LSU’s Holman falters and late rally falls short as Missouri takes game 2 in Columbia

Luke Holman had an off day and LSU's late innings' rally fell one run short. LSU plays Missouri on Sunday still hoping for its first SEC series win of the season.

Tommy White’s ninth-inning two-run home run following clutch back-to-back doubles from Paxton Kling and Steven Milam was not enough to give LSU coach Jay Johnson the gift he wanted most on his 47th birthday Saturday.

What Johnson wanted was LSU’s first SEC series win of the season.

Johnson may still get his wish, but it will have to wait until Sunday if it is to be.

On Saturday, Missouri jumped on LSU ace pitcher Luke Holman early and often, scratching out a 2-0 first-inning lead and Missouri scored its first seven runs all with two outs on Tiger pitching en route to an 8-7 win over LSU.

LSU had managed to pull within striking distance of Missouri in the eighth inning when a two-run home run from Hayden Travinski made it a 7-4 game.

Missouri, however, added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on a solo home run from Brock Daniels and that proved to be huge.

Holman (6-3) took the loss for LSU (24-16, 4-13 SEC) as the Tigers’ season-long ace simply was not sharp, giving up six runs (five earned) on six hits and walking three in 4.2 innings of work. LSU used five pitchers during the game, none of which was named Griffin Herring, who is likely to start game 3 as the Tigers hope to win the rubber match and their first SEC series of the season.

Missouri improved to 18-22 overall, 6-11 in the SEC.

The teams conclude the series at 2 p.m. central Sunday in a game that will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network and streamed on SEC Network +.

In the bottom of the eight inning, LSU righthanded reliever Micah Bucknam replaced freshman Cam Johnson after the Tigers had trimmed Missouri’s lead to three runs, 7-4, with a two-run bomb from Travinski in the top of the inning. But with one out, Daniels hit a solo home run to right field, pushing Missouri’s lead back to four runs, 8-4.

Travinski crushed a no-doubt, two-run home run to right center with one out in the top of the eighth. Travinski’s home run drove in left fielder Ashton Larson, who had walked on a full count after Jared Jones grounded out to shortstop to open the eighth for LSU.

Missouri managed to score its first seven runs with two outs, and, in the bottom of the seventh, the Show Me Tigers loaded the bases with two outs. But Johnson managed to shut Missouri down by inducing Drew Culbertson to fly out to center field. Johnson replaced Aiden Moffett with two outs after Moffett walked Jedier Hernandez. Johnson loaded the bases by hitting Matt Garcia on the foot with a pitch then walking David Corona.

Jones led off the sixth inning with a solo home run to center field to trim the Missouri lead to 7-2, but LSU could not add any more runs despite getting two more hits – a pair of singles to right field from Larson then, with two outs, a pinch-hit single from Josh Pearson. Pearson pinch hit for Max Bingham.

Missouri scored four runs with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, chasing Holman from the mound to go up 7-1.

Holman walked DH Jackson Lovich with two outs and Trevor Austin made Holman pay for it by cracking a 1-0 RBI double to right center field. Lovich scored to put Missouri up 4-1. Holman then walked Hernandez in four pitches and was then replaced by Moffett. Garcia tagged Moffett immediately with an RBI ground rule double to score Austin from third before Corona hit a two RBI single to right field.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Holman managed to avoid any damage even though Garcia led off the inning with a triple. With one out, and LSU’s infield playing in, Braswell fielded a grounder by Culbertson and easily cut down Garcia at home on a fielder’s choice. With Culbertson at second base after an errant throw by Holman on a pick-off attempt, Jackson Beamon popped up to Braswell to end the inning.

Missouri took a 3-1 in the bottom of the second after the nine-hole hitter, Beamon, doubled down the line left field line with two outs and then on the next pitch from Holman left fielder Brock Daniels singled to left field.

Braswell drove in LSU’s first run of the game in the second inning, singling in Larson from second to make it 2-1 Missouri. Larson was hit by a pitch with one out and advanced to second when Travinski walked on a full count.

Travinski was cut down at third for the second out when Bingham grounded to third base. Alex Milazzo loaded the bases with an infield hit bringing up Paxton Kling with the bases loaded. Kling flew out to right field for the third out.

Missouri took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Holman hit the leadoff batter on his first pitch of the game. With one out, Austin hit a ground rule double to right center scoring Daniels. Austin scored on an error by Braswell when Hernandez hit an infield single, moving Austin to third base but then Braswell could not field the ball, allowing Austin to score. Holman struck out Garcia to end the inning.

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Todd Horne

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