LSU’s bullpen could not hold on after starter Ty Floyd had set up the No. 5 Tigers perfectly for the win Friday in the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament. But Texas A&M’s bullpen did hold on late, and that proved to be the difference.
Texas A&M rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the bottom of the seventh when Hunter Haas, who had struck out in his three previous at bats, stung a hanging curve ball from reliever Sam Dutton and crushed a three-run home run. That capped a four-run inning for the Aggies, who held on to beat and eliminate the Tigers, 5-4, in third round play at Hoover Met.
Floyd pitched five complete innings, a total of 93 pitches. He gave up one run on only three hits, walked one batter, hit one batter and struck out seven.
LSU led 3-1 when Floyd left the game to start the sixth inning.
LSU left hander Griffin Herring relieved Floyd and started strong, retiring the Aggies in order in the sixth, but then ran into trouble in the seventh.
With no outs, after walking Ryan Targac to lead off the bottom of the seventh, second baseman Austin Bost smoked a line-drive double off the wall in left-center field, advancing Targac to third. Designated hitter Brett Minnich then hit a sacrifice fly to score Targac, trimming LSU’s lead to 3-2.
But Herring then walked catcher Max Kauffer, the Aggies No. 9 hole batter who was hitting .159 for the season, before being replaced by Sam Dutton.
That’s when Hunter Haas lowered the boom.
Haas, who had struck out in his three previous at bats, crushed a hanging curve from Dutton, a three-run home run to left field and Texas A&M went up for the first time in the game, 5-3.
LSU coach Jay Johnson immediately called on lefty Javen Coleman to relieve Dutton. But Coleman didn’t have much better luck, though he did get LSU out of the inning without giving up any more runs.
Coleman gave up back-to-back singles to Jack Moss and Trevor Werner.
Coleman then walked Jordan Thompson to load the bases after striking out Jace Laviolette, and then managed to strike out Targac swinging after a 10-pitch at bat to end the inning.
How It Happened
T1 – Crews flied out to left center; Morgan grounds out pitcher; Travinski strikes out looking.
B1 – Haas struck out swinging (2-2 KKBBS); Moss walked; Werner safe at first after hitting into a 6-4 FC, MOSS out at second ss to 2b; WERNER advanced to second on a passed ball; Laviolette struck out swinging.
LSU 0, Texas A&M 0 after one inning
T2 – Beloso singled to right-center; Jones walked in four pitches; Dugas flied out to center, Beloso advanced to third, Jones out at second 5-4 (went under review and call stood); Jobert rbi (37) single to right field scored Beloso from third; Thompson – Jobert stole second on wild pitch – walked (second walk of inning); Kling grounded to second base, 4-3.
LSU 1, Texas A&M 0 after 1.5 innings
B2 – Thompson ground rule doubled to left field; Targac rbi doubled to right on 3-0 count, scored Thompson from second base; Bost grounded out to second base, 4-3; Targac advanced to third; Minnich struck out swinging; Kaufer flied out to center field.
LSU 1, Texas A&M 1 after 2.0 innings
T3 – Crews singled to third base; Morgan reached on catcher’s interference (0-0); Crews advanced to second; Travinski popped up to second base; Beloso struck out looking; Jones struck out swinging.
(LSU got the first two batters of the inning on base and came up empty.)
B3 – Haas struck out swinging; Moss flies out to Morgan in left field – Morgan makes the catch falling down as the ball is slicing away from him; Werner flied out to right field.
LSU 1, Texas A&M 1 after 3.0 innings
T4 – Dugas doubled down the left field line; Jobert stand-up, RBI double down the left field line, Dugas scored from second; Thompson – Jobert advanced to third on a balk – Thompson struck out swinging – out at first c to 1b; Kling struck out swinging; Crews fouled out to first base.
LSU 2, Texas A&M 1 after 3.5 innings
B4 – Laviolette flied out to left field; Thompson hit by pitch; Targac struck out swinging, Thompson stole second; Thompson advanced to third on a wild pitch; Bost grounded out to shortstop.
LSU 2, Texas A&M 1 after 4.0 innings
T5 – Morgan walked; Travinski doubled off left field, Morgan scored from first base; Beloso singled to right field, Travinski advanced to third base; Jones struck out swinging; Dugas squeeze bunt, Travinski out at home; Jobert grounds out to third base.
LSU 3, Texas A&M 1 after 4.5 innings
B5 – Minnich struck out swinging; Kaufer singled to shortstop; Haas struck out swinging; Moss flied out to center field.
LSU 3, Texas A&M 1 after 5.0 innings
T6 – Thompson grounded out to third base; Kling struck out swinging; Crews singled to left-center field; Crews stole second base; Morgan grounded out to second base.
B6 – Herring in to pitch for Floyd; Werner grounded out to third base; Laviolette grounded out to third base; Thompson flied out to center field.
LSU 3, Texas A&M 1 after 6.0 innings
T7 – Ashenbeck to pitch for Johnston; Travinski struck out swinging; Beloso singled to right field; Beloso advanced to second on passed ball; Jones lined out to left field; Dugas popped up to shortstop.
B7 – Targac walked; Bost lined a double off wall in left center field, Targac advanced to third base; Minnich flied out to left, sacrifice, scored Targac from third base; Kaufer walked; Dutton in to pitch for Herring; Haas hit a three-run home run, Bost scored, Kaufer scored; Coleman in to pitch for Dutton; Moss singled to center field; Werner singled to left, Moss advanced to second; Laviolette struck out looking; Thompson walked, Moss advanced third base, Werner advanced to second base; Targac struck out swinging.
Texas A&M 5, LSU 3 after 7.0 innings
T8 – Jobert struck out swinging; Thompson popped up to first base; Kling hit a ground ball single to left center field; Crews – Kling stole second base – Crews struck out looking.
B8 – Guidry in to pitch for Coleman; Bost struck out swinging; Minnich flied out to center field; Kauffer popped up to right field.
Texas A&M 5, LSU 3 after 8.0 innings
T9 – Morgan flied out center field; Travinski singled to third base; Beloso doubled down the right field line, advanced Travinski to third base. Stevenson to pinch run for Beloso. Travinski scored on a wild pitch, Stevenson advanced to third on the same wild pitch; Jones walked; Pearson in to pinch run for Jones; Dugas struck out swinging; Jobert fouled out to third base.
Final SCORE: Texas A&M 5, LSU 4
Big League@haydenrt_ | SECN pic.twitter.com/OhD6dmmTCP— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) May 26, 2023
TRE’ MORGAN OH MY @tremorgann | SECN pic.twitter.com/jz4heZcGIx— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) May 26, 2023
May 2023 was the loss of 8 of the last 12 SEC games. Tigers’ key LOB lapses was glaring. Getting down in the count 0-2 and 1-2 was glaring. Will the Tiger baseball offense come back? I am a fan since 1989 and cannot see this team in a Super Regional due to this stunning collapse. Geaux anyway.