BATON ROUGE, La. – Shortstop Jordan Thompson launched a three-run homer Tuesday night in the bottom of the fifth inning, breaking a 4-4 tie and lifting top-ranked LSU to a 10-4 win over Central Arkansas in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU improved to 19-2 on the year, while Central Arkansas dropped to 11-9.
The Tigers return to action at 7 p.m. CT Friday when LSU plays host to Arkansas in Game 1 of a three-game SEC series in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The game will be broadcast on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network and televised on ESPN2.
With the scored tied 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth, LSU designated hitter Jared Jones and leftfielder Brayden Jobert each drew two-out walks, setting the stage for Thompson’s game-deciding blow.
He blasted his second homer of the year over the left-centerfield fence, giving the Tigers a 7-4 advantage.
“Jordan is as clutch as can be,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson, “and he’s been one of the most important players in my tenure. I trust him, he’s been working hard, and I think his at-bats have actually been better than the results he’s gotten. That was a big swing at that point in time.”
LSU freshman left-hander Griffin Herring (1-0) earned his first career collegiate win, working 2.1 scoreless relief innings with one hit, one walk and three strikeouts.
“The pitching talent is easy to see from Griffin,” Johnson said. “The mindset he has is elite; he’s done a really good job of being patient and focused on what he can control. He will be on the mound at some point for us in the series against Arkansas, for sure.”
Central Arkansas reliever Dillan Janak (0-1) was charged with the loss, as he allowed four runs – three earned – on five hits in 3.2 innings with three walks and three strikeouts.
LSU bolted to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on centerfielder Dylan Crews’ sixth homer of the year, and the Tigers extended the lead to 3-0 in the second inning with catcher Alex Milazzo’s sacrifice bunt score a run from third base.
Central Arkansas, however, struck for four runs in the top of the fourth in a rally highlight by leftfielder Dylan Cyr’s two-run homer.
The Tigers responded with a run in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game as leftfielder Josh Pearson delivered an RBI single.
LSU starting pitcher Blake Money retired the first nine UCA hitters he faced before allowing his first baserunner of the game to lead off the fourth inning.