LSU comes up short to even series

LSU may chalk it up to a bit of misfortune, but the Tigers fell to Tennessee, 6-3, on Saturday to even the series. The Vols capitalized on a two-run eighth inning to pull ahead, and a couple of late missed opportunities cost LSU the victory.

No. 6 LSU found itself on the wrong end of a see-saw affair Saturday, losing to Tennessee 6-3 to even the series.

The lead changed four times in Game 2 between these teams, with Tennessee pulling ahead for good with a two-run eighth inning.

Kurt McCune took over for starter Jared Poché — who allowed two runs in seven innings — to start the eighth and surrendered singles to each of the first two batters he faced. He struck out Nick Senzel for the first out in the inning before coming out for Joe Broussard.

He induced a grounder to first in the next at-bat, but Scivicque bobbled it and could only record one out on the play, allowing the game-tying run to come in. The next batter sent a chopper up the middle. Bregman fielded it but couldn't get off the throw as Taylor Stewart came in for the go-ahead run.

"It was not hit well, it just bounced right over [Broussard's] head," Bregman said. "It got in my glove. I had a little bit of trouble getting it out, and I didn't really have a shot."

The Tigers wasted a prime opportunity to pull back ahead in the bottom half of that inning.

Scivicque walked with one out, and Chris Sciambra replaced him on the base paths. Jake Fraley singled to put two on, and a wild pitch in the next at-bat moved both into scoring position. Christian Ibarra was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Tyler Moore, but he grounded into an inning-ending double play on the first pitch.

Bad luck cost LSU another scoring opportunity in the seventh after Andrew Stevenson walked to start the inning. With the hit-and-run called, Mark Laird sent a liner behind the shortstop, who broke to cover the bag.

The SS adjusted and made the catch falling backwards, then made the tag on Stevenson to complete the double play. Bregman went down in the next at-bat to end the inning.

"It's just amazing how some nights you just feel like the baseball gods are against you," Mainieri said. "Everything we did seemed to come up short, and everything they did, they got some good fortune."

Tennessee tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the ninth with a two-run homer by pinch-hitter Vincent Jackson off Parker Bugg.

The Tigers got a leadoff walk from Kramer Robertson to start the ninth, but the next three batters went down in order, including a Bregman strikeout to end the game.

"It's a game of failure," Bregman said. "We did a lot of good things tonight, we just didn't come out on top. We're so ready to get back out there tomorrow. We can't wait."

Prior to the late outburst by Tennessee, each team seemed to match each other run-for-run.

The Vols struck first with a run in the opening inning. A.J. Simcox singled with one out and Christin Stewart followed with a double. Simcox came in on a fielder's choice by Senzel.

LSU answered in the next half-inning, tying it with a pair of singles. Andrew Stevenson kicked it off, and after a sacrifice bunt by Mark Laird, Bregman brought him home with a single through the right side.

The Tigers took the lead two innings later as Bregman opened the third with a double. After a Sean McMullen walk, Scivicque moved them into scoring position with a bunt, and Jake Fraley's sacrifice fly to left field scored Bregman.

Tennessee tied it in the fourth with a leadoff home run to left field by Derek Lance. LSU jumped back ahead in the bottom of the inning, as Chris Chinea scored on a two-out single by Mark Laird.

LSU held that lead until Tennessee's two-run outburst in the eighth.

LSU falls back to 1.5 games behind Alabama for the lead in the SEC West, after the Tide split their series against South Carolina with a win Saturday. The Tigers will go for their fourth consecutive SEC series victory Sunday at 1 p.m. The starter is still to be determined.

"We have to take it like men, move forward and try to win a series tomorrow," Mainieri said. "It's a tough loss for us. Our kids did the best they could."


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