Pearson’s big day includes pair of homers, 5 RBIs to help No. 19 LSU sweep Mississippi State

LSU second baseman Cade Doughty was named third team All-America by Perfect Game. PHOTO BY JONATHAN MAILHES

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Freshman rightfielder Josh Pearson homered twice and collected five RBI Sunday to lead LSU to a 13-3 win over Mississippi State at Dudy Noble Field.

LSU, which completed a series sweep of the Bulldogs, improved to 23-9 overall and 7-5 in the SEC. The Tigers are in second place in the SEC Western Division, one game behind Arkansas (8-4) where they visit next Thursday for a three-game SEC series.

Mississippi State dropped to 18-15 overall and 4-8 in conference play.

The sweep was LSU’s first in the SEC since March 2019, when the Tigers swept Kentucky in Baton Rouge. This weekend marked LSU’s first SEC road sweep since May 2017 at Mississippi State.

LSU returns to action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when they play host to Lamar in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The game will be broadcast locally over 98.1-FM and it will be streamed on SEC Network +.

“We played great complimentary baseball today,” LSU baseball coach Jay Johnson said. “Pitching spearheaded it, there was complimentary defense with a zero in the error column, and offensively it was one of our best days of the year.”

Pearson was 3-for-5 at the plate with two homers, five RBI and two runs scored to highlight LSU’s 13-hit output. Centerfielder Dylan Crews doubled and drove in two runs, and second baseman Cade Doughty homered, doubled and collected two RBI.

Catcher Tyler McManus was 3-for-4 on the day with a triple and three runs scored.

“Josh has continued to slow the game down the more he gets in there,” Johnson said. “I have total confidence in him.”

Freshman right-hander Grant Taylor (4-0) earned the win in relief, as he worked four innings and allowed two runs on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts.

LSU starter Samuel Dutton worked the first three innings, allowing just one run on four hits with no walks and one strikeout.

“Sam has shown he can handle the role we’ve put him in the last couple of weeks,” Johnson said, “and Grant continues to display tremendous poise and maturity.”

Mississippi State starter Cade Smith (4-2) was charged with the loss as he surrendered six runs on five hits in five innings with five walks and one strikeout.

Mississippi State grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when second baseman RJ Yeager led off with a home run, his ninth of the year.

The Tigers tied the game in the third when first baseman Tre’ Morgan grounded into a double play with the bases loaded, scoring designated hitter Brayden Jobert from third base.

LSU exploded for five runs in the fifth inning as centerfielder Dylan Crews and third baseman Jacob Berry delivered RBI singles, and rightfielder Josh Pearson launched a three-run homer, his first career dinger.

The Tigers extended the lead to 7-1 in the sixth when catcher Tyler McManus singled with one out and scored on a two-out RBI double by first baseman Tre’ Morgan.

LSU added two more runs in the seventh on back-to-back solo homers by second baseman Cade Doughty – his eighth of the year – and by Pearson, who unloaded his second dinger of the day.

Mississippi State narrowed the margin to 9-3 in the bottom of the seventh on a two-run homer by pinch hitter Slate Alford, his first of the year.

LSU, however, responded with four runs in the eighth inning as Crews provided a two-run double, Doughty smashed an RBI double and Pearson lined a run-scoring single.

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