5-Run Eighth Lifts LSU To Series Win over Tennessee, 9-4
BATON ROUGE, La. (UT Sports) - Tennessee rallied from a 4-2 deficit to tie the game in the top of the eighth, but No. 6 LSU answered with a five-run bottom half to clinch the hard-fought series with a 9-4 win on Sunday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers (33-11-1, 12-8-1) plated five runs (three unearned) on just two hits in the eighth. The Vols (26-16, 8-13) handed LSU three free passes in the inning - two walks and a hit by pitch - committed a fielding error and threw two wild pitches to spark the five-run rally. The five-run margin was the largest of the entire series.
Tennessee tried to answer in the ninth with back to back two-out singles by Christin Stewart and Nick Senzel, but the rally fell short as UT couldn't plate a run. The Vols totaled nine hits on the game for a total of 31 in the series. The 31 knocks is the most against LSU in a three-game series this season. Vanderbilt had 28 hits against the Tigers in Nashville from March 14-16.
"It was a nightmare," head coach Dave Serrano said on the LSU eighth inning. "It's hard for me to say because we ended up losing two out of three, but I can't blame the effort of these guys. No matter what the situation is they keep fighting. Even in the ninth inning - the air was let out of the balloon in the eighth when they drop a five on us - and we come out and scrap with two outs to extend the game.
"Today was about the bullpen just not being able to get it stopped. We have to fix those issues. I felt it was the details. The effort is there, but some of the details - misplayed ball in left field that really gets it going for them early in the game, us not getting the ball on the ground on a bunt and the pitchers not being able to throw strikes late. It just was not Division I baseball for me. Those are the details we need to fix, but the effort is there. Anyone that has watched this team realizes it never quits no matter what is going on. How can I be disappointed in that; that's what we ask them to do."
Stewart and Senzel both had multi-hit games for the Vols, their 19th and 15th of the season, respectively.