Only one team in LSU baseball history has started a season 29-2, and that would be the 2013 Tigers.
No. 3 LSU accomplished the feat with a 9-1 beatdown of No. 7 Kentucky on Saturday, clinching the series and giving the Tigers a chance to sweep. The offense maintained the same production it has all weekend, and Ryan Eades came one out away from notching a complete game shutout.
Though this team etched its name in the record books, that wasn't on the players' mind as they recorded the final out.
"I didn't even realize that until this morning," Katz said of the record start. "I didn't even remember until after the game when we were shaking hands. It's cool when you think about all the teams LSU has had. That wasn't really a goal for us going into the season, but it puts us in good position for what we want to accomplish."
Instead LSU focused on the offensive outpouring it produced for the second consecutive game, as the Tigers have now outscored Kentucky 20-2 and outhit the Cats 30-9 in the first two games of the series. Not only has the offense been on fire, but LSU received another gem from its starting pitcher as Eades went 8 2/3 innings and didn't allow a run until a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Eades retired 15 of the first 16 batters he faced before Michael Thomas opened the sixth inning with a single to right. Eades was able to strand him on the bases and retired the next nine batters for a chance to earn the shutout.
Paul Mainieri sent Eades out in the ninth, and he got the first out of the inning before a walk and two hits loaded the bases. Max Kuhn chased Eades from the game with a sacrifice fly before Hunter Devall came in and recorded the final out.
"I wanted it pretty bad," Eades said of trying to get the shutout. "That would have been my first shutout ever...I think I commanded the zone really well tonight. My changeup finally came around, and I was able to throw that a lot more, which helped me a lot."
The offense came out hot again for the second straight tonight. All nine hitters in the starting lineup recorded a hit, and six had at least two. Alex Bregman led the way, going 3-for-4 with two RBI, extending his hitting streak to 19 games.
Alex Edward and Mason Katz also drove in multiple runs.
"There are still things we can do better," said Katz, who now has 53 RBI this year, which matches his season-high. "There are some things we can work on, but you can't say enough about the starting pitching."
Ty Ross got it started for LSU in the second inning, driving in Christian Ibarra from third with a single to right. Ross and JaCoby Jones maintained their hot streak against Kentucky, and have combined to go 9-for-15 at the plate with three RBI.
"All the sudden, Ross and Jones are swinging the bats like we knew they could," Mainieri said of the duo that entered the series hitting below .200. "You can't keep good players down, and sooner or later, I knew they'd hit."
LSU added four more runs in the third inning before bringing in a pair in each of the fourth and fifth innings.
"It was a very solid win for us," Mainieri said. "It's always good to win a series, and it gives us a chance to go for the sweep for the fourth weekend in a row. Let's see if we can do it."
The Tigers will go for the sweep Sunday at noon. Cody Glenn will get the start, looking for redemption after a disastrous start last week against Missouri.
LSU off to its best start in history
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