LSU slips past Brown in dramatic fashion

Heading into the matchup with Brown, not many people expected Brown to give LSU a very close game. However, despite a career night by starter Aaron Nola, the Tigers had to come from behind late in the game to defeat the Bears 4-3.

On a cold and windy night at Alex Box Stadium, LSU slipped past Brown University in dramatic fashion. After scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-1 lead, LSU went scoreless until the eighth inning as they trailed Brown 3-2. LSU tied the game up on a single by Alex Bregman and then won in walk off fashion in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Christian Ibarra that scored JaCoby Jones.

Following the win by LSU, Paul Mainieri was very critical of the approach that the Tigers took to the plate when they had runners on base. There is reason for concern for Mainieri, especially given the fact that LSU stranded 15 runners on base in the game.

"I'm glad we won, but it I don't really know how to describe it," said Mainieri. "I knew it was going to be a tough night at the plate with the cold weather and the wind blowing in, but I don't think that their pitchers were particularly over powering."

"We had a bad approach when we got guys on base. It wasn't a good display of clutch offensive hitting on our part."

On the other side of things, Aaron Nola had a career night on the mound for the Tigers, recording a career-high eleven strikeouts through seven innings. He only allowed three hits and no earned runs in an effort that led to a victory by senior Chris Cotton.

Mainieri praised the effort by Nola after the game and was disappointed that the sophomore didn't come out of the game with a victory.

"I'm just glad we had Aaron Nola on our side tonight," said Mainieri. "He was magnificent. It's a shame that a kid pitches his heart out like that and doesn't get the win, especially with how great he was."

While Mainieri praised the effort of Nola on Friday night, the ace of the Tiger staff believes he should have been able to eliminate some of the mistakes that resulted in Brown scoring in the first inning.

"I made a couple of mistakes," said Nola. "I had two hit batters, but I feel like I kept us in the game. I hung a curveball when they scored the run and he made me pay for it. I can't let those things happen."

Junior Christian Ibarra, who had the game winning sacrifice fly, explained that the Tigers developed a sense of urgency too late in the game. Even though LSU came out victorious, Ibarra believes that they have to have better approaches at the plate when there are runners on base.

"In the eighth inning we realized that we had to tie the game up at that point and it was almost too late," said Ibarra. "Heading into the ninth, we just wanted to get that leadoff guy on. We just had to go out and make it happen in the last inning. We left a lot of guys stranded tonight."

Ibarra also said that he knew what to expect heading into his final plate appearance of the night. He explained that patience allowed him to put a ball in play to score a run for the Tigers.

"I saw a couple of fastballs and the last pitch was s curveball," said Ibarra. "I knew he was going to try to fool me, but I just sat back and waited on it."

Mainieri also explained that this is a game that both he and the team would like to forget about quickly.

"I'm glad we won, but it isn't one that we are going to go back and archive as a good game for us by any means," said Mainieri.

The Tigers will look to have a more productive day on Saturday when they take on Brown again at 6:30 p.m.

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