Clutch two-out hitting and a strong pitching performance from Aaron Nola carried No. 2 LSU to a decisive 11-1 win over No. 7 Kentucky in the opening game of the teams' weekend series in Baton Rouge, La.
LSU (28-3, 9-1 SEC) got a dominant start from Nola, who carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning. The right-hander improved to 5-0 on the season by working seven innings, allowing just four UK hits and one run while striking out seven.
Kentucky (22-7, 6-4 SEC) got to Nola in the top of the fifth inning, breaking up his no-hitter to tie the game at 1-1, but LSU took advantage of a hit batter, a walk and a two-base error to plate four runs after two outs in the bottom of the inning.
The Tigers added three two-out runs in each of the next two innings as well to blow the game open.
A.J. Reed (2-4) suffered the loss in five innings pitched, allowing eight hits and five runs – four earned – while walking two and striking out three.
The series will resume on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET at Alex Box Stadium. UK will send senior lefty Jerad Grundy (5-2, 2.15 ERA) to the mound to face LSU star junior right-hander Ryan Eades (6-0, 1.35 ERA).
LSU romps over Cats in series opener
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