LSU and Tennessee combine for five home runs, Tigers get swept for second time this season

LSU baseball gets swept again, falls to 3-12 in SEC play. PHOTO BY: LSU Athletics

With each passing SEC series, things just keep getting worse and worse for LSU baseball.

The Tigers had already dropped the first two games against Tennessee, but they were still trying to avoid the sweep in game three. They fell behind early before battling back to tie it up, but Tennessee combined for five runs over the seventh and eighth innings to send the Tigers home with an 8-4 loss.

“It’s hard on the road, and Tennessee is a good team, but I want to win,” LSU head coach Jay Johnson said. “I’m going to do everything I can to put our team in a position to win games.”

LSU (22-15, 3-12 SEC) had eight hits on the day and held Tennessee (30-6, 10-5 SEC) to nine hits. The Tigers had a pair of homers, including a two-RBI bomb from Tommy White in the eighth that made it a two-run game, but the Vols hit three homers of their own with two coming with runners on base.

Nate Ackenhausen got his first start of the season for LSU and gave up two hits and two runs in four innings pitched. He struck out two batters and his only major blemish of the day came when he surrendered a two-run homer.

“I thought [Ackenhausen] did a great job,” Johnson said. “He competed hard in the game and gave us everything he had.”

Both teams were scoreless through the first two innings before Tennessee got the scoring started thanks to a Brian Burke homer in the bottom of the third. It was the first of what would end up being five home runs in the game.

Burke’s homer scored two for Tennessee after a single put a runner on base beforehand. LSU halved the deficit in the next inning thanks to two freshman hitters. A Steven Milam single brought Ashton Larson home from second base to make it 2-1.

Both teams went three up, three down in the fifth inning before LSU tied the game up in the sixth. Hayden Travinski hit a solo shot over the left field wall to bring the score to 2-2, but it wouldn’t last long.

In the bottom of the inning Christian Moore hit a solo shot of his own to regain the lead 3-2. Moore wasn’t done there though. He came up to bat again in the seventh inning with two runners on base and blasted his second home run of the game to score three more runs for the Vols.

White responded in the eighth inning with a two-RBI homer that followed up Michael Braswell III’s single to bring the Tigers within two. Kade Anderson gave up a single and a walk in the bottom of the eighth before being pulled for Micah Bucknam.

Bucknam looked like he might’ve gotten out of the jam without letting the Vols add to their lead when Cal Stark popped up a shallow fly ball, but Paxton Kling, Mac Bingham and Braswell all misjudged the ball and it fell between the three of them to score two more runs for Tennessee. It was a windy day with gusts up to 35 MPH and the wind grabbed hold of the ball enough to fool all three players.

LSU trailed 8-4 heading into the final inning and went three up, three down to end the game. It was the Vols first SEC sweep of the season.

LSU’s next game is on Tuesday against New Orleans at Alex Box. That game will start at 6:30 p.m. and can be streamed on SEC Network+.

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Will Nickel

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