Center fielder Ben Anderson and first baseman Charlie Condon combined for four RBI Saturday to lead Georgia to a 9-5 win over No. 5 LSU in Foley Field.
LSU, which will be the No. 3 seed in next week’s SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama, completed the regular season 42-13 overall and 19-10 in conference play. The No. 3 SEC Tournament seed is LSU’s highest since the 2017 Tigers were the No. 1 seed in the event.
The 2023 SEC Tournament bracket, including all seedings and matchups, will be released Saturday evening.
LSU will play Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. Central against the winner of Tuesday’s game between the winner of the No. 6 seed and the No. 11 seed.
The Tigers, the SEC’s No. 4 seed last season, have finished in the Top 4 in the overall SEC standings in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2014-15. LSU’s second-place finish in the SEC Western Division is its best since the Tigers won the Western Division in 2017.
LSU’s 19 wins are its most SEC regular-season victories since the ’17 club won 21 SEC games, and the Tigers recorded their most overall regular-season wins since the 2015 club ended the regular season with 46 victories.
“We have very good players who compete very hard; they care about each other, and they care about winning,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “They’ve done a great job to put themselves in this position, and I think we’ll be prepared to play well from this point forward.”
Georgia, which earned the SEC Tournament’s final berth with Saturday’s victory, completed the regular season with a 29-26 overall record, 11-19 in the SEC.
Starting pitcher Liam Sullivan (5-2) earned the win for the Bulldogs. He worked 5.1 innings and limited the Tigers to three runs on three hits with four walks and five strikeouts.
LSU starting pitcher Javen Coleman (1-2), was charged with the loss. He allowed four runs – three earned – on four hits in 3.0 innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
Georgia reliever Nolan Crisp picked up his second save, retiring LSU shortstop Jordan Thompson on a fly ball to center field with the bases loaded to end the game.
“We’ve played our way into a great position to play all of our NCAA postseason games at home,” Johnson said. “We’re disappointed about the loss today, but we’ve put ourselves in great position to achieve our goals, and we’re excited about that.
“Playoff baseball is about being mentally strong and defaulting to your fundamentals and training. Today’s game will help us do that as we prepare for the postseason.”
LSU opened the scoring in the top of the first inning when left fielder Tre’ Morgan launched a two-run homer, his seventh dinger of the season.
The Bulldogs tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the second when designated hitter Fernando Gonzalez provided an RBI single, and Georgia scored an unearned run on an LSU infield error.
Georgia took a 3-2 lead in the third when Connor Tate hit a solo homer, his 16th of the year.
The Bulldogs struck for three runs in the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly by Anderson and a two-run homer by Condon, his 25th of the season.
LSU narrowed the deficit to 6-4 in the sixth when first baseman Cade Beloso’s unloaded his 11th homer of the year, and the Tigers executed a double steal with rightfielder Brayden Jobert scoring from third base.
The Bulldogs responded in the bottom of the frame with a bases-loaded walk to third baseman Parks Harber before LSU reduced the margin to 7-5 in the top of the seventh on third baseman Tommy White’s home run, his 20th of the year.
Georgia, however, scored two more runs in the seventh on a fielder’s choice grounder by right fielder Dwight Allen and an RBI double by Anderson.