will kick off its SEC tournament slate against Kentucky after several rain delays pushed back the matchup from Wednesday night through Thursday (9:40 p.m., SEC Network). The tournament featured 12th-seeded Kentucky (31-24, 12- 18) defeating fifth seed Auburn 3-1 in the first round on Wednesday to face LSU. Back-to-back home runs from the Wildcat’s designated hitter Oraj Anu and right fielder Adam Fogel in the ninth inning closed the gap.
8th inning of Saturday’s game
LSU Baseball (37-18, 17-13), the No. 4 seed, heads into the matchup after a three-game series sweep on the road over Vanderbilt. The Tigers scored 42 runs over the weekend. That includes 11 in the eighth inning of Saturday’s game to complete the sweep.
LSU is No. 21 in RPI in this matchup
The last time LSU faced Kentucky was in April of last season. The Tigers won the first two games of the three-match series in Lexington. LSU enters this matchup as the No. 21 team in the RPI while Kentucky is ranked No. 52.
Kentucky coach Nick Mingione was furious.
At the bottom of LSU’s long-delayed fourth inning, 11-6 late-night win against the Wildcats in Thursday’s Southeast Conference tournament, Dylan Crews was slammed home on a squeeze bunt by Jordan Thompson.
Crews landed on the plate as catcher Devin Burkes’ glove landed over his hip. The crew stood up. Celebrating, as the umpire called him safe, while Burks headed to the dugout. appealed for help. LSU coach Jay Johnson said, “Dylan came in and he (Burkes) hit his body. But his hand was already on the plate.”
Michael Hilliard made his debut for the Tigers. And in addition to a two-run homer in the second innings by Burks, Hilliard kept the Wildcats scoreless through the next four frames. He allowed two earned runs on four hits with six strikes.
Watched Mason Hazlewood starting pitches
LSU was down 2–0 after the first two innings – but by the third, all the Tigers had seen were starting pitches from left-hander Mason Hazlewood. And they tagged him for three runs. The crew walks to place the first runner on base. And Pearson’s double put them both in scoring position. Bases were loaded after Thompson had run. Trey Morgan’s groundout rounded out the crew, giving Kentucky a 2-1 lead.
McManus, who had doubled in the previous innings to right-center. This time lined up another in left field, allowing LSU to score two runs to take a 3–2 lead.
“In the fall, we fielded two lineups and we were able to score runs and dominate the mound, which showed that we were deep,” McManus said.