BATON ROUGE, La. – Behind the strength of two five-run innings, No. 11 Kentucky evened up the series Friday night with a 13-10 victory over top-ranked LSU inside Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
With the win, the Wildcats improved to 28-6 on the season and 10-4 in the league, while the Tigers dropped to 28-6 overall and 8-5 in SEC play.
The series finale of the LSU-Kentucky three-game set is scheduled for a 1 p.m. CT first pitch and will be streamed on SEC Network+. The matchup is available to listen to on the LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates.
“Kentucky has a good offense and they put pressure on you in a lot of different ways,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “I thought we dictated the type of game that was played last night, and they dictated the game tonight. We’ve got to be better from the mound, we’ve got to be better defensively. I like the fight of our team, but if we play a little bit better, we win that game.”
Kentucky reliever Darren Williams (3-0), the second of five Kentucky pitchers, was credited with the win as he worked 3.0 innings and allowed three runs on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
LSU left-hander Griffin Herring (2-1), who entered the game in the fifth inning in relief of starter Ty Floyd, was charged with the loss as he allowed seven runs – three earned – on six hits in 1.2 innings with one walk and one strikeout.
Ryder Giles recorded his first save of the season for the Wildcats, pitching the final two innings and allowing no runs on one hit with one walk and two strikeouts.
Similar to the first game of the series, third baseman Tommy White got the Tigers on the board first with an RBI double. During Friday’s matchup, centerfielder Dylan Crews reached via a hit-by-pitch and White followed him up by smoking a ball into the right-centerfield gap to score Crews and make the tally after one inning, 1-0.
Kentucky responded with a two-run homer by DH Chase Stanke in the second to take a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers struck back in the bottom half of the inning with shortstop Jordan Thompson starting off the frame with a single. Second baseman Ben Nippolt followed with a walk and catcher Alex Milazzo advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Left fielder Tre’ Morgan lined a two-RBI single over the shortstop’s head to retake the 3-2 lead for LSU.
After a scoreless third from both squads, White launched his 12th dinger of the season to straightaway centerfield in the bottom of the fourth. Before sending one over the wall, Morgan reached via HBP and Crews smoked a double to right-center to score Morgan and make the score 4-2.
White’s homer extended the LSU lead to four after four innings. The Wildcats scratched across five runs in the fifth with a three-run triple and an RBI single to take the 7-6 lead.
Kentucky extended its lead with a five-run seventh, anchored by three free passes, three hits, an error, and a sac fly. The Wildcats led 12-7 after seven innings.
LSU’s rally came in the bottom of the eighth inning, narrowing the deficit to two. The inning got started with a walk from pinch hitter Josh Pearson and an HBP from Morgan. Crews came through with a single to load the bases for the Tigers, and White drew the walk to make the score 12-8.
First baseman Jared Jones looped a two-RBI single to left field to close the margin even further to 12-10. Kentucky added one run in the ninth to account for the final score.