin for error. You have to make all the plays in the field and we didn’t.”
A&M starter Daniel Mengden matched Glenn’s scoreless streak through five innings before the Tigers scored a run in the sixth.
Raph Rhymes, batting second for the first time this season, singled with one out and scored when Bregman followed with a double. Mason Katz was hit by a pitch for the second consecutive time and Bregman went to third on Ibarra’s fly to deep center before Ty Ross flied to right.
Mengden (6-3) limited the Tigers to five hits and one run in eight innings. Jason Jester pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save.
“(Mengden) was really good,” Mainieri said. “I don’t us having more than a couple of hard-hit balls. He was too good for us.”
The Aggies threatened to tie the score or go ahead in the bottom of the sixth as Glenn hit Stein with a 1-2 pitch with one out and Melton singled him to second. Logan Taylor followed with a grounder toward second and JaCoby Jones fielded the ball, stepped on second and threw to first for a double play.
The Aggies got their first hit off Glenn when Moroney led off the third with a single. Bratsen sacrificed Moroney to second, but Glenn got Mikey Reynolds on a pop to short and struck out Blake Allemand.
LSU threatened in the fourth as Bregman hit a one-out double and advanced to third on a wild pitch before Katz was hit by a pitch on his left hand. Ibarra ripped a liner, but Mengden snagged it and easily doubled Katz off of first.
A&M put together a one-out threat in the fifth when Moroney walked and Bratsen singled him to second, but Reynolds hit into a force at second and Allemand grounded to Glenn.