LSU comes from behind in 4-2 victory

LSU rode a three-run seventh inning for a come-from-behind victory against Purdue on Saturday. The Tigers started slow but caught fire late to pull out the 4-2 win and clinch the series.

No. 7 LSU hadn't found itself with many late deficits this season, but the Tigers passed the test Saturday.

The Tigers scored four runs in the seventh and eighth innings to overcome a two-run hole and earn the 4-2 victory against Purdue. LSU only had four hits through the first six innings before erupting for a three-run seventh that put the Tigers ahead for good.

"Our hitters before the game packed our bags and got on the train to Rake City," said Alex Bregman, who had two hits Saturday. "We unpacked when we got there and I think we're going to stay for a while."

Well that trip to Rake City took a little longer than they'd expected. Purdue starter Gavin Downs had allowed just six base runners through six innings, none of which made it to third base. He'd struck out five and retired five straight before the start of that seventh inning.

But that's when he ran into trouble, allowing a leadoff single to Sean McMullen, then hitting Kade Scivicque in the next at-bat. Christian Ibarra moved them into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, chasing Downs from the game.

"Their kid was throwing a lot of slow changeups and breaking balls," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "We weren't making very good adjustments to him. But finally he got a little tired and we got a couple of good at-bats."

In came reliever Tim McElroy and the Rake City party continued from there. Andrew Stevenson plated the first run with a sacrifice fly to left field. That brought Conner Hale to the plate as a pinch-hitter, as Mainieri opted to sit him in the midst of a 2-for-17 slump.

Hale came through in the clutch with a single up the middle, scoring Scivicque from second. Chris Sciambra brought home the go-ahead run with a single through the right side.

The Tigers would add one more insurance run in the eighth with a RBI-double to left field by McMullen. Bregman scored from first on the play.

"We had some clutch at-bats to drive in those runs," Bregman said. "It was a good team win and our first come-from-behind win this year, which is always nice to have."

LSU found itself in an early hole as Purdue went ahead in the third inning. Kyle Bouman surrendered a leadoff single, and a double by Boilermaker leadoff man Cody Strong scored the runner from second. Purdue added one more in the next inning with a RBI-double by Conner Hudnall, that bounced out of a sliding Mark Laird's glove.

Despite the two runs, it was still a decent start for Bouman, as he went 6 2/3 innings and struck out five with six hits and two runs in the no decision.

"At first I wasn't feeling too much on my game," Bouman said. "I just tried to stay focused and keep us in the game as best I could. I was just trying to make pitches and get some outs."

Bouman came out after surrendering a pair of two-out singles in the seventh. Nate Fury entered in relief and struck out the only batter he faced to escape the jam.

From there, Kurt McCune and Joe Broussard closed the final two frames, combining to allow just one base runner that reached on an error.

The win clinches the series for LSU and extends the Tigers' winning streak to four games. LSU will go for the sweep Sunday with first pitch set for 1 p.m. Cody Glenn will get the start.

"One day you play great, the next day you don't play as great because they're young kids and no matter how much you tell them, there's a natural letdown when you have to turn around so quickly," Mainieri said. "But at the end of the day, we had some clutch at-bats, we had a great performance from our bullpen and we found a way to win."


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