BATON ROUGE, La. – Nicholls shortstop Parker Coddou produced an unassisted double play in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday night to halt an LSU rally, as the Colonels held on for a 6-5 win over the top-ranked Tigers in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth and the bases loaded, LSU designated hitter Cade Beloso hit a flare toward center field that looked like the game-winning hit as it left the bat, but Coddou made a leaping catch and raced to second base to double off the Tigers’ runner and end the game.
Nicholls improved to 23-16 on the season, while LSU dropped to 32-8.
The Tigers resume SEC play at 6 p.m. CT Friday when they open a three-game conference series versus Alabama in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The game will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network, and it will be televised on the SEC Network.
LSU reliever Bryce Collins (2-2) was charged with the loss, as he pitched the eighth and ninth innings and allowed two runs – one earned – on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Nicholls reliever Nico Saltaformaggio (3-1) was credited with the win as he worked 3.0 scoreless innings and allowed no hits with no walks and one strikeout.
Cade Evans earned his fifth save of the season by limiting the Tigers to one run in the ninth inning on three hits with one walk and one strikeout.
“You have to tip your hat to Nicholls for their defense,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “They took away several extra-base hits during the game. Their outfield was phenomenal, and obviously that was a great play at second base at the end. They deserved to win the game tonight.”
Nicholls opened the scoring in the second inning on catcher Jaden Collura’s sacrifice fly, and the Colonels extended the lead to 3-0 in the fifth on a two-run single by rightfielder Xane Washington.
LSU, however, struck for four runs in the bottom of the sixth to claim the lead. Beloso led off the inning with this eighth homer of the year, first baseman Jared Jones drew a bases-loaded walk, rightfielder Ethan Frey produced an RBI groundout and second baseman Gavin Dugas lifted a sacrifice fly to highlight the outburst.
The Colonels tied the game in the eighth, and Nicholls scored two in the ninth as pinch hitter Brayden Kuriger lined a run-scoring single and Coddou scored on an LSU fielding error when a throw from the outfield was misplayed.
LSU staged a comeback in the bottom of the ninth as first baseman Jared Jones led off with his 12th homer of the season, narrowing deficit to 6-5.
Frey and Dugas followed with back-to-back singles, and after Evans struck out leftfielder Josh Pearson, centerfielder Dylan Crews walked to load the bases and set the stage for Coddou’s double play.
LSU starting pitcher Thatcher Hurd delivered a solid outing, working 4.0 innings and limiting the Colonels to one run on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts.