LSU baseball falls to Texas A&M after Aggies rally in eighth inning on Sunday

LSU baseball falls to Texas A&M after Aggies rally in eighth inning on Sunday
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Already having won its first Southeastern Conference series this season, the LSU baseball team failed to complete the road sweep of Texas A&M on Sunday at Blue Bell Park.

The Aggies took advantage of free bases and timely hitting in the eighth inning to capture the lead after going down two runs in the fifth, taking down LSU 8-6 and handing the Tigers (18-2, 2-1) their first loss since Feb. 25 against Iowa.

“We haven’t allowed a ton of free bases from the mound, but we did today,” LSU coach Jay Johnson said. “And they are a good enough team to cash in when that happens.” 

While the story of the weekend began with LSU ace Paul Skenes silencing the Aggies (14-6, 1-2) through 6⅓ innings Friday night, LSU’s final two starters of the weekend only lasted 3⅓ innings each. Sunday starter Thatcher Hurd gave up a home run in the first and allowed another run on a pair of singles and a wild pitch in the third inning before he was pulled. He finished his day with the two earned runs on four hits, struck out four and walked one. Overall, the staff walked seven batters. 

Johnson said that won’t make him reevaluate the starting rotation. 

“I feel very confident and those guys are ready to execute,” Johnson said. “I think if we can get a little deeper, it’ll simplify the game for us.” 

After LSU jumped out to a 5-1 lead through two innings, the Aggies steadily chipped away at LSU’s staff, adding two runs in the bottom of the fifth.

A possible A&M rally was cut short in the seventh on a controversial call when center fielder Stanley Tucker slid past third and was tagged by Tommy White while sliding back into third. The ruling was up to the umpire’s discretion to determine whether White had intentionally pushed Tucker off the bag, and was not reviewable. He decided that White’s tag was just powerful enough to keep Tucker off the bag, rather than intentionally push him.

But Texas A&M broke through in the eighth, scoring four runs all with two outs.

The Aggies’ Austin Bost singled to center and Ryan Targac drew a walk off LSU righty Chase Shores to start the frame. Right-hander Christian Little, the Tigers’ fourth pitcher of the day, relieved Shores. Little threw 18 pitches on Friday night, retiring the four batters he faced in order, but he walked the first batter he faced Sunday to load the bases.

After bouncing back with two strikeouts, the third out didn’t come until four runs later. The Aggies drew a second walk off Little for their first run of the inning and then hit pair of singles that brought home three more to make it 8-6.

“They just put balls in play to where they’re just out of reach for our guys,” LSU shortstop Jordan Thompson said. 

Jared Jones hit a one-out single to center in the top of the ninth for LSU, but the Tigers couldn’t do any more damage as Will Johnston earned the win for the Aggies.

LSU’s offense manufactured four runs in the first inning, then scored a fifth in the second on an RBI single by White. White had been one of the top performers of the weekend, going 5 for 9 with two walks and six RBIs going into Sunday’s game.

LSU loaded the bases in the seventh, extending its lead to 6-4 on a sac fly by Brady Neal before the Aggies rallied in the eighth. 

“Obviously, we wanted to win that game, but we still came out here and did the type of things that we wanted to do,” Thompson said. “As long as you keep stacking days like that up together, we’re going to be in a good spot.”

The Tigers return to action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against Central Arkansas at Alex Box Stadium.

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About Marc Lemoine 1853 Articles
Marc is an Economist and a well experienced weightlifter who has won many championships. He intends to build a bright career in the media industry as well. He is a sports freak who loves to cover the latest news on sports, finance and economy.

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