BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 9 Tennessee struck for 10 runs in the first two innings to lift the visitors to a 14-7 victory over top-ranked LSU in the series finale inside Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The Tigers dropped to 24-4 on the season and 6-3 in SEC play, while the Vols improved to 21-8 on the year and 4-5 in conference play.
LSU returns to action Tuesday night when it faces off against Nicholls at “The Box.” The contest is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. CT first pitch and it can be viewed on SEC Network+. The matchup is available to listen to on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.
LSU, which won two of three games over Tennessee, has won its first three SEC series since the 2013 season. The Tigers have posted series wins over No. 11 Texas, No. 3 Arkansas and No. 9 Tennessee.
“You tip your hat to Tennessee today; we saw another really good pitcher on the mound and their offense is explosive,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “Our players know the things we need to do better that we did not do well today. We’ll work on those and move forward.
Vol reliever Camden Sewell (2-0) earned the victory after pitching 2.2 innings and allowing one run on three hits. LSU starter Thatcher Hurd (2-1) was charged with the loss after tossing no innings and giving up six runs on four hits.
Tennessee began the game with a six-run first inning that had all nine Vols in the lineup reach base. Before LSU was able to record the first out of the inning, Tennessee led 5-0. The Vols had extended the lead to 6-0 before the Tigers came to the plate in the bottom of the first inning.
The Vols increased their lead to 10-0 in the top of the second on the strength of four base hits against LSU reliever Riley Cooper.
LSU got one back in the second inning when first baseman Jared Jones scoring on a fielding error. The Tigers added another run in the third with an RBI single from centerfielder Dylan Crews, which scored left fielder Tre’ Morgan from second. Crews picked up his first hit of the day in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 26 games.
Crews posted a line of 4-for-4 with three singles, a double, and three RBI.
LSU shortened the margin in the fourth inning by striking for four runs. Jones began the frame with a sharply hit single to left field and right fielder Brayden Jobert reached on the Vols’ third error of the game. After two quick outs, second baseman Gavin Dugas reached via a hit-by-pitch.
Morgan came through with the bases juiced, lacing a double down the right-field line to score Jones and Jobert. Crews continued his impressive day at the plate with a two-RBI single to make the score 10-6.
Vols third baseman Zane Denton hit a two-run homer in the sixth to give UT a six-run advantage. In the seventh, Tennessee added two more runs, and LSU narrowed the gap to 14-7 in the eighth on an RBI single from White.
“I didn’t love today,” Johnson said, “but I would give us an ‘A’ for the first half of the season. Ours is an easy team to get behind in terms of how we play, how much they care, how invested they are. I love coaching them, and we’ve got great leadership and a great team dynamic. I’m excited for the week ahead of us.”