No. 9 LSU got its first taste of defeat at the hands of BYU on Saturday night at Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers lost 9-4 in a game where the pitchers couldn't find consistency and the hitters couldn't bring in the runs. LSU (5-1) used six different pitchers Saturday, and four gave up at least a run. The offense stranded 12 runners on base, six in scoring position.
"All this game means is that we aren't going to go undefeated," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "We lost a ball game to a team that just took it to us tonight. They just did a better job than us in about every phase of the game."
LSU had plenty of opportunities against BYU (3-5) starter Mark Anderson, who walked five batters and surrendered three hits in 6 1/3 innings. But the Tigers couldn't muster much run production.
LSU did strike first taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a RBI-single by Mason Katz, but the Tigers wouldn't score again until the seventh.
"We just had some bad at bats," said Katz, who finished with two of the team's four RBI. "I don't want to take any credit away from that pitcher because he did a great job tonight. He did a great job of keeping us off-balance and we didn't do a good job of adjusting."
Meanwhile, LSU starter Brent Bonvillain dazzled through four innings of scoreless ball before running into trouble in the fifth. After retiring 12 of the first 13 batters he faced, the first three hitters to come up in the fifth reached base.
A walk, double and hit-by-pitch loaded the bases for Dakota Hernandez who brought in the game-tying run with a sacrifice fly to right. BYU loaded the bases again with two outs, but reliever Nate Fury came in and got LSU out of the inning.
Things unraveled for Fury in the sixth though, as he surrendered five earned runs on four hits.
After a leadoff groundout, the Cougars strung together three straight hits, including a RBI-double by Kelton Caldwell. Bret Lopez added one more with a sacrifice fly to left. Hernandez walked to put two on for Brennon Anderson, who lifted one deep to left field for a three-run homer that put BYU ahead 6-1.
BYU tacked on one more with another sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.
"I thought Bonvillain started out great by giving us four really good innings," Mainieri said. "He just kind of hit the wall and their hitters did a great job against him in the fifth inning. We were fortunate to hold to them to just one run. We brought in Nate [Fury] and they put up a lot of great at bats against him."
LSU managed a small threat in the home half of the seventh though. Chris Sciambra got hit with one out to start things off. Mark Laird singled to put two on for Alex Bregman, who smashed a two-run double off the left field wall.
Raph Rhymes walked before Mason Katz popped out in foul territory, and Tyler Moore popped out to end the inning two batters later.
Katz added one more run in the ninth inning to notch a small chip in the BYU lead, but it wasn't enough as another Moore popout capped off LSU's first loss of the season.
"We need to just move on," Katz said. "We have plenty of veteran guys that have been through it. We expect to win every game, but 56-0 is pretty unrealistic. Losses happen and it's good for us that it happened now rather than later."
LSU returns to action Sunday at 1 p.m. to resume its game against Southeastern Louisiana that was rained out Friday. Ryan Eades will pick up where he left off after allowing one hit in his only inning of work.
No. 9 LSU falls to BYU, 9-4
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