Right-hander Paul Skenes tossed 7.2 shutout innings and LSU’s hitters launched six home runs Saturday night to lift the No. 5 national seed Tigers to a 14-0 victory over No. 12 national seed Kentucky in the first game of the NCAA Super Regional round at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU (47-15) leads the best-of-three series, 1-0, over Kentucky (40-20).
Game 2 of the Baton Rouge Super Regional between LSU and Kentucky is scheduled for a 5 p.m. CT start Sunday. The contest will be televised on ESPN2 and may also be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network.
Skenes (12-2) allowed just four hits with one walk and nine strikeouts. He increased his season strikeouts total to 188, the second-highest single-season mark in LSU history.
With Skenes’ final strikeout of the night, the LSU pitching staff established a school record for strikeouts in a season with 684.
Kentucky starter Zack Lee (5-4) was charged with the loss after working 4.0 innings. He allowed\ nine runs on nine hits with no walks and six strikeouts.
The two teams were originally scheduled to play at 2 p.m. Saturday before NCAA officials initiated a weather delay before the first pitch. The start of the contest was ultimately delayed until 9:06 p.m., when the Tigers and Wildcats finally squared off.
After the lengthy weather delay, LSU first baseman Tre’ Morgan got the Tigers on the board with a solo shot to left field.
In the bottom of the third, third baseman Tommy White and Morgan added to the evening’s dinger total. To begin the two-out rally, centerfielder Dylan Crews recorded an infield single and scored on White’s two-run shot. Morgan followed with his second homer of the game to make the score 4-0.
Morgan’s multi-home run outing marked the second time he has hit two dingers in one game. He last accomplished the feat on May 14, 2023, when the Tigers faced Mississippi State.
Second baseman Gavin Dugas tacked on to the Tigers’ home run total with a solo dinger to left field, and LSU led 5-0 after four innings.
The Tigers scored six runs in the bottom half of the fifth to take a double-digit lead. The frame began with a solo homer from left fielder Josh Pearson. After, Crews reached base on an error, and White singled, Morgan collected his third hit of the night with an RBI-single to increase the margin to 6-0.
LSU loaded the bases on a hit-by-pitch from catcher Hayden Travinski and right fielder Brayden Jobert earned an RBI via a bases-loaded hit by pitch. With the bases still loaded, Morgan scored on a wild pitch. Shortstop Jordan Thompson delivered a two-out, two-RBI single to widen the gap to 11-0.
White launched his 22nd homer of the season – and his second of the game – to give LSU a 12-0 lead. With that dinger, the 2023 LSU baseball squad hit its 132nd homer of the year, giving it sole possession of third place on school’s all-time list for home runs in a season.
The Tigers added two more runs in the seventh inning, as Thompson provided an RBI single and center fielder Dylan Crews added a sacrifice fly.