Nicholls shortstop Parker Coddou produced an unassisted double play in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday night to halt an LSU rally, helping the Colonels hold on for a 6-5 win over the top-ranked Tigers in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
With one out in the bottom and the bases loaded, LSU designated hitter Cade Beloso hit a flare toward center field that looked like the game-winning hit as it left the bat. But Coddou made a leaping catch and raced to second base to double off the Tigers’ runner and end the game.
LSU (32-8) , which took a 12-2 run-rule win over Nicholls on April 4, resumes SEC play at 6 p.m. Friday in a three-game home series versus Alabama. The game will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network, and it will be televised on the SEC Network.
LSU reliever Bryce Collins (2-2) was charged with the loss. He pitched the eighth and ninth innings and allowed two runs – one earned – on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Nicholls reliever Nico Saltaformaggio (3-1) was credited with the win with 3.0 scoreless innings. He allowed no hits with no walks and struck out one.
Cade Evans earned his fifth save of the season, limiting the Tigers to one run in the ninth inning on three hits with one walk and a strikeout.
“You have to tip your hat to Nicholls for their defense,” LSU baseball coach Jay Johnson said. “They took away several extra-base hits during the game. Their outfield was phenomenal, and obviously that was a great play at second base at the end. They deserved to win the game tonight.”
Nicholls (23-16) opened the scoring in the second inning on catcher Jaden Collura’s sacrifice fly, and the Colonels extended the lead to 3-0 in the fifth on a two-run single by right fielder Xane Washington.
LSU, however, struck for four runs in the bottom of the sixth to claim the lead.
Beloso led off the inning with this eighth homer of the year, first baseman Jared Jones drew a bases-loaded walk, right fielder Ethan Frey produced an RBI groundout. Second baseman Gavin Dugas added a sacrifice fly to highlight the outburst.
Nicholls tied the game in the eighth, scoring twice in the ninth as pinch-hitter Brayden Kuriger lined a run-scoring single and Coddou scored on an LSU fielding error when a throw from the outfield was misplayed.
LSU staged a comeback in the bottom of the ninth. Jones led off with his 12th homer of the season, narrowing deficit to 6-5.
Frey and Dugas followed with back-to-back singles, and after Evans struck out left fielder Josh Pearson, center fielder Dylan Crews walked to load the bases and set the stage for Coddou’s double play.
LSU starting pitcher Thatcher Hurd delivered a solid outing, working 4.0 innings and limited the Colonels to one run on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts.