LSU brought its hot bats to Hoover, Ala., and run-ruled Vanderbilt in an 11-1, seven-inning victory Wednesday to open the SEC Tournament.
That marked the Tigers' fourth straight victory against an SEC opponent in which they scored at least eight runs — the first time that's happened since 2011. It was also the first time LSU has beaten a team by at least 10 runs in the SEC Tournament since 2009.
LSU took advantage of a four-run fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie, then proceeded to pull away from the Commodores with 10 runs in the game's final four innings. The Tigers had the leadoff man reach base in six of the seven innings, scoring at least one run in five of those.
Meanwhile, Jared Poché surrendered only one run in five hits and earned the complete game. That marks his ninth win of the season, the most by a LSU freshman since 2001.
But it was actually Vanderbilt that scored first, plating a run in the top of the first. Dansby Swanson led off the game with a double to left field that Sean McMullen couldn't catch while falling on his back. Bryan Reynolds brought in the run with a single to right.
LSU answered back in the bottom of the inning, as Mark Laird opened the frame with a leadoff double of his own. Two groundouts evened the game 1-1 after one inning.
Both pitchers settled in for the next 2 ½ innings before LSU exploded for four runs off Vanderbilt starter Jared Miller in the fourth.
Conner Hale got it started with a leadoff double, then Christian Ibarra walked with one out. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, and another after an Andrew Stevenson strikeout gave LSU the lead. Miller walked Laird to put runners on the corners, which brought in reliever Hayden Stone, but Alex Bregman greeted him rudely with a three-run homer to left field.
The Tigers tacked on another run in the next inning. Conner Hale doubled off the left field wall to put a pair in scoring position, and Tyler Moore's groundout scored the run.
LSU added a pair in the sixth with a sacrifice liner by Bregman, and Jake Fraley made it 8-1 with a single up the middle.
LSU ended it in the seventh with three more runs to put the run-rule in effect. Hale opened the inning with a single, and Stevenson did the same with two outs to put runners on the corners. Laird brought in both with a triple to right field, and Bregman's double down the left field line gave him five RBI in the game and sealed the 10-run win.
The Tigers advance into the winner's bracket and will face either Ole Miss or Arkansas on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
LSU run rules Vandy, 11-1
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