LSU baseball comes from behind against No. 1 Texas A&M to take game one in a thriller

LSU baseball overcame three Texas A&M homers to claim game one against the No. 1 Aggies. PHOTO BY: Michael Bacigalupi

LSU baseball has played highly ranked SEC opponents already this season, and the results were rarely pretty.

The Tigers claimed their first two SEC series wins in the last two weeks, but those wins came against the two worst teams in the SEC. When they played teams that were outside of last place in their division, they had a 3-12 record.

With No. 1 Texas A&M (39-7, 15-7 SEC) coming to town, some fans might’ve expected LSU (30-17, 8-14 SEC) to get swept like it had the last time it played a ranked opponent, but the Tigers fought back from an early deficit to claim a 6-4 win.

“I’m really proud of our team,” LSU had coach Jay Johnson said. “I think the story of the night is that there were a lot of things that went wrong for us in the game, but the team showed tremendous poise, and that’s a really good step in the right direction.

Texas A&M jumped out to an early lead thanks to a pair of homers in the first two innings. Jace LaViolette hit his 24th homer of the season with one out gone in the first to score the first run of the game. Ali Camarillo hit his fifth homer of the season in the second inning to double the lead to 2-0.

LSU’s offense didn’t reach base until the third inning when Steven Milam and Jake Brown both drew walks to put runners on base. Ashton Larson got the Tigers’ first hit of the game to load the bases with one out gone.

Tommy White came up to bat and looked to have grounded into a double play, but after getting the out at third, the throw to first was wide and allowed LSU to score two runs and tie it up 2-2.

The Aggies would retake the lead in the fourth inning though thanks to another solo shot homer from Camarillo. It was his sixth homer of the season and the third in the game for Texas.

Gage Jump made it through the next few innings before coming out of the game with one out gone in the sixth. He went 5.1 innings and gave up six hits, three runs and struck out four batters.

Fidel Ulloa came in for him and gave up just one hit over the next 1.1 innings before coming out for Griffin Herring.

LSU waited until the sixth inning to respond to the homer, but it responded in a big way when it did. Larson singled to start the inning, White reached on a throwing error and Jared Jones singled to load the bases with no outs gone.

Josh Pearson, the hero in LSU’s walk-off win over Auburn last weekend, doubled just down the left field line to score two runs and put runners on second and third. Hayden Travinski hit a sac fly to score Jones and Steven Milam hit an RBI single to score two more runs to cap off a four-run inning. LSU headed into the seventh with a 6-3 lead.

Texas A&M brought one back in the eighth inning after a single turned into a double thanks to an error from Milam. Hayden Schott hit an RBI single afterwards to bring the score to 6-4.

Travinski looked like he had given LSU a bigger cushion with a solo homer, but after review, it was ruled fan interference, and he was out to end the inning. It didn’t appear that a fan touched the ball on replays, but it was ruled that the fan had caused enough interference to negate the play.

After the game, Johnson forgave the fan and said he’s happy to have fans in the stands.

“I like seeing that section packed out there,” Johnson said. “We’ll forgive them and hope they come back tomorrow.”

Herring gave up a single and advanced the runner to second on a wild pitch to start the ninth, but a strikeout and a pop out sent the Aggies down to their last out. LSU looked like it got the final out of the game, but after review the runner was safe at first.

With runners on the corners and two outs gone in a two-run game, Herring struck out Braden Montgomery to claim the win.

LSU and Texas A&M will meet again tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. with the Tigers aiming for their third straight SEC series win and their first over a ranked opponent.

“We’ve had to grow through some of the struggles of this season, but sometimes when things are the messiest, that’s when you develop the most, and hopefully we’re seeing the fruits of that right now,” Johnson said.

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Will Nickel

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