LSU rallies, then holds off Missouri to complete first SEC home sweep of season

LSU relief pitcher Riley Cooper was credited with the win Friday over Alabama. He worked 1.2 scoreless innings in relief of starter Ma’Khail Hilliard. PHOTO BY: LSU athletics.

Three LSU players drove in two runs each Saturday, and pitcher Riley Cooper stopped an eighth-inning Missouri rally, helping the Tigers post an 8-6 win over Mizzou in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

LSU (27-12, 10-8 in SEC) completed its first home Southeastern Conference sweep at home of the season and second overall.

“I’m very proud of the team, I think we grew this week,” said LSU baseball coach Jay Johnson, whose club also defeated UL-Lafayette, 8-4, on Tuesday night. “We beat a Top 50 RPI team on Tuesday and earned three wins over a Top 25 RPI team this weekend, that’s awesome. These are the weeks you love, and I’d like to give a special thanks to our fans for coming out and supporting us all week.”

LSU return to action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the University of New Orleans in a game that will be broadcast on 98.1-FM and streamed on ESPN+.

Catcher Tyler McManus, right fielder Josh Pearson and third baseman Jacob Berry each drove in two runs to highlight LSU’s 11-hit output.

Right-hander Bryce Collins (2-0), the second of six LSU pitchers, earned the win as he worked 2.2 innings and limited Missouri to one run on three hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

With LSU clinging to a 7-6 lead in the top of the eighth, Cooper entered the contest with the bases loaded and two outs. He retired Missouri third baseman Luke Mann on a grounder back to the mound to end the threat. Cooper then retired the side in order to preserve the win and pick up his first save of the season.

Missouri starter Austin Marozas (1-2) was charged with the loss, as he surrendered six runs on eight hits in five innings with two walks and three strikeouts.

Missouri (22-15, 5-13 in SEC) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning against LSU starter Samuel Dutton when leftfielder Trevor Austin launched a two-run homer, his third of the year.

LSU tied the game in the third when designated hitter Brayden Jobert unloaded a solo homer – his 12th dinger of the season – and Berry delivered an RBI single.

LSU scored three runs in the fourth when McManus lined a two-run double, and Pearson provided a run-scoring single. Berry’s solo homer – his 13th of the year – increased the advantage to 6-3 in the fifth.

LSU added another run in the seventh on an RBI double by first baseman Tre’ Morgan, but Missouri staged a rally in the eighth before Cooper shut the door on the comeback.

“Riley is such an asset to our team; he has a chance to impact 2-3 wins per week,” Johnson said. “He’s a star, and I don’t think you could ask anybody to do any more than he’s doing for us.”

The Tigers scored an insurance run in the eighth when McManus tripled and scored on another Pearson RBI single.

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