LSU baseball comes from behind again to shock No. 1 Texas A&M and claim the series

LSU baseball beat No. 1 Texas A&M in the second-straight game to claim the series. PHOTO BY: Michael Bacigalupi

LSU baseball’s season ended back in April. That’s what it seemed like at least.

The Tigers had dropped their first five SEC series and looked like they stood no chance to make the postseason. Their season was done and dusted if you asked most people.

Over the last three weeks though, the Tigers have fought tooth and claw to make their way back into the postseason picture. But as big as SEC series wins over Missouri and Auburn were, they didn’t mean nearly as much as this one.

LSU baseball took game two over No. 1 Texas A&M 6-4 to claim the series. It’s the first series LSU has taken over a ranked opponent this season, and it came against the top team in the country. The Aggies hadn’t lost consecutive games this season until they paid a visit to Alex Box this weekend.

The win moves LSU to 31-17 and 9-14 in conference play, just five SEC wins away from the magic number of 14 that normally promises a regional appearance. Texas A&M fell to 39-8 and 15-8 in SEC play. It was the first SEC series loss of the Aggies since they dropped their conference opener to Florida back in March.

“I’m really proud of our team,” LSU head coach Jay Johnson said. “I think the story was our pitching; Christian Little threw 64 pitches and gave a completely dominant performances. I couldn’t be prouder of him.”

Luke Holman didn’t have his best stuff in the first inning and struggled to find the strike zone at times. He gave up a double to start the game before walking a pair of batters to load the bases with no outs gone. A sac fly scored the first run of the game, and another walk loaded the bases back up.

Another sac fly doubled the Aggies’ lead and an RBI single from Caden Sorrell made it a 3-0 lead. Holman struck out a batter to end the inning and finished the frame with 33 pitches thrown.

LSU replied with a three-run inning of its own in the bottom of the third inning to tie the game back up. Tommy White and Jared Jones hit back-to-back homers with two outs gone to cut the deficit to one run. It was the second Saturday in a row that the duo had consecutive homers in the third inning after they did the same thing in a 3-2 win over Auburn.

Josh Pearson doubled down the right field line and Hayden Travinski had an RBI single to tie it up at 3-3.

Holman gave up a single to start the fourth inning and walked a couple more batter to load the bases with no outs gone. Holman responded to the challenge after a mound visit and struck out the next three batters he faced to get out of the jam without allowing the Aggies to retake the lead.

Holman was pulled from the game for Christian Little to start the sixth inning. He went five innings and gave up three hits, three runs, five walks and recorded 10 strikeouts.

“Luke, after giving up three in the first, to give us four zeroes in a row, was awesome,” Johnson said.

LSU jumped out to its first lead of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning thanks to a wild pitch. Alex Milazzo drew a walk to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a wild pitch followed by a groundout. Another wild pitch brought Milazzo home and gave LSU a 4-3 lead.

The Tigers added to their lead in the bottom of the eighth. Michael Braswell III reached base on a fielding error and a Steven Milam double put runners on second and third. Alex Milazzo hit an RBI single up the middle of the field to score Braswell and bring the lead to 5-3.

White came up to bat and brought home another runner with another RBI single up the middle to bring the score to 6-3. Jones drew a walk to load the bases, but a deep flyball was caught at the wall to end the inning.

Texas A&M got a leadoff single to start the ninth inning, but Little struck out the next two batters he faced to send the Aggies down to their final out. An RBI single brought home a runner and cut the lead to 6-4.

Justin Loer came with a runner on first and two outs gone. An error from Braswell kept the game going and put the tying run on first base. Gavin Guidry came in and threw a wild pitch that brought the runners to second and third.

A fly out on the next pitch ended the game and stranded two runners in scoring position. It was the first win for LSU over a No. 1 ranked team since May of 2016 against Florida.

LSU’s pitchers allowed just five hits and struck out 16 batters.

Texas A&M now finds itself trying to avoid being swept for the first time this season. LSU and the Aggies will play game three on Sunday at 1 p.m. and it will be streamed on SEC Network +.

“We’ve got a quick turnaround, and we’ve got to be ready to go on Sunday,” Johnson said. “We’re going to throw on the gold jerseys and go for it. We’ve got a lot of arms available to pitch, which is a good thing against a very potent Texas A&M lineup.”

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Will Nickel

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